Global Anti-Corruption Impacts: Technical Notes on What Works

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Technical Note #12: A Rapid Results Anti-Corruption Tool – that Builds Citizen Trust and has Lasting Impact… and Now, with Worldwide Reach

Over the past 20 years, MSI has pilot tested many innovative approaches to fight corruption in many countries. Some have failed, some have been successful but short-lived, and a few have been successful and sustained by the host government or civil society. In this Technical Note, we highlight one of these sustained successes – Citizen Advocate Offices (CAO).

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Technical Note #11: Breaking the Corruption Cycle: “Aggressive Accountability”

December 9 is known as International Anticorruption Day, commemorating the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2003. It is a time for governments and the general public to reassert their commitment to breaking the cycle of corruption that hurts poor people disproportionately, contributes to instability and poverty, and drives fragile countries towards state failure. Over the years, many country signatories have recognized the day with speeches and workshops. Citizen groups have organized information campaigns and rallies to strengthen public awareness of the corruption problem in their countries. Many donor-supported anticorruption programs work hand-in-hand with both governments and citizen groups to enhance the impact of these events.

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Technical Note #10: How to Self-Assess Anticorruption Progress: An Adaptive Programming Tool for USAID Missions

Effective programming depends on good assessments of past activities and the current situation in a country. But many anticorruption initiatives are designed based on questionable measurement of corruption trends and perceptual surveys and indices. Our field research demonstrates that looking at the other side of the coin – monitoring the progress a country makes in implementing governance reforms – may be a better approach. Our checklist is easy for resident Mission staff to use as a self-monitoring device and it results in targeted programming ideas to fill gaps.

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Technical Note #9: What to Avoid and What We Don’t Know about Fighting Corruption

An earlier technical note synthesized what we’ve learned about “what works” in fighting corruption based on several rigorous meta-analysis studies. Equally important for anticorruption programmers is to know “what to avoid” and where we just don’t know enough. Here’s what those studies tell us.

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Technical Note #8: Better to Measure the Rewards of Effective Anticorruption Programs than the Costs of Corruption

Corruption is, by its very nature, a secretive act and hard to measure. We often seek to understand and monitor its impact in terms of the costs it imposes on society. Our research suggests that international donors and policymakers would be better off measuring the benefits of good governance rather than costs of corruption when monitoring anti-corruption programming.

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Technical Note #6: What Works in Fighting Corruption: Making Sense of Evidence-Based Findings

Policymakers, international donors, implementing partners and researchers are all intensely interested in finding out what initiatives work successfully to combat corruption. We’re just getting to the point of finding answers.

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Technical Note #5: Implementing Effective Anti-Corruption Programs in Post-Conflict Countries

International and bilateral donors have poured large sums of money into postconflict countries like Afghanistan and Iraq to hasten security, stabilize the peace, rebuild governance, and stimulate economic and social development. Often, a cross-cutting goal is to combat corruption in these fragile states and major programs have been designed and implemented to promote anticorruption reforms. Are the expectations for these programs unrealistic? Have they yielded results? Are post-conflict countries ready and capable of implementing the difficult legal, political, economic and cultural changes that are required to reduce or prevent corruption?

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Technical Note #4: Anti-Corruption Resilience: Why Some Countries Succeed Against the Odds

What makes some countries able to overcome high levels of corruption, while other countries get worse over time? There have been few systematic analyses to identify and understand how and why countries have bounced back from periods of extensive corruption. What are the secrets of their resilience in the face of corruption?

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Technical Note #3: Positive Impacts of Anti-Corruption Programs on Trade and Investment

Public sector corruption targeting business impedes economic growth and promotes an informal economy. Longstanding cultures of corruption dissuade domestic and international investors from starting or expanding businesses and conducting trade deals. On the other hand, reforms that standardize and streamline government-business transactions, reduce face-to-face contacts, embed checks and balances, increase transparency, and deploy e-governance tools can open many new opportunities for lucrative trading relationships.

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Technical Note #2: More Economic Rewards for Developing Countries and Donors as a Result of Effective Anti-Corruption Programs

In the previous technical note in this series, we discussed some positive effects of successfully implemented anticorruption reforms on strengthening the business-enabling environment and promoting the inflow of foreign direct investment and trade. But how do effective anti-corruption programs impact on regulatory structures that can restrict trade, investment and economic activity?

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Technical Note #1: Effective Anti-Corruption Programs Promote More Foreign Investment and Trade

Can effective anti-corruption programs incentivize international businesses to invest and conduct trade? Do countries become more enticing to US businesses for investment and trade purposes when it is clear that corruption is being dealt with effectively, thus generating a friendly, business-enabling environment?

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