GI-ACE Publications

Journal Article
Chile
Jan Meyer-Sahling

Education is central to theories of how bureaucracies professionalize. Going back to Weber, the process towards a capable and professional bureaucracy has been viewed as driven by the entry of well-educated, professional recruits. We argue that this perspective misses important dynamics within professionalising bureaucracies – in particular how bureaucrats inside government react when bureaucracies professionalize. Building on this insight, we argue that incumbent bureaucrats face incentives to acquire greater expertise when educated entrants arrive, in order to remain competitive for organizational rewards (such as promotions) inside government and jobs outside government in case educated entrants "outcompete" them. We provide empirical support for these propositions with a priming experiment with 3,000 bureaucrats in Chile's central government. Bureaucrats primed about the professionalization of other bureaucrats put a greater premium on their own expertise acquisition. Our findings suggest that bureaucratic professionalization is a contagious – and thus self-reinforcing - process inside government

Multimedia
Nigeria
Jackie Harvey Sue Turner

Jackie Harvey and Sue Turner presenting for the GI-ACE Weekly Series

Multimedia
Zambia South Africa
Laura Nkula-Wenz Gilbert Siame

Laura Nkula-Wenz and Gilbert Siame presenting for the GI-ACE Weekly Series

Multimedia
Tanzania Uganda
Claudia Baez Camargo

Claudia Baez Camargo presenting for the GI-ACE Weekly Series

Multimedia

GI-ACE
Case Studies and Reports
Uganda
Claudia Baez Camargo

This case study presents sheds light on the functioning of informal networks in East Africa, based on evidence collected in Tanzania. The report presents evidence, consisting of four mini-case studies from Uganda that describe informal networks associated with bribery and procurement fraud. The ten cases are also analysed and implications for anti-corruption practice discussed in the larger report.

Case Studies and Reports
Tanzania
Claudia Baez Camargo

This case study presents sheds light on the functioning of informal networks in East Africa, based on evidence collected in Tanzania. The report presents evidence, consisting of six mini-case studies from Tanzania that describe informal networks associated with bribery and procurement fraud. The ten cases are also analysed and implications for anti-corruption practice discussed in the larger report.

Case Studies and Reports
Tanzania Uganda
Claudia Baez Camargo

This report presents findings from a research project entitled “Harnessing informality: Designing anti-corruption network interventions and strategic use of legal instruments”. The project follows from a previous research project where the Basel Institute on Governance, in partnership with University College London and SOAS, researched informality and its relationship with corruption and governance in seven countries in East Africa and Central Asia.

The findings from that research project, which can be explored at length here, suggested that corruption often takes place according to informal, unwritten rules. The present report sheds light on the functioning of informal networks in East Africa, based on evidence collected in Tanzania and Uganda. The report presents evidence, consisting of ten mini-case studies (six from Tanzania and four from Uganda) that describe informal networks associated with bribery and procurement fraud. The ten cases are also analysed and implications for anti-corruption practice discussed.

Working Paper
India
Amrita Dhillon

This paper proposes new composite measures of relative and dynamic state performance to improve governance and delivery of public programs in developing countries with a federal structure. We rank the performance of 19 major Indian states on two large development programs launched by the Indian government over the last two decades using publicly available data. Although we find volatility in performance over time, there exists a positive correlation between measures of state capacity, development and accountability with program outcomes. Our findings have important implications for both the design and implementation of public service programs of such large scale.

Working Paper
India
Amrita Dhillon

In developing countries with weak enforcement institutions, there is implicitly a large reliance on electoral incentives to reduce corruption. However electoral discipline works well only under some conditions. In this paper we study the effect of electoral competition on corruption when uncertainty in elections is high (or accountability is low), as in many developing countries. Our theory focuses on the case of high uncertainty and shows that in this case there is a U-shaped relationship between electoral competition and corruption. We illustrate the predictions of the model with village level data on audit detected irregularities and electoral competition from India.

Database
Zambia South Africa
Vanessa Watson

The Cities of Integrity: Urban Planning and Corruption in Africa Project was based at the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town. The Project ran from 2019-2021 as part of the Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme (GI-ACE), which supported 14 research partners around the world in generating actionable evidence to assist policymakers, practitioners, and advocates to design and implement more effective anti-corruption programmes. In collaboration with the Center for Urban Research and Planning at the University of Zambia, the Project conducted an online survey of planning and urban development professionals in South Africa and Zambia regarding their experience and perceptions of ethics, integrity, and corruption in their work and their profession.

Journal Article

Jan Meyer-Sahling

Democratic backsliding has multiplied “unprincipled” political principals: governments with weak commitment to the public interest. Why do some bureaucrats engage in voice and guerrilla sabotage to thwart policies against the public interest under “unprincipled principals,” yet others do not? Despite its centrality in contemporary governance, this conundrum has not seen quantitative research. We address this gap with survey evidence from 1,700 Brazilian public servants during the Temer Presidency, widely perceived to lack democratic legitimacy and integrity. We focus on one key explanator: public service motivation (PSM). We argue that bureaucrats with greater PSM are more likely to engage in voice and sabotage of “unprincipled policies,” and exit to avoid implementing “unprincipled policies.” Structural equation models support these hypotheses. Public service-motivated bureaucracies are thus short-run stalwarts against “unprincipled” political principals. Over time, they look to depart, however, leaving “unprincipled” principals a freer hand to pursue policies against the public interest.

Multimedia

Mihály Fazekas

This presentation was shared at the Joint Vienna Institute conference in July 2021 on "Diagnosing Corruption and Its Costs".

Mihály Fazekas, CEU and GTI, shared insights into cutting-edge methods of measuring corruption risks in public spending, and showcasing selected applications of new methodologies in policy analysis. Rooted in a thorough qualitative understanding of what behavior constitutes corruption in public procurement – avoiding competition to favor a certain bidder – objective, de-facto, individual-level risk indicators can be formulated for buyers, suppliers, tendering process as well as political connections.

