This document is a dissertation proposal for the topic “Quantifying the Effects of Corruption in Cambodia’s economic Development.” The study will basically analyze the role that corruption has played in derailing Cambodia’s economic development. In carrying out this study, information from diverse websites such as the official World Bank website, Cambodian government reports, international corruption watchdogs such as Transparency International, Council on Foreign Relations, the Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, the United Nation reports and Global Witness organization. The study will address both the economic and organizational structure of the Cambodian government, its core operating procedures as well as its development prospects. Corruption loopholes in the system will be identified and their specific impact on development quantified. Recommendations will be given that may help reduce corruption and steer development in Cambodia.
This section will be split into sub-sections of background of study, definition of key concepts, problem statement, aims of study, and research questions, overview of the design of the research as well as chapters outline.
1.1 Background of the Study
This area will focus on the history of Cambodia’s economic development, the country’s achievements, failures and prospects. It will also justify the validity of the study, whose main importance is to find out the role that corruption in Cambodia has played in the country’s weakening rating in major development indicators such as corruption perception index, human development index, index of economic freedom and the World Economic Forum.
Definitions of Key Concepts
Key words and terms to be used in the study will be defined in this section. These terms will include among others: corruption, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), economy, Cambodian Millennium Development Goals (CMDGs) among others.
1.2 Problem Statement
This part will briefly state the key focus of the study in the form of a statement of the problem. The statement will be as follows: Quantifying the effect of corruption in Cambodia’s economic development
1.3 Aims of Study and Research Questions
This part will break down the problem statement into various independent sub-parts, which will form the basis of the study, including the formulation of data sourcing methodology and integration of the different aspects of the study objectives. The principal objectives of the study will be listed here, including:
Economic analysis of Cambodia including its leading sectors of tourism, agriculture and fishing.
Review of Cambodia’s development history in comparison to countries in its economic development category.
To conduct a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the Cambodian economic development platform with an aim to discover the most promising way forward to achieving economic success (Seiha & Kambuj%u0101 2006).
Analyzing the history of Cambodia’s corruption rating in the last decade, along with other development indicators such as Ease of Doing Business index, Human Development Index among others.
Investigating the correlation between corruption index and economic prosperity in the Cambodian economy over the last decade.
The research questions will also be written, and will include the following:
What trends can be seen in Cambodia’s economic development in the last ten years?
What are the contributions of the forefront sectors in Cambodian economy towards its economic progress and how have they been performing in the last decade? (Transparency International 2007).
How prone are the leading sectors to corruption and how is it perpetuated?
What percentage of Cambodia’s daily business, governmental and administrative processes are open to corruption and, in particular, what effect is the lack of preference of formal banking in Cambodian Informal Sector having towards encouraging corruption?
What does the SWOT analysis of the Cambodian situation reveal in regard to the country’s chances of economic prosperity and realization of its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and, in particular, how is Cambodia’s realization of her MDGs likely to be affected by corruption? (United Nations Development Programme 2006)
Is there a correlation between corruption and economic prosperity derailment in Cambodia?
The research will be guided by several research hypotheses, including the following:
—H0: Corruption is the greatest contributor to Cambodia’s sluggish economic progress
—H1: Corruption is not a major hindrance in Cambodian economic development agenda
—H2: If corruption rating remains constant, Cambodia is unlikely to achieve her Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
1.5 Research Overview and Design
This part will lay out the tools to be employed in the study. The primary data will mainly be collected through the questionnaires strategically formulated and presented to 500 individual residents in Cambodia engaged in any form of employment in the five leading sectors of the economy namely tourism, agriculture, fishing, the timber industry and cloths and garments sector (Bajoria 2008). In addition, 500 questionnaires will be administered to ordinary residents in the country with an aim to collect data regarding their perceptions, interactions and tendencies towards perpetuating corruption (United Nations Development Programme 2006). The major target groups will include government offices, local authorities, the police and nongovernmental authorities.
The secondary data will mainly be collected from peer-reviewed journals and other scientific publications accessible via the Internet and in different academic libraries. In addition, Cambodian economic progress reports will be obtained from the official Cambodian government websites and reports, the world Bank’s reports, the United Nations reports as well as international non governmental agencies such as Transparency International, Council on Foreign Relations, the Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, the United Nation reports and Global Witness organization. This type of data will include past studies conducted in line with this topic and forecasts for Cambodia’s economic performance in the next decade.
1.6 Chapter Overview
This section will briefly introduce other chapters in the document, including the literature review chapter, methodology chapter, analysis chapter, and the conclusion chapter respectively.
2.0 Literature Review
This chapter will briefly look into the history of Cambodia, her economic progress, current status on her intended MDGs and the most outstanding current threats. Through this chapter, a justification for the research will stand out, as the current situation will be revealed in a manner as to expose the country’s vulnerability to effects of corruption and therefore a cue for an urgent need for research into the topic. The section below will shine a light in to Cambodian situation.
