Effects of Corruption in Cambodias economic Development

Dissertation Proposal 1
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Dissertation Proposal 2
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.
1.0 Introduction
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
Dissertation Proposal 3
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 & Kambujā 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.
Dissertation Proposal 4
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
Is there a correlation between corruption and economic prosperity derailment in
The research will be guided by several research hypotheses, including the following:
H0: Corruption is the greatest contributor to Cambodia’s sluggish economic
Dissertation Proposal 5
H1: Corruption is not a major hindrance in Cambodian economic development
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
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
Dissertation Proposal 6
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
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).
Dissertation Proposal 7
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
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.
Dissertation Proposal 8
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.
5.0 Conclusions
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
Dissertation Proposal 9
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.
6.0 Recommendations
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.
Dissertation Proposal 10
Reference List
Anti Corruption Resource Center 2012, Overview of corruption in Cambodia, Viewed 26
October 2012, <http://www.u4.no/publications/overview-of-corruption-in-cambodia/>
Bajoria, J 2008, Cambodia's Development Challenges, Viewed 26 October 2012,
Phy, S 2010, Foreign Aid-Corruption Nexus in Cambodia: Its Consequences on the Propensity
of Civil War, GRIN Verlag: New York City
Seiha, N & Kambujā, S 2006, Assessment of corruption in Cambodia's private sector. Economic
Institute of Cambodia
Transparency International 2007, Global Corruption Report 2007: Corruption in Judicial
Systems, Cambridge University Press
Transparency International, 2012, Corruption by Country / Territory, Viewed 26 October 2012,
United Nations Development Programme 2006, A SWOT Analysis of the Cambodian Economy,
Discussion Paper No. 12006, Viewed 26 October 2012,
Dissertation Proposal 11
Sample Questionnaires Framework
Questionnaire One: Intended for individual residents of Cambodia.
This questionnaire is intended for collecting information regarding the extent of
corruption in day to day activities in business and administrative dealings among the various
stakeholders in Cambodian economy. Even though this research is purely for academic purposes,
it is hoped that it will provide a clear directional incentive for everyone involved to change their
outlook and trends in order to realize a better Cambodia in the next one decade. Any information
given is non-revelatory and will be treated with confidence.
Kindly answer the questions below.
What is your age bracket?
I A) 15-20 B) 21-35 C) 36-50 D) above 50
Select your gender A) male B) female
In what economic sector are you?
A) Business B) formal employment C) un-employed D) industry E) unemployed F) other
In what province of Cambodia do you work?
What level of familiarity do you have with corruption?
A) A little B) Know about it C) Very familiar D) Don’t know about it
Are you familiar with Cambodia’s Millennium Development goals (MDGs)? A) No B) yes C) A
Do you think Cambodia will achieve her MDGs? A) Yes B) No C) Don’t know
What do you feel may be the greatest hindrance to attaining Cambodia’s MDGs?
A) Poor leadership B) Lack of infrastructure C) Lack of finances D) corruption
Dissertation Proposal 12
E) Poverty D) poor education policy F) other (specify)
Do you have confidence in your government’s efforts to curb corruption?
A) Yes B) No C) Don’t know
Have you engageed in any corruption act in the last one year? A) Yes B) No C) Can’t recall
If yes, in what type of transaction was it done? A) person to person trade B) a government office
C) a private company’s office D) the police E) other (specify).
How often do you engage in corrupt dealings? A) Never B)Rarely C) From time to time D)
Often E) Very often
Do the people around you encourage corruption (including employer, trade people,
administration and other government officials, or any other party)?
A) Rarely B) often C) Never
Are you willing to stop corruption A)Yes B)No C)Don’t care.
Under what conditions would you be willing to stop corruption?
If government agencies set a good example
If people around me stop it
If employment is created
If poverty levels reduce
Other (specify)
Any other free comments ………………………………………………….
Thank you for participating in the survey to help get information about the effect of corruption in
the Cambodian economic development initiative.

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