Both China and India are adopting information and communication technologies to facilitate openness and transparency in their governments, and hence reduce corruption. Distinctive from their traditional anticorruption approaches, is the innovative e-government approach an effective solution to corruption in these two large developing countries? This paper addresses the question through comparative in-depth interviews with 44 mid- or senior-level officials in the public sector in these two countries. The first study of its kind, our research shows that civil servants in both countries overall think positively about transparency and technology in reducing corruption. However, to what extent these innovative measures will be effective is conditional on various factors, such as political willingness, income inequality, and infrastructure readiness. What is worth noting is that the Chinese respondents were more positive regarding the role of transparency, whereas the Indian respondents were more positive about the role of technology, which may reflect the different facilitators of corruption and the constraints of anticorruption in China and India.
Bibliographical noteThe authors are indebted to Adam Graycar, M. Shamsul Haque, M. Jae Moon, Olga Sazhina, Xu Wei, and Yifan Hu for their helpful inputs on earlier versions of this paper. A note of special thanks goes to Zeger Van der Wal and Mehmet Akif Demircioglu. The authors also benefited from helpful comments from the editors and the anonymous referees.
- public sector innovation
- qualitative research