My understanding of democratization is that there is no better alternative to it. It is an arbitration of conflict between political opponents to avoid violence and harm in the society and to themselves and supporters. As far as corruption is concerned, this is where strong institutions and rule of law come in. Checks and balance could be elusive, if the public institutions are weak and the executive branch takes advantage.
There could be more, but I strongly believe that where there is no freedom of press and independent judiciary, there can be no democracy for only these two public institutions can reign in corruption and abuses of power.
Freedom of the press cannot thrive in any given country without people understanding and supporting it. You can’t have successful independent media among non-readers and mostly illiterate or semi-illiterate citizens. People with no culture of readership and curiosity can’t have democracy. You can’t also have an independent judiciary in a poor society where judges are hired with little or no pay.
You also need to teach civic education in schools. People should consume quality information and learn facts and history. You can’t do that without people developing the habit of readership.
Here, we don’t have to seek the ideal situation of good governance, but to start the process towards a long journey. You can’t do that without continuity-based governance and preserving historical records.