Policy
Nigeria
Jackie Harvey Peter Sproat

Our evidence addresses the question: How should the FCDO take account of and mitigate potential inhibiting factors to investment (such as corruption, security, human rights abuses)? It is specifically focussed on the subject of corruption. Much of the global approach to AML and anti-corruption is predicated upon the formal banking system (as exist in the developed West) and the prevention of criminal access to it. Intervention measures also assume access to good quality and accurate data and formal methods of record keeping both by the financial sector and the law enforcement agencies.

Working Paper
Nigeria
Jackie Harvey

Nigeria is a country of paradoxes. It has the highest economic ranking on the African continent, with a nominal GDP of $443 billion, followed by Egypt: $350 billion and South Africa: $283 billion in 2020. On the other hand, per capita income is amongst the lowest on the continent, ranking the country 17th (out of 20) in 2019. Nigeria is a country of paradoxes. It has the highest economic ranking on the African continent, with a nominal GDP of $443 billion, followed by Egypt: $350 billion and South Africa: $283 billion in 2020. On the other hand, per capita income is amongst the lowest on the continent, ranking the country 17th (out of 20) in 2019. Nigeria also has the unenviable position of being perceived as one of the most corrupt countries in the world. As forms and perception of petty corruption have been monitored by organisations such as TI and UNODC, this working paper will be devoted to grand corruption.

Multimedia
Zambia South Africa
Vanessa Watson

This is the third of the 3-part video series based on the Cities of Integrity working paper 'Leveraging the role of the urban planning profession for one of the central policy challenges of our times'.

Multimedia

GI-ACE

In this roundtable we welcome an eclectic mix of researchers and practitioners to discuss how the two fields can learn from each other. Academics, also those studying corruption, are often accused of being in an ivory tower, far removed from real-world problems. Practitioners and policymakers, however, face criticism of not using empirically-validated methods to tackle corruption.

Case Studies and Reports
Zambia
Vanessa Watson

The Urban planning landscape world over has experienced considerable dynamics and planners have experienced various aspects of planning. Whereas there has been emphasis on the need to uphold integrity, it is a contested matter. Planners from diverse backgrounds have shared their experiences on the various aspects of how they experience integrity and corruption in urban planning.
The qualitative action experiments are thus a platform to (get data from working paper) which have yielded much results with regards to offering insights into the plight of planners. With the first QAE held in October 2019 in Lusaka, which meant to equip planners with tools, that will foster integrity in the urban workspace. The second workshop was held as a follow up to build on discovered data and asking of instruments such as the urban and regional planner’s Act and brought together over 25 planners that joined in physically and virtually from various planning institutions across the country.

Multimedia
Malawi
Gerhard Anders

Ongoing research study examining law enforcement efforts against high-level (grand) corruption in Nigeria and Malawi funded by FCDO (part of the Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence Research Programme). In the context of this project pathways to impact working closely with Ministry of Justice and anti-corruption agencies in Nigeria and Malawi. As part of this research, we collected narratives among government officials about the impact of the law enforcement response to the 2013 Cashgate scandal.

Multimedia

ACE

As part of FCDO’s Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme, SOAS and Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence (GI-ACE) researchers discussed why and how gender matters to our corruption research, both in terms of agency (how we focus on empowering actors) and impact (taking gender into consideration for public service delivery). Our research teams presented challenges and opportunities they have faced in incorporating gender in research design, and explored why many researchers still stray away from working with “gender” when designing research.

Multimedia
Kenya Uganda
Jackie Klopp

Crossing borders is a strategy used by many vulnerable populations in an age of inequality and climate crisis. Borders are governed by complex rules and bureaucracy that present ample opportunities for corruption, producing hardship and rights abuses that often have significant gender dimensions. Applying a gender lens, this conversation will draw on new research that looks at how COVID restrictions at borders are impacting small scale cross border traders in East Africa. What happened to bribery and harassment with Covid restrictions and how are these dynamics gendered? What can Covid impacts tell us about how corruption operates more generally at these borders and about strategies traders use to keep their businesses alive when facing shocks? As economic activities resume Post-Covid, what have we learned to improve trader conditions, build social resilience and reduce extraction from vulnerable populations at these borders?

Multimedia
Nigeria
Jackie Harvey

There is a growing recognition that the enablers of large-scale (‘grand’) corruption lie in transnational financial networks. Literature suggests that a large proportion of illicit flows from Nigeria are invested in the UK. But illicit flows are, by their nature, illegal and deliberately hidden from view, making them a particularly challenging object of research. By presenting the findings of three Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence (GI-ACE) projects that analyse UK-Nigeria business connections from different perspectives, this discussion will examine and problematise the international financial architecture that allows for proceeds of grand corruption looted from Nigeria to be laundered in the UK. It will furthermore discuss the role of Western professional service providers in facilitating kleptocratic practices.

Working Paper
Kenya Uganda
Jackie Klopp

Small-scale, cross-border trade is critically important to livelihoods and food security in East Africa, but bribes, harassment and violence remain a serious problem. This paper critically and systematically reviews a growing and diverse literature on small-scale, cross-border trade, corruption and gender. The aim is to synthesize and assess the current state of knowledge, highlight progress and gaps, and assess the potential of anti-corruption programs to address the needs of traders, lowering bribes and reducing harassment and violence. We found that research is drawing on diverse methods, leveraging ubiquitous cell phones and focusing on trader networks, their gendered interactions with state border actors. More work could focus on state actors and their internal interactions, including the police. Questions remain around what determines how bribes function, the norms around them and their levels as well as how well trader associations, civil society and formal and informal platforms for dialogue between traders and border government actors work to improve conditions. Understanding how traders choose between formal and informal pathways and how dynamics around how these different pathways interact is also critical. We see a growing variety of anti-corruption strategies drawing on the accumulated knowledge, as well as some experimentation in approach, with some successes.

