Author Archives: Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church

Thinking of attending IACC 18 in Denmark?

Two weeks ago, over a thousand lawyers, journalists, civil society and government professionals came together for the 17th Annual International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Panama.  Though IACC 18 is not until 2018, those who will have to raise the funds to attend or get it worked into annual budgeting process may want to start thinking about this now.  As a first time attendee at the IACC, Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church shares a few reflections that may aid you in your decision making. Continue reading

What Dynamics Drive Police and Judicial Officers to Engage in Corruption

-Use the systems maps below to follow the police and judicial officers’ experience of corruption in the precincts and courts of Northern Uganda.  These maps, based on research conducted in Gulu and Lira in early 2016, explain what drives their behavior, what enables it, and the relationships between these factors.-

In survey after survey, police in Uganda are consistently ranked the most corrupt state institution, with the judiciary following in the top three.  Crime such as theft, burglary and robbery are experienced by a large swath of citizens, particularly those in vulnerable groups and rural communities; while corruption has proven to be highly resilient.  According to the 2013 Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer for Uganda 55% of respondents felt that the level of corruption had increased a lot over the past 2 years. Continue reading

What Dynamics Drive Citizens to Engage in or Accede to Corruption

-Uganda has almost every institution, law, procedure, and body that one expects to find in a robust criminal justice system, as well as an impressive array of anti-corruption laws, institutions, and initiatives.  Despite this strong framework, corruption in criminal justice proves to be robust and resilient in Northern Uganda, with bribery at its heart.  This week we look at one set of dynamics that feed this vicious cycle;  the people’s perspective.- Continue reading

Three Lessons about Corruption in the Police and Courts in Northern Uganda

– This week, Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church presents three non-intuitive insights about corruption in Northern Uganda: (1) Citizens perceive that all justice must be bought. (2) Corruption serves many important functions. (3) Corruption in the police and courts does not diminish legitimacy of these institutions. These are some of the key lessons from her new paper Facilitation in the Criminal Justice System in Northern Uganda, co-authored with Diana Chigas. Continue reading to see how those perceived realities may affect the effectiveness, or relevance, of certain anti-corruption initiatives. – Continue reading

Final Blog of the Corruption, Criminal Justice and Legitimacy Mini-Series

Do you need evidence to sway your donor that innovation is needed in anti-corruption programming because the old ways are insufficient? Are you trying to convince a colleague the necessity of looking at a wider array of issues in the context in order to understand what drives corruption? Do you dig systems-thinking? Are you interested in seeing it applied to more topics? Continue reading

How Tendering Practices by Anticorruption Research Funders Undermine Research Quality and Credibility

-a post by Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church and Diana Chigas first published on The Global Anticorruption Blog Law, Social Science, and Policy

Early last week, the Transparency International (TI) Secretariat in Berlin circulated an Invitation to Tender with a title that grabbed our attention. Framed as part of a commitment to “the highest standards of accountability, organizational effectiveness and learning,” this tender described a “Research Review and Evaluation of Anti-Corruption Work Assumptions: Grievance as a key determinant of people’s anti-corruption behavior.” The email that accompanied the tender suggested an exciting and needed inquiry into assumptions that drive anticorruption programs funded by the international community—on a topic that is closely related to some of our research team’s work on corruption in fragile states  (see here and here). That TI was interested in funding a project of this sort was encouraging: Testing core assumptions, after all, is central to learning and should be a fundamental element of effective programming. We were also heartened by the fact that TI sought comparative analysis, and would give preference to counterfactual analysis over experimental designs—suggesting an interest in the type of qualitative inquiry that is necessary to penetrate the dynamics of corruption as a complex system.

Continue reading

How to deal with the complexity of corruption: Four recommendations for programming

– the fifth and final in our corruption, criminal justice and legitimacy mini-series, and part of the series on corruption in fragile states – 

There are a number of shortcomings in the predominant approaches underlying anti-corruption programming when applied to fragile and conflict affected states. Addressing these gaps—and improving program effectiveness —requires a shift in the way we think about corruption:  from a “simple” problem that is solvable through application of best practice, to a more complex understanding of corruption as embedded in a dynamic socio-political context that must be approached holistically. Continue reading