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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Best of 2018

Happy 2019 from the Corruption in Fragile States Blog! As we look back over the past year, we realize just how much has happened on the blog. In addition to a new web home with the Henry J. Leir Institute at The Fletcher School, new team members, and a substantial increase in subscribers, we have also added 9 posts, with 4 from guest bloggers, bringing our total posts to 65. As we reflect on the year and how to improve (feedback always welcome), we wanted to share with you the most popular posts of 2018.

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The Elementary Problem That Undermines Social Change Programming: A Word of Warning to Anti-Corruption Practitioners

By Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church and Hope Schaitkin. There is increasing interest in understanding the role social norms play in maintaining corrupt patterns of behavior. Research from other fields has shown that social norms can act as the brake on behavior change, thus acting as the block to enduring change. While less is known about how to integrate social norm change into effective anti-corruption programming, other sectors are advancing this practice and anti-corruption practitioners can benefit from what they have learned.

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When Not to Call a Spade a Spade: The Importance of Quiet Anti-Corruption Initiatives

By Sabina Robillard with Louino Robillard

Many anti-corruption campaigns aim to target corruption directly and publicly. They are clear in their mission and have project titles that include the words “anti-corruption.” This directness is important in many respects, but being so visible makes it easy for people in power to applaud these initiatives in public – and to avoid them, or even undermine them, in private.

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