What You Must Know to Differentiate Norms from What’s Normal

Getting past the ‘all things that are normal are norms’ is critical to accurately diagnosing the social norms that do drive a corrupt pattern of behavior (e.g. bribery, sextortion), which in turn is necessary to devise effective strategies. This post offers up four ‘lessons’ to remember when differentiating between what is normal and social norm driven behavior.

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Corruption: Is the Law Blindsiding a More Meaningful Discourse?

Jane Ellis, editor of the book “Corruption, Social Sciences and the Law: Exploration Across Disciplines” says focusing on the supply side of corruption is a blunt instrument as it ignores the reasons why and/or the circumstances in which corruption in some countries may occur. Here, she argues for a multidisciplinary & collaborative approach to these issues.

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Fighting Organized Crime: What Works in Law Enforcement and Beyond

By Phyllis Dininio. Transnational organized crime has expanded dramatically in size and scope in the 21st century and now poses threats to security, politics, commerce and communities. Countering it effectively is not just a job for law enforcement. Policymakers and practitioners need to pull their weight to enable effective responses. This blog post offers a snapshot of what works to counter transnational organized crime based on expert remarks presented at a series of USAID-hosted roundtable discussions on rule of law and organized crime.

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Top Three Challenges and Good Practices in Anti-Corruption

By Diana Chigas and Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church. We were asked to identify the top challenges and “good practices” for developing countries in preventing and combating corruption for the June 2019 edition of Multiples, a Just Governance Group publication. As developing countries, and especially fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) face many challenges to preventing and reducing corruption, we felt a somewhat longer version of our original response was a worthy endeavor.

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The Cinderella of the Sensitivity Fields: Why Corruption Mainstreaming Has Been Ignored in Development Programming

By Hope Schaitkin. Research tells us that that corruption-mainstreaming amplifies the impact of our development programming, and helps us avoid unwittingly contributing to or encouraging corrupt behavior. But why hasn’t corruption-mainstreaming gained the same ground as conflict sensitivity or gender within development organizations and programming? Read on to learn about three entry points for mainstreaming corruption in your organization’s development programming – from the perspective of a young development professional.

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Broad Anti-Corruption Programs Are the Wrong Approach

By Mark Pyman. In countries enduring high levels of corruption, whether related to conflict or instability, it is easy to see endemic corruption as something overarching, requiring similarly broad reform strategies. However, my experience in Afghanistan suggests the opposite; anti-corruption strategies need to be tailored to the specific enablers and drivers of each particular sector.

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Three Reasons Why Actors Working in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States Must Stop Ignoring Social Norms

By Diana Chigas and Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church. Those of us who work to stop abuse of power – in the form of corruption, criminal activity, violence, state capture, etc. – are increasingly recognizing that social norms are key to achieving sustainable behavior change. We assert that in fragile and conflict-affected states (FCAS) social norms — the mutual expectations about what is typical and appropriate for members of a group — are even more important. Given their critical role in driving behavioral choices, programming that ignores social norms can have serious negative consequences.

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Anti-Corruption Programs — Know Your Crowd!

Social norms exist within a group. They represent mutual expectations, not just common beliefs, within the group about what is the right way to behave in a particular situation. And it is the approval, disapproval or other social sanction from the members of the group that helps ensure compliance with the norm. Therefore, understanding the group — who is in and who is out — matters for programming.

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