Policy
Nigeria
Matthew Page

This brief highlights key takeaways and recommendations published in the report ‘Innovative or Ineffective? Reassessing Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement in Nigeria’ (2021) GI-ACE Working Paper No. 9 by Matthew Page (Chatham House) 1. It is one of two country case studies of the project ‘Fighting high-level corruption in Africa: Learning from effective law enforcement’ funded by the Global Integrity-FCDO Anti-Corruption Evidence Program (2019-21). The research project is the first systematic study of law enforcement efforts targeting high-level (grand) corruption in Africa, presenting case studies of Nigeria and Malawi. It aims at identifying both enabling and constraining factors for effective law enforcement. The focus on the specifics of enforcement practice is new and provides evidence that has been missing in anti-corruption research.

Policy
Malawi
Gerhard Anders

This brief highlights key takeaways and recommendations published in the report ‘Law Enforcement and High- level Corruption in Malawi: Learning from Cashgate’ (2021) GI-ACE Working Paper No. 8 by Dr Gerhard Anders (University of Edinburgh).1 It is one of two country case studies of the project ‘Fighting high-level corruption in Africa: Learning from effective law enforcement’, which is part of the FCDO- funded Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme (GI-ACE) (2019-21). The research project is the first systematic study of law enforcement efforts targeting high-level (grand) corruption in Africa, presenting case studies of Nigeria and Malawi. It aims at identifying both enabling and constraining factors for effective law enforcement. The focus on the specifics of enforcement practice is new and provides evidence that has been missing in anti-corruption research.

Working Paper
Nigeria
Jackie Harvey

This paper is based on a case study of the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) framework as applied in Nigeria and has arisen from a cross-disciplinary (comprising of a team of academics and practitioners) funded research project that considers beneficial ownership as part of the global fight against corruption and money laundering (the AC Project). The AC Project is focused on Nigeria, a country that whilst described as the “powerhouse” of West Africa, is also evaluated as weak for transparency and accountability by Africa Integrity Indicators. The AC Project pays particular attention to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations, 24, 25 dealing with transparency and beneficial ownership of legal persons and arrangements, and 38 covering Mutual Legal Assistance, asset freezing and confiscation. In addition, countries are required to maintain and share accurate and up to date information regarding the legal and beneficial ownership of companies and trusts. This part of the AML framework forms a focus of our case study.

Case Studies and Reports

ACE

GI-ACE Annual Report for 2020

Working Paper
Nigeria
Matthew Page

Nigeria’s anti-corruption law enforcement efforts are incrementally growing more effective as practitioners adapt, innovate, and leverage recent legislative reforms as they navigate many persistent challenges. Sometimes caricatured as sclerotic, politicized, or error-prone, high-level anti-corruption efforts are becoming noticeably more innovative and pragmatic. Instead of being abandoned under pressure or grinding to a standstill, high-profile corruption cases increasingly involve new, more pragmatic resolutions. These include plea bargains and asset forfeiture as well as probationary and non-custodial sentences. In instances where political stakes are high and the likelihood of conviction is low, these tools are now seen as faster, more straightforward, and more viable than traditional criminal prosecutions.

Working Paper
Malawi
Gerhard Anders

This report presents the findings of a study on the dynamics of law enforcement in high-level corruption cases in Malawi. The research project, Learning from effective law enforcement, is the first systematic study of law enforcement efforts targeting high-level (grand) corruption in Africa, presenting case studies of Nigeria and Malawi. It aims at identifying both enabling and constraining factors for effective law enforcement. The focus on the specifics of enforcement practice is new and provides evidence that has been missing in anti-corruption research.

Policy
India
Amrita Dhillon

Poor governance is a major problem affecting outcomes as diverse as economic growth, the environment, and security, all of which impact people’s wellbeing. Big scams make headline news but it is rare for media outlets to follow up on investigations years down the line. In order to design anti-corruption policies, we first need to understand the determinants of corruption; we argue that audit data can offer a rich source to understand the determinants of corruption and such data should be made available in a way that it does not violate any privacy norms.

Multimedia
India Kenya
Amrita Dhillon Jackie Klopp
Policy

John Heathershaw

John Heathershaw contributes to a piece in the National Endowment for Democracy that makes the case that the global health pandemic will bring into sharp relief the debilitated state of social services in many countries, which could lead to greater citizen discontent and activism. The International Forum for Democratic Studies asked four leading experts for their views on how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect trends in transnational kleptocracy.

Multimedia

ACE

The ACE Digital Library is an open-source database and tool to facilitate the mapping of scientific literature related to corruption. The tool is designed to manage the ever-growing catalogue of published research on these topics and facilitate the identification and retrieval of knowledge. It complements the Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence (GI-ACE) Research Programme Theory of Change, which emphasises the need to promote academic research and support its use by practitioners.

Multimedia

ACE

Existing approaches to combating corruption have often failed to have the desired impact. If prevailing approaches have not worked, how do we move beyond them and discover, explore and test approaches that may be more effective? The GI-ACE programme aims to address this by devising anti-corruption interventions that can effectively reach practitioners and shift the conversation from an existing paradigm that has stalled, toward a more focused and actionable framework for both understanding and tackling corruption. Five GI-ACE researchers have written a series of papers that interrogate and identify the key practical changes needed to help make progress on the agenda of rethinking corruption.

Multimedia

ACE

Renowned corruption expert Sarah Chayes, discusses her groundbreaking book On Corruption in America: And What's at Stake with Milan Vaishnav, Senior Fellow and Director of the South Asia Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Multimedia

Liz David-Barrett

Website on the Curbing Corruption in Procurement project, funded by the Department for International Development Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme. The research analyses how procurement can be manipulated for corrupt ends using a prize-winning ‘red flags’ methodology developed by Mihály Fazekas. The project collect datasets of procurement tenders and contracts, with a range of variables that indicate corruption risk, and analyse the data to identify suspicious patterns and trends, by procuring entity, supplier, and over time.

Journal Article

Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

Responding to COVID‐19 presents unprecedented challenges for public sector practitioners. Addressing those challenges requires knowledge about the problems that public sector workers face. This essay argues that timely, up‐to‐date surveys of public sector workers are essential tools for identifying problems, resolving bottlenecks, and enabling public sector workers to operate effectively during and in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. This essay presents the COVID‐19 Survey of Public Servants, which is currently being rolled out in several countries by the Global Survey of Public Servants Consortium to assist governments in strategically compiling evidence to operate effectively during the COVID‐19 pandemic.

