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Are social norms an important missing link in anti-corruption programming?

– In this post Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church and Russell Hathaway begin their deep dive into the world of social norms and its potential applicability to anti-corruption programming. They invite you to help further develop this line of inquiry. –

The Corruption, Justice and Legitimacy (CJL) program is developing a process to generate more effective anti-corruption programming through the creation of a systems-based analytic process.  Through our work to date, CJL has come to believe that social norms are a critical omission in the vast majority of corruption analysis in fragile states.  Critical, we argue, because social norms help explain how seemingly negative behaviors, such as corruption, are sustained over time.   This gap in understanding the context undermines the effectiveness of much anti-corruption programming.

Our question is: Can experience in social norm change on other issues – such as preventing addictions, diminishing campus binge drinking or stopping littering – inform theories of change within anti-corruption programming?

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Why is our anti-corruption program working?

L’évaluation mi-parcours est disponible en version française. Veuillez trouver cette publication, « La justice sans corruption, c’est possible – j’y suis engagé » sur le site web de CDA Collaborative Learning Projects

– Is ‘Strength in Numbers’ creating the ability to resist corruption? In this blog post, Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church, shares lessons learned and a few questions raised by the evaluation of Kuleta Haki; an anti-corruption ‘Network’ or dedicated community within the judiciary committed to fighting corruption.  What about the network has encouraged concrete action? and, why is greater resistance by the network not occurring? – Continue reading

Framing Corruption: Do our frames limit our effectiveness?

Diana Chigas, JD, argues that the way we are framing the problem of corruption in fragile states is limiting our vision and leading us to ignore the key drivers to corruption. In particular, Diana discusses what she observed during her research in northern Uganda regarding reactions to the ‘moral frame’ through which corruption is commonly addressed. Continue reading

“We’ve Opened Pandora’s Box!” Responding to Unsolicited Feedback

– In this post, Sarah Cechvala, an expert on aid accountability and feedback loops as well as responsible business practice at CDA, addresses the practical challenges related to analyzing, responding to, and utilizing open-ended feedback from communities. In response to the burgeoning emphasis on accountability and local ownership in the humanitarian and development sectors, we have seen organizations adopt more deliberate approaches to collecting community feedback. Yet, what happens when this feedback “doesn’t fit” within our prescribed lines of inquiry or is broader than our programmatic objectives or operational mandate? Making sense of where and how unsolicited feedback fits into our organizational directives can feel insurmountable, but often is essential for effective practices. –

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The Financial Journeys of Refugees: Charting a research agenda – Is corruption a relevant framework?

In this post, Roxanne Krystalli and Kim Wilson, who collectively specialize in financial inclusion, gender and violence, and research methods in vulnerable settings, discuss some of the emerging questions that their research has identified at the intersection of forced migration, money, relationships along refugee journeys, and corruption.

In March 2016, Transparency International mapped the ways in which corruption affects refugee journeys across the Mediterranean. Key points to consider included bribes to border officials and landowners to allow refugees to pass, the role of smugglers, the use of fake life vests, and risks of refugee coercion by formal authorities and smugglers alike. Transparency International concluded, “fighting corruption is critical for mitigating refugee smuggling and ending the conflicts which are driving people to flee their homes.”

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) further reinforces the view that the international community needs to fight corruption and “understand the intricate connections between corruption and refugee smuggling.” Continue reading

The Idea of Business and Peace: “Assuming the Can Opener”

– In this post, Ben Miller, an expert on corporate social impacts in fragile and conflict-affected states, argues that current discussions of private sector peacebuilding overlook almost entirely the practical problems that companies frequently experience as they try to avoid adverse social impacts. As negative impacts commonly generate or fuel conflict, their absence from the discussion raises fundamental questions about that discussion’s practical utility for companies and policy makers seeking to establish a role for companies in peace efforts. –

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When Cows Facilitate Court, the Culture of Gifting and Corruption in Modern Courts

– In this post, Juliet Harty Hatanga, who has ten years of experience working with the Courts of Judicature of Uganda, discusses two cases in which the social norms of corruption and the culture of gifting challenged her ethics and training as a judicial officer. She argues that, despite the challenging cultural environment, it is well within the power of judges to make sure that justice is done – and seen to be done – at all times. –

In December 2006, I joined the Uganda public service as a judicial officer and was posted to work in Lira as a magistrate. At the time, most of the government infrastructure responsible for upholding the rule of law had totally broken down. I recall that most of the internally displaced people camps were beyond full capacity. The majority of people preferred to stay in the camps where they were assured of some form of protection from the Uganda Police, in spite of a government disbarment in the peace recovery and development plan program. Continue reading