The Corruption in Fragile States Blog

The Corruption in Fragile States Blog fosters conversation about the effectiveness of anti-corruption initiatives among practitioners, academics, and policymakers working in the context of endemic corruption.

As an arm of the Corruption, Justice and Legitimacy Program, the Blog challenges conventional thinking and takes a deep dive into critical issues in the field, such as systems-based approaches to corruption, social norms, gender, and research methods. Featuring guest posts from leading experts, practitioners, and our own team, topics range from quick-bite summaries of new research findings from Iraq to Uganda, to provocative thought pieces intended to challenge dominant paradigms and practices. 

We invite you to explore our work and join the conversation. Leave a comment on a post or contact us with an idea for a new post – we’d love to hear from you.

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
Analysis & Programming (“Kuleta Haki”) Against Corruption in DRC
Arguments for Systems Thinking
Challenging the Status Quo
CJL Events and Happenings
CJL Publications
cjl-events-and-happenings
Corruption & Peacebuilding
Corruption and Peacebuilding Events
Corruption as a System
Corruption as a System Events
Corruption as a System Publications
Corruption in Fragile States Blog
Corruption in the Criminal Justice System in the Central African Republic
Corruption, Justice and Legitimacy Program
Funding the "Fight Against Corruption"
Integration of (Anti-)Corruption
Research Publications
SNAC Events
SNAC Publications
Social Norms and Corruption
Social Norms and Corruption
Systemic Corruption in the Police and Courts in Northern Uganda
The Gender Lens
Uncategorized
What Can We Learn About Corruption in Fragile States?
Three Reasons Why Actors Working in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States Must Stop Ignoring Social Norms

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. …
Anti-Corruption Programs — Know Your Crowd!

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. …
Changing Social Norms: What Anti-Corruption Practitioners Should Read

Changing Social Norms: What Anti-Corruption Practitioners Should Read

By Hope Schaitkin. New material on social norms change seems to be appearing every week. It can be hard to keep up with it, let alone adapt an ongoing program based on new insights. Here is our short list of recently published and evidence focused must-reads. …
The Elementary Problem That Undermines Social Change Programming: A Word of Warning to Anti-Corruption Practitioners

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. …
Why We Need to Connect Peacebuilding and Illicit Financial Flows: A Global Approach for a Global Problem

Why We Need to Connect Peacebuilding and Illicit Financial Flows: A Global Approach for a Global Problem

By James Cohen. Are new lines of communication needed between peacebuilding operations and financial centers? …
When Not to Call a Spade a Spade: The Importance of Quiet Anti-Corruption Initiatives

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. …
Corruption That Kills: How Corruption is Undermining Peace and Democracy in Mexico

Corruption That Kills: How Corruption is Undermining Peace and Democracy in Mexico

By Talia Hagerty and Carlos Juárez

Mexico is about to face the biggest test to peace and democracy it has seen in decades – and endemic corruption is only making it harder. …
When Your Project’s Success Gets a “So What?” in Response

When Your Project’s Success Gets a “So What?” in Response

By Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church

Understanding success isn’t easy at the best of times in complex environments. But when change is achieved but not acknowledged as such according to traditional sectoral standards, what does that mean? …
The Big Shift That Police and Justice Professionals Need to Make in Fragile States

The Big Shift That Police and Justice Professionals Need to Make in Fragile States

By Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church

When operating in fragile states, donors and implementers working in the police, justice and corrections space need to incorporate a complexity lens if programs are to effectively respond to the realities of the context. Moving from ‘simple’ or ‘complicated’ understandings of the issues, to one that accepts the complexity inherent to the process is best, particularly when these issues are exacerbated by systemic corruption. …