Journal Article
Malawi
Gerhard Anders

The article argues that the impact of law enforcement efforts against corruption deserves more scholarly attention. Drawing on a mixed-methods study from Malawi in southern Africa, where a large-scale law enforcement operation has been investigating and prosecuting those involved in a 2013 corruption scandal known as ‘Cashgate’, the article explores the potential for corruption deterrence from the perspective of government officials in the Malawi civil service.

Working Paper

ACE

The SFRA approach has evolved over a period of several years, through a combination of practical engagement with reformers in sectors such as defence, health and education, across a range of countries at various stages of development, and from challenges to the existing research on anti-corruption. It has been married with a deeper understanding of what ‘strategy’ is, based on a review of modern thinking about strategy in military, business and politics, presented by Heywood and Pyman (2020) in a companion paper.

Working Paper

ACE

Heather Marquette and Caryn Peiffer lay the groundwork for analyzing interventions in their Corruption Functionality Framework. Their four-step approach helps those designing anti-corruption interventions to understand why ‘everyday’ corruption appears to provide solutions to problems that formal structures and systems fail to address.

Working Paper

ACE

In this paper, the authors have argued that in order to develop effective strategies to combat corruption, one first needs to recapture the proper meaning of ‘strategy’. In doing so, they have returned to the roots of the term in its military and business usage to explore how that can inform the way we should focus on anti-corruption. In particular, they have placed emphasis on different scales of reform, distinguishing between international, national and tactical to show how they may call for different types of reform strategy.

Working Paper

ACE

In this paper, the authors have argued that in order to develop effective strategies to combat corruption, one first needs to recapture the proper meaning of ‘strategy’. In doing so, they have returned to the roots of the term in its military and business usage to explore how that can inform the way we should focus on anti-corruption. In particular, they have placed emphasis on different scales of reform, distinguishing between international, national and tactical to show how they may call for different types of reform strategy.

Working Paper
Kyrgyzstan
Claudia Baez Camargo

Mobile phones and other technologies have transformed the nature and dynamics of informal social networks in Kyrgyzstan. Some scholars argue that new technology (electronisation, digitalisation) helps to prevent corruption and reduce the risk of bribery, informal social networks and bureaucracy. In their view, new technology has the potential to create transparent and efficient ways to access public services. This is usually done by implementing electronic queue systems, online payment platforms, registers and other public services, as well as transparency portals providing access to government data, statistics and state laws and regulations.

Policy
Balkans United Arab Emirates
John Heathershaw

Policy Brief describing the changing nature of relations between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several countries of the Western Balkans. Starting from 2010, when the UAE’s first embassy in the region opened in Podgorica (Montenegro), good relations have been propelled by a boom of investments and “sweet loans” from the UAE into southeast Europe. Starting with Montenegro and then quickly moving into Serbia and, to a somewhat lesser extent, to Bosnia and Herzegovina and other countries of the region, the Emiratis have mainly invested in four strategic sectors in which they claim to have a strategic advantage or a special interest: construction projects (especially in high-end tourism), agriculture (to guarantee food security), airlines (as part of their “super-connector” strategy) and defence (including the purchase of weapons).

Working Paper

Liz David-Barrett

Following scandals about corruption in foreign aid, and in a political climate that increasingly questions the legitimacy of development assistance, donors are under pressure to better control how their funds are spent. However, there is little evidence on precisely how to control corruption in development aid. This article assesses under which conditions donor regulations are successful in controlling corruption in aid spent by national governments through procurement tenders.

Multimedia
Nigeria
ACE

On the Declarations Human Rights Podcast, this week, in partnership with Global Integrity, we are joined by Dr. Jackie Harvey of Northumbria University and Dr. Pallavi Roy of SOAS University of London to discuss the structures of political power in Nigeria and the underlying systems of corruption that culminated in the protests of the #EndSARS movement. This episode is the first in a two-part series focusing on human rights abuses in Nigeria and the protests fighting to #EndSARS and end police brutality.

Multimedia
South Africa Zambia
Vanessa Watson

This is the second of the 3-part video series based on the Cities of Integrity working paper 'Leveraging the role of the urban planning profession for one of the central policy challenges of our times'.

Policy
United Kingdom
John Heathershaw
Working Paper
South Africa Zambia
Vanessa Watson

This paper begins by taking a deep dive introducing the popular imperatives for researching corruption, the common methodological approaches that ensue, and how such research usually gets translated into action. The paper argues that studies of corruption and integrity would benefit from supplementing somewhat orthodox corruption research methodologies – such as randomized control trials and large-scale perception surveys – with applied qualitative methodologies that allow for in-depth data gathering on human behaviours and more immediate translation of knowledge into action.

Multimedia
South Africa, Zambia
Vanessa Watson

This video is an edited version of a roundtable discussion that took place on as part of the Southern Africa City Studies Conference in which former municipal officials dissect issues of corruption and integrity in South African urban development processes.

Journal Article

Jan Meyer-Sahling

How can governments manage civil servants to enhance public service motivation (PSM)? Despite the centrality of PSM in public administration research, the effects of management practices on PSM remain understudied. We address this gap through a conjoint experiment with 7,300 public servants in five countries in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Our experiment assesses two personnel management practices: merit-based competitions for recruitment versus discretionary appointments; and permanent tenure versus temporary job contracts. We find that merit competitions are associated by respondents with greater PSM in four countries, yet have no significant effect in a fifth. Permanent contracts are associated with greater PSM (two countries), lower PSM (one country) and have no significant effect (two countries). The effects of personnel management practices thus appear to vary across contexts. A common practice in public administration research – generalizations about the effects of management practices from single- country studies or cross-country averages – requires rethinking.