According to Transparency reports, 2008, Cambodia’s corruption index scored 1.8 in a scale of 0- 10, with zero being very corrupt and 10 being very clean. In this year, it was ranked number 166 out of 180 countries in terms of corruption combat (Transparency 2008). The World Bank’s reports indicate a progressively worsening Cambodian score for Ease of Doing Business Index (Phy 2010). According to Global Corruption Barometer 2007, 43% of Cambodians felt that corruption would increase in the following three years while 19% felt it would remain the same. This means that 62% of residents in 2007 had no hope in managing corruption (Transparency, 2007). In 2011, Cambodia scored only 2.1 out of 10 in corruption eradication and was ranked number 164 out of 180 countries (Anti Corruption Resource Center 2012). Cambodian economy of more than 14.1 million people have scored highly on economic growth in most years of the last decade, however, more than 30% of Cambodians still live below the poverty line (Bajoria 2008). 65 percent of population is employed in the agricultural sector, and more than 90 percent of the population is rural based (Phy 2010).
In addition, less than 1% of daily business transactions go through any form of formal banking (Anti Corruption Resource Center 2012). This makes tracing economic growth very hard as most transactions are un-captured in the national financial monitoring systems (United Nations Development Programme 2006). Even worse, corrupt dealings are unlikely to be traced or exposed since most of them may not exist in formal records. In addition, the annual aid from China with little regulation or accountability requirements may have worsened the state of corruption in Cambodia, as it strengthens certain highly placed cartels in the government (United Nations Development Programme 2006). According to Transparency, Cambodia’s score in government budget openness is very low at 15% as of 2011, indicating that scanty or no budgetary elements exist at all. Investigating and quantifying corruption levels in Cambodia is not easy, but is inevitable if her millennium development goals are to be achieved (Bajoria 2008).
3.0 Research Methodology
In this chapter, the actual tools used for this research will be laid down. The principal primary data sources will be the questionnaire, telephone interviews, and e-mails. There will be two categories of questionnaires, one online and one in hard copy. These will be issued to respondents according to their preferences. The necessary standards applicable in the formulation of questionnaires, such as the observance of privacy and non-revelatory type questions, will be observed. The data to be collected will be organized according to various parameters required for further treatment, including the number of questionnaires issued, the number of positive respondents, age and gender, economy sector that respondent belongs, and specific data regarding perceptions about and personal experience with corruption. Samples of questionnaires used will be attached in the appendix.
As concerns secondary data sources, various websites visited will be cited and any sources for tables, charts, and other intellectual properties cited from any sites will be properly referenced. At the end of the chapter, findings in form of returned questionnaires and any referenced materials from secondary sourcing will be stated. After administration of questionnaires, a 1-2 month will be allowed as response time before collecting the feedback forms. Analysis will be conducted using statistically approved methods such as data coding and the ordinary regression analysis. For bulk treatments, statistical measures of central tendencies such as mean, variation and standard deviation maybe used to normalize research findings.
4.0 Data Analysis
This chapter will display the actual results of the study, both the primary sources and secondary sources in the preparation for analysis. The data obtained will be analyzed in order to come up with trends common to all respondents as well as to facilitate the categorization of the results depending on key sub-divisions in the business sector that depend on such parameters as age and gender, occupation as well as specific geographic regions in Cambodia among others. Also, various broad subdivisions of the dissertation as seen in the title will be analyzed separately. Methods used for data treatment and analysis will be explained, and the results of the analysis clearly shown and explained. Results will be presented using such tools as bar graphs, pie charts, and histograms to clearly bring out the results and juxtapose various parameters for the ease of comparison.
In this chapter, a brief and accurate assessment of the findings of the previous chapter will be made. An exhaustive description of the nature of the findings will be written, which will be in total agreement with the corrected data and relevant to the objective of the research. The expected statements in the conclusion chapter will show
5.1 Ethical Considerations
In line with considerations for integrity and ethics where it regards information gathering, any information obtained from any respondent will be treated confidentially without malice or prejudice based on race, class, work sector, political affiliations or any other subdivision. Participation will be free and voluntary and will be preceded by a university approved request for participation for each respondent, as well as a special individualized appreciation note for each participating person. Further, a personal copy of research findings will be mailed to each respondent at the end of the research.
In line with the objective of the research, corruption reduction strategies will be recommended. The recommendations given at this stage will be expected to mention any anomalies expected in the research methodology used and possible adjustments in the results to cater for such anomalies. For instance, if the data available from respondents with very young businesses or employment history is found to be inconsistent in itself, the recommendation will outline all the possible reasons for this anomaly and suggest remedies for the same.