U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Based on relatively recent research on Bangladesh, could you please review evidence on: a) the forms (sector, type and geographical) of corruption that have been most damaging to the country in terms of the impact on the poor; and b) the approaches that appear to have been successful/unsuccessful in addressing corruption in Bangladesh.


Bangladesh has faced a host of political challenges since independence in 1971. After the restoration of democracy in the 1990s, the reins of power have oscillated between Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina. The country is plagued with endemic corruption. While laws to address corruption exist, they are not implemented adequately, nor are relevant institutions effective.

Main points

  • Widespread pervasive corruption leads to a culture of impunity.
  • There is a paradoxical state of affairs as high levels of corruption go hand in hand with decent levels of economic growth.
  • Grand and petty forms of corruption occur across various sectors: police, judiciary, healthcare and education.
  • Legislation needs proper implementation to counter corruption.


  1. Background
  2. Overview of corruption in Bangladesh
  3. Legal and institutional anti-corruption framework
  4. References


Kaunain Rahman


Matthew Jenkins, Transparency International and Saul Mullard, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre




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