Multimedia
South Africa, Zambia
Vanessa Watson

This video is an edited version of a roundtable discussion that took place on as part of the Southern Africa City Studies Conference in which former municipal officials dissect issues of corruption and integrity in South African urban development processes.

Working Paper
Nigeria
Jackie Harvey

This is an interim project report for Jackie Harvey's project based out of Nigeria. The primary focus of this anti-corruption project is on beneficial ownership (BO). BO refers to the natural person(s) who ultimately owns or controls a customer and/or the natural person on whose behalf a transaction is being conducted.




Journal Article
Brazil
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling
Journal Article

Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling
Policy
Kenya Uganda
Jackie Klopp

Between 2015-17, small scale informal trade in Kenya was valued at $300 million. Eighty percent of this trade is carried out by women with a majority of them depending on it for their daily sustenance. Over 81% of all women traders also mentioned that they face regular bribery, red-tape and sexual harassment during their daily trade journeys while using either formal or informal routes. Exploring if improving accountability through community monitoring can help reduce corruption and improve trader journeys, the Earth Institute is leading the project “Ethical Border Trading between Kenya and Uganda for Small-scale Businesses.”

Journal Article

Jan Meyer-Sahling

Do management practices have similar anti-corruption e􏰀ects in OECD and developing countries? Despite prominent cautions against 'New Zealand' reforms which enhance managerial discretion in developing countries, scholars have not assessed this question statistically. Our paper addresses this gap through a conjoint experiment with 6,500 pub- lic servants in three developing and one OECD country. Our experiment assesses Weberian relative to managerial approaches to recruitment, job stability and pay. We argue that, in developing countries with institutionalized corruption and weak rule-of-law - yet not OECD countries without such features - 'unprincipled' principals use managerial discretion over hiring, firing and pay to favor 'unprincipled' bureaucratic agents who engage in corruption. Our results support this argument: managerial practices are associated with greater bureaucratic corruption in our surveyed developing countries, yet have little effect in our OECD country. Alleged best practices in public management in OECD countries may thus be worst practices in developing countries.

Multimedia
Nigeria
Jackie Harvey

Question: Can improvements be made to the identification and tracking of Beneficial Ownership to increase likelihood of recovering the proceeds of corruption? Jackie Harvey's project explores the nature of problem of money flows and corruption in Nigeria.

India data report front page
Policy
India
Liz David-Barrett

As part of the ‘Curbing corruption in procurement’ research project, the team has collected, cleaned, standardised, and analysed national public procurement data from a diverse set of countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia, including India (federal level). This research involves mining large amounts of government contracting data from government portals and repositories in order to analyse how procurement can be manipulated for corrupt ends. The team analyses the data to identify suspicious patterns widely associated with corruption, such as tailored bidding conditions and only a single bid being submitted on a market with multiple potential bidders.










Multimedia
Kenya, Uganda
Jackie Klopp

Dr. Jacqueline Klopp’s team at Columbia University’s Earth Institute give a final presentation on their project regarding Ethical border trading between Kenya and Uganda for small-scale businesses. The team explores the methodology of their research, programming & policy implications and recommendations.

Multimedia

ACE

Mushtaq Khan & Paul Heywood on populism, digital technologies & RCTs (Part II). The interview picks up on a discussion about research on social norms and corruption, mentioning the distinction between descriptive and injunctive norms.

Multimedia

ACE

The episode features Christopher Starke and Nils Köbis from The Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network (ICRN) interviewing GI-ACE’s very own Paul Heywood, as well as SOAS-ACE’s Mushtaq Khan, regarding their respective approaches to anti-corruption.

Journal Article

Jan Meyer-Sahling

How can governments manage civil servants to enhance public service motivation (PSM)? Despite the centrality of PSM in public administration research, the effects of management practices on PSM remain understudied. We address this gap through a conjoint experiment with 7,300 public servants in five countries in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. Our experiment assesses two personnel management practices: merit-based competitions for recruitment versus discretionary appointments; and permanent tenure versus temporary job contracts. We find that merit competitions are associated by respondents with greater PSM in four countries, yet have no significant effect in a fifth. Permanent contracts are associated with greater PSM (two countries), lower PSM (one country) and have no significant effect (two countries). The effects of personnel management practices thus appear to vary across contexts. A common practice in public administration research – generalizations about the effects of management practices from single- country studies or cross-country averages – requires rethinking.

Policy

Rick Stapenhurst

This book discusses parliamentary oversight and its role in curbing corruption in developing countries. Over the past decade, a growing body of research at the global and regional levels has demonstrated that parliamentary oversight is an important determinant of corruption and that effective oversight of public expenditure is an essential component of national anti-corruption strategies and programs. However, little research has been undertaken at the country level regarding how parliamentary oversight is undertaken, which oversight mechanisms are effective or on how national parliaments interact with other anti-corruption stakeholders. This book presents the results of a new large-scale, quantitative analysis which identifies the mechanisms through which institutional arrangements impact corruption, specifically through country case studies on the Caribbean region, Ghana, Myanmar, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Addressing a gap in scholarly knowledge while presenting practical policy advice for parliaments and for anti-corruption assistance agencies, this book will be of use to scholars interested in development, anti-corruption, public finance, as well as members of parliament, anti-corruption practitioners, and organizations working in parliamentary strengthening.

Multimedia

Daniel Haberly

Literature using gravity specifications to investigate dirty money flows see several limitations both because of the lack of a solid theoretical underpinnings and reliable data. The goal is to develop a method to pinpoint origin-destination (country) pairs that may present a higher risk of dirty money flows.

Hellmann abstract



Suspicious Transaction Report
Multimedia
Nigeria
Jackie Harvey

In Episode 6 of the Suspicious Transaction Report, host Isabella Chase and guests attempt to understand the changing nature of risk in the ever-evolving financial crime landscape. ‘In the news’ guests Jackie Harvey and Sam Tate discuss new supervision initiatives at FATF, SFO guidance on corporate cooperation, and concerns with trusts. In the deep dive, Isabella is joined by CFCS’s own Anton Moiseienko and Kayla Izenman to discuss the Financial Crime 2.0 research programme, specifically focusing on money-laundering risks faced by online businesses in a variety of sectors.

african centre for cities newsletter header



explainer first page



Gilbert Siame presenting talk on corruption in urban development
Multimedia
South Africa, Zambia
Vanessa Watson

Dr Gilbert Siame, director of the Centre for Urban Research and Planning, Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, University of Zambia presents “Integrity and corruption in urban development – A key challenge of our times.”




David-Barrett one-pager cover



silhoutted group of people in perspective against dusk sky
Policy
Tanzania
Claudia Baez Camargo

This post on the Basel Institute's site provides findings from Baez Camargo's research project on social norms and how they drive behavior and perpetuate corruption.

Working Paper cover
Working Paper
South Africa, Zambia
Vanessa Watson

Tackling corruption in urban development is a key policy challenge of our time. Activating the professional integrity of the urban planning community is a particularly promising and underexplored response to this challenge, especially in the context of Africa. These are the two key messages that this working paper seeks to advance, referencing some of the most pertinent empirics on urban corruption (section 1), as well as the latest thinking and learning in anti-corruption (section 2). As such, this paper seeks to speak to scholars, practitioners, and activists in both the anti-corruption and urban development fields – two largely disconnected communities that could greatly benefit from a crossdisciplinary conversation on building cities of integrity

John Heathershaw presenting evidence before UK Foreign Affairs Committee
Multimedia

John Heathershaw

John Heathershaw presents evidence as part of an academic panel on autocracies before the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee.

Cities of Integrity one-pager



Phase 1 Bangladesh report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Bangladesh
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

"This report seeks to inform the efforts of the Government of Bangladesh to
modernise the civil service. It is part of a larger project led by Jan-Hinrik MeyerSahling (University of Nottingham), Christian Schuster (University College London) and Kim Sass Mikkelsen (Roskilde University) on ‘Civil Service Management in Developing Countries: What Works?’. The project includes ten countries Latin America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia including Bangladesh. With more than 23.000 participants, it has led to the largest-ever cross-country survey of civil servants."

tender boxes with red flags
Dataset

Liz David-Barrett

Update on datasets collected on development projects, public tenders, and contracts for three major donor agencies: the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), and EuropeAid. The datasets not only republish structured data gathered from official source websites, but also contain corruption risk red flags developed by the research team.

Phase 1 Kosovo report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Kosovo
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

This report seeks to inform the Public Administration Reform Strategy of the Government of Kosovo. It has a twofold objective. First, it introduces ‘civil service surveys’ as a new instrument to monitor and engage civil servants in the reform and modernisation of public administration in Kosovo. Second, it provides original evidence on civil servants’ attitudes and behaviour, their experience with human
resources management and their evaluation of the quality of leadership. Overall, the report hence aims to contribute to the professionalisation of the civil service in Kosovo in accordance with the European principles of administration.

Phase 1 Nepal report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Nepal
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

This report seeks to inform the efforts of the Government of Nepal to professionalise the civil service. It has a twofold objective. First, it introduces ‘civil service surveys’ as a new instrument to monitor and engage civil servants in the reform and modernisation of the civil service in Nepal. Second, it provides original evidence on civil servants’ attitudes and behaviour, their experience with human resources management, including integrity management and the role of public service unions and their evaluation of the quality of leadership. Overall, the report aims to contribute to the professionalisation of the civil service in Nepal in the context of the Government’s aim to become a middle-income county by 2030.

Phase 1 Estonia report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Estonia
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

This report presents the results of a survey that was conducted among civil servants and employees in Estonia between April and June 2017. The survey is part of a global project on the effects of civil service management practices. The project includes ten countries from Eastern Europe (Estonia, Kosovo and Albania), Latin America (Brazil, Chile), Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal) and Africa (Ghana, Uganda
and Malawi). With more than 23.000 participants, the project has generated the largest survey of civil servants that has ever been conducted.

anti-corruption intervention working paper cover
Working Paper

Liz David-Barrett

The project analysed a dataset of World Bank-funded development aid tenders over two decades in >100 developing countries. With data points from multiple stages of the procurement process and key outcomes, the project observe the heterogeneous effects of a 2003 anticorruption reform aimed at increasing oversight and opening up competition.

Togo report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Togo
Gerhard Anders

This report summarises the results of a socio-anthropological inquiry on the daily functioning of educational and health services in Togo. The study is part of a research programme entitled « Accountability Through Practical Norms: Civil Service Reform in Africa From Below » financed by the British Academy-DFID AntiCorruption Evidence Programme. This anthropological research focuses on “practical norms” that regulate daily behaviours of civil servants, by comparing several French and English speaking countries in West and East Africa (Togo, Malawi, Niger, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Tanzania).

Phase 1 Albania report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Albania
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

This report presents the results of a survey that was conducted among civil servants and public employees in Albania in May and June 2017. The survey is part of a global project on the consequences of civil service management practices. The project includes ten countries from Eastern Europe (Estonia, Kosovo and Albania), Latin America (Brazil, Chile), Asia (Bangladesh, Nepal) and Africa (Ghana, Uganda and Malawi). With more than 23.000 participants, the project has generated the largest survey of civil servants that has ever been conducted.

first page of construction sector policy brief
Policy
Zambia

This policy brief provies options for reducing corruption in procurement in the Zambian construction sector. The construction industry is predominant in Zambia and involves purchase of goods, payment for all kinds of services, building of schools and roads and industrial complexes by the government with public funds. However, corruption has crippling effects on national socio-economic development and governance systems. Despite many anti-corruption measures being implemented over the years, most governance and corruption indicators show that corruption remains a major challenge in Zambia.

First page of Zambia construction sector policy brief
Policy
Zambia

This policy brief describes the sources of corruption in the Zambian construction sector and identifies best practices shown to reduce corrupt practices in the sector.

Journal Article
Trinidad and Tobago Grenada

Parliamentary oversight is a key determinant of corruption levels. This article presents research findings on parliamentary oversight in two Caribbean countries: Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada. The results cast doubt on the results of previous research and also indicate that certain facets of ‘the Westminster’ system need to be relaxed, to reflect contextual reality in smaller island economies. Political will to adopt recommended reforms is critical, but, as in other countries, inertia often dominates the political environment. Until citizens demand that their elected representatives establish various oversight and anti-corruption mechanisms and ensure these mechanisms are free of political influence, the institutions will be ‘window dressing’ and corrupt actions will go undeterred and unpunished.

Local governance, decentralisation and anti-corruption in Bangladesh and Nigeria Report Cover
Case Studies and Reports
Bangladesh Nigeria
Hamish Nixon Alina Rocha Menocal Nieves Zúñiga Debapriya Bhattacharya Syed Muhtasim Fuad Idayat Hassan Kelechi C. Iwuamadi Umme Shefa Rezbana Shamsudeen Yusuf

This research aims to deepen understanding of the links between decentralised governance and corruption, and what this implies for the effectiveness of anti-corruption measures at the local level by exploring these connections in Bangladesh and Nigeria. To do so, it explores the performance of decentralised governance arrangements in particular settings, analyses the nature and dynamics of corruption in those settings, and identifies implications of both for the effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts at local levels.

first page of cross-cutting analysis based on series of case studies
Case Studies and Reports
Ghana Mauritius Indonesia South Africa Brazil

Case study on the challenges inherent in implementing "National Anti-Corruption Strategies" across different countries. The case series profiles Ghana, Mauritius, Indonesia, South Africa, and Brazil during the period 2004-2017. Each country aspired to accomplish some “easy” things—tracking implementation action items, for example, and creating a code of conduct—as well as much harder objectives, such as strengthening asset declaration, securing law reforms, and assessing actual impact.

Civil Service Management in Developing Countries: What Works?
Case Studies and Reports

Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

This report assesses the effects of a range of civil service management practices – from recruitment to promotion, pay and performance management practices – on the attitudes and behaviour of civil servants. To understand the desirability of these practices, our survey covers a spectrum of civil servant attitudes and behaviour which are core to civil service effectiveness: work motivation, job satisfaction, public service motivation, commitment to remaining in the public sector, performance and integrity. With these indicators, we can identify which civil service management practices tend to have positive effects and which do not – thus providing a foundation for evidence-based civil service reform designs.

policy brief first page
Policy

Liz David-Barrett

Short Policy Brief explaining red flags method for analysing corruption risks in aid spent through national procurement systems and recommendations to donors on how best to curb corruption.

first page of journal article
Journal Article
Dominican Republic
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

Bureaucratic behavior in developing countries affects development centrally, yet remains poorly understood. Why do some public servants – yet not others – work hard to deliver public services, misuse state resources and/or participate in electoral mobilization? A classic answer comes from Weber: bureaucratic structures shift behavior towards integrity, neutrality and commitment to public service. Our paper conducts the first experimental test of the effect of two important bureaucratic structures: merit examinations and job stability (tenure). It draws on a thus far unused method in studying bureaucracies: a conjoint experiment. The experiment was embedded in a survey of public servants in the Dominican Republic.

Tanzania report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Tanzania
Gerhard Anders

This report provides findings that show that civil servants in the education and health sectors in Tanzania have developed a range of practical norms to get their job done especially due to tremendous pressure from poorer sections of the population, complicated bureaucratic procedures and interference of political leaders. In this project, therefore, using a case study approach they examine the everyday experiences of Tanzanian civil servants in health and education and the importance of practical norms. The impact of practical norms on service delivery in these two public service sectors in the context of resource scarcity and the organisational environment is the focus of this study.

Niger report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Niger
Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardan Mahaman Tahirou Ali Bako Abdoutan Harouna

This report examines the shared bureaucratic practical norms in the education and health sectors in Niger and highlight the variations between them. The report then describes the practical norms particular to healthcare staff and to teachers. This is followed by an attempt to elucidate the place of corruption within these practical norms. Finally, report concludes by considering what can be done to improve public service provision based on an analysis of the challenges and obstacles involved in any attempt to modify these practical norms and a presentation of innovative potential approaches to reform in this area.

Malawi report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Malawi
Gerhard Anders

This report presents the findings of a qualitative field study in Malawi for the project Accountability Through Practical Norms: Civil Service Reform in Africa From Below. The objectives of the study were twofold: to examine the extent to which official rules are being applied and to what degree everyday practices in health and education ministries, district hospitals and health centres, district education offices and schools are governed by practical norms; and to examine the interdependence between site-specific norms, profession-specific norms and general practical norms of bureaucratic culture.

Working Paper

Liz David-Barrett

Following scandals about corruption in foreign aid, and in a political climate that increasingly questions the legitimacy of development assistance, donors are under pressure to control how their funds are spent. At the same time, they also face pressure to trust recipient governments to disburse project funds themselves, so as to build capacity in developing countries. This paper assesses under which conditions donor regulations are successful in controlling corruption in aid spent by national governments through procurement tenders.

Phase 1 Chile report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Chile
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

Spanish-language version of Meyer-Sahling country report depicting results of a survey conducted among civil servants and public employees in Albania in May and June 2017. The survey is part of a global project on the consequences of civil service management practices.

first page of case study
Case Studies and Reports
Ghana

Case study on the implementation of Ghana's National Anti-Corruption Action Plan, adopted a decade after the West African country signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption. Ultimately, the National Anti-Corruption Action Plan was very broad. It included a wide variety of commitments across government, civil society, and the private sector. The strategy’s framers said that a far-reaching strategy was necessary given the widespread prevalence of corruption in Ghana.

Phase 1 Uganda report cover
Case Studies and Reports
Uganda
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

Evidence from a survey with over 20,000 public servants in Uganda and other countries. This report draws on results from an international survey of more than 20,000 public servants in Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America. It includes 3 major policy recommendations to reform Uganda’s Public Service.

first page of case study
Case Studies and Reports
Indonesia

Case study on Indonesia's obligations to meet UN standards to expand the government's anti-corruption measures and align with the UN's Convention against Corruption. By 2014, the agencies had met 88% of the targets they had committed to. Civil society observers said the program had not treated many of the root problems, however, thereby underscoring the need for further work.

first page of Tanzania policy brief
Policy
Tanzania
Rasheed Draman Rick Stapenhurst Louis Imbeau Deji Oloare

Policy Brief presenting key Issues and lessons learned about Parliamentary oversight and corruption in Tanzania. Using in-country, interviewer-led interviews and self-administered questionnaires with 49 respondents (13 MPs, 10 Parliamentary Staff, 11 Civil Society Organization (CSO) representatives, eight staff of the parliament, and seven journalists), the researchers undertook country-specific research to determine how successfully the National Assembly is in fulfilling its oversight function. Legislative oversight tools, potential, political will were all considered in the data analysis

first page of report on parliamentary oversight and corruption in Ghana
Case Studies and Reports
Ghana
Rasheed Draman

This report demonstrates that while the existence of legislative oversight tools matters in that such tools improve the quality of governance and the legitimacy of the political system, their impact is conditional and it depends on the presence of contextual factors. In this regard, the contextual factors that determine the effectiveness of legislatures and that internal factors, such as oversight tools, are only supportive. Having explained the context for this study and the framework for data collection and analysis, this report is divided into three sections: external factors, external oversight institutions and internal factors. Within each of these, using a combination of survey data (collected in 2009/2010 and 2016), focus group data and a review of existing literature, each relevant element is analyzed, particularly for its effectiveness in curbing corruption.

first page of report on parliamentary oversight and corruption in Nigeria
Case Studies and Reports
Nigeria
Anthony Staddon

Legislative oversight in any democracy is essential to limiting the exercise of power and ensuring the accountability of government. In Nigeria, the National Assembly (NASS) is charged with oversight of the anti-corruption framework. This paper comprises three sections: (i) contextual factors, (ii) external oversight institutions and (iii) internal legislative tools. Within each of these, each relevant element is analysed, particularly for its effectiveness in curbing corruption.

first page of case study
Case Studies and Reports
South Africa

Case study based on interviews conducted in South Africa in 2017. The study assesses the reform efforts of procurement systems, specifically after the appointment of finance ministers and procurement officers bent on making procurement processes more efficient and rooting out corruption.

Case Studies and Reports
Ghana
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling

Report providing evidence from a survey with over 1,600 public servants in Ghana. The purpose of the survey is to identify the main attitudes and behaviors of public officials, such as work motivation and job satisfaction, in order to develop civil service management practices for a more motivated, committed and ethical public service. The findings of the report suggest that public servants in Ghana are, by and large, strongly committed to their work. They are motivated and express values consistent with the spirit of public service. While there is little evidence that public servants regularly use their positions to benefit political actors, public servants more regularly derive personal benefit from their positions and/or use their positions to benefit friends and family.

Anthony Staddon and Rick Stapenhurst
Multimedia
Grenada
Anthony Staddon Rick Stapenhurst

Video with Anthony Staddon and Rick Stapenhurst, who were ACE award winners, and are looking at the role of British Parliament in combatting corruption.

screenshot of video intro slide: Informal Governance and Corruption
Multimedia

Claudia Baez Camargo

Video presentation from Claudia Baez Camargo on informal governance and corruption, presented at the British Academy in 2018. The video outlines Baez Camargo's GI-ACE project which examines the informal practices that drive corruption through a comparative research design of seven countries.

screenshot of video intro slide: Multilevel Governance, Decentralisation and Corruption
Multimedia
Bangladesh, Nigeria
Hamish Nixon

Video presentation from Hamish Nixon on multilevel governance, decentralisation and corruption, presented at the British Academy in 2017. The presentation focuses on local government and the relationship between levels of government in Bangladesh and Nigeria.

first page of case study
Case Studies and Reports
Mauritius

Case study based on interviews conducted in Mauritius in December 2016 to examine decentralized graft prevention in Mauritius and the efficacy of a corruption prevention program that proposed a bottom-up strategy to reduce opportunities for bribe taking, nepotism, and conflicts of interest in the public service.

first page of case study
Case Studies and Reports
Brazil

Case study based on interviews conducted in Brazil from 2016-2017 to identify the factors at play during the prosecution of the country's biggest corruption case. The case study defines the actors, history and legal ramifications of this historic legal battle.

Slavonic and East European Review article first page
Journal Article
Mexico Tanzania Russia
Claudia Baez Camargo

Journal article co-authored by Claudia Baez Camargo about informal governance and the public/private crossover in Mexico, Russia and Tanzania. The article argues that scholars' focus must lie not only on harnessing the informal practices that lead to effective outcomes and sustain political structures, but ensure they can be used to promote positive change and improve development outcomes.

first page of case study
Case Studies and Reports
Brazil

Case study based on interviews conducted in São Paulo, Brazil during August and September 2016 to assess the sustainable ranching movement and cattle certification process in Brazil in order protect forests. The case study was published in Innovations for Successful Societies.

first page of Heywood journal article
Policy

Paul Heywood

Article in the British Academy Review, authored by Paul Heywood, Director of the GI-ACE Programme, that outlines why anti-corruption efforts have so far been disappointing, and how a new British Academy / Department for International Development research programme is seeking to change that. He argues that the ACE Programme moves away from the "one-size-fits-all" approach that has led to ineffective anti-corruption interventions in the past.

The Oval on Oversight - Trinidad and Tobago
Multimedia
Trinidad and Tobago

The Oval on Oversight is a panel discussion in the precincts of the Parliament of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago with 16 influential persons looking in-depth at the issue of Parliamentary Oversight.

Professor Frederick Stapenhurst giving public lecture
Multimedia
Trinidad and Tobago
Rick Stapenhurst

Prof. Frederick Stapenhurst, Professor of Practice at the Institute for the Study of International Development at McGill University in Canada, delivers an address on Parliamentary Scrutiny and Oversight as part of the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago’s week of activities to promote its oversight role over government activity.

External Resources