Corruption and development: What do we know, what works, and why should we care?
Mon 29 June 13.30-17:30, University College London; #corrtalk
Corruption is a problem in development everyone loves to hate. But it’s time for a grown-up conversation about its causes, effects, and efforts to combat it. Corruption is a complex phenomenon that is rooted in a wide variety of economic, political, administrative, social and cultural factors. It needs to be understood as part of broader dynamics, interactions, weaknesses and potential opportunities, rather than as an innate pathology. This is what makes it so entrenched and so difficult to address. How can international development actors address corruption more effectively in the contexts where they work?
Anti-corruption poster (Kate McCarthy, Flickr)
Drawing in particular on a recent DFID Evidence Paper and other emerging research on corruption, this collaborative event addressed the following questions:
- What do we know about the causes of corruption and its effects on different aspects of development?
- What do more nuanced approaches to the complex dynamics that sustain corruption contribute to ongoing debates?
- What works in combatting corruption? What kinds of approaches and interventions have proven more effective than others and why?
- Who cares? What do public opinion surveys tell us about what people in donor countries feel about corruption and aid and what might this imply for ongoing efforts to combat corruption?
The event brought together a diverse audience of researchers, policymakers, advocacy organisations, media representatives and other stakeholders interested in corruption. It was hosted by UCL's Global Governance Institute.
Reflections on the event
- The C Word: How should the aid business think and act about Corruption? Duncan Green, From Poverty to Power (1 July)
- Fighting the many-headed hydra of corruption Imogen Mathers, SciDev.Net (1 July)
- The hidden faces of corruption Imogen Mathers interviews Alina Rocha Menocal, SciDev.Net (podcast, 7 July)
- Anti-corruption in Bolivia: fighting greed - or attitudes Nieves Zúñiga
- Development cooperation and fighting corruption: thinking differently Heather Marquette
- Does talking about corruption make it seem worse? David and Jennifer Hudson in the Guardian
- Is education a magic bullet for addressing corruption? Insights from Papua New Guinea Grant Walton and Caryn Peiffer in DevPolicy
- Reforming FIFA: what can we learn from experience with (other corrupt autocrats) Paul Jackson and Heather Marquette in From Poverty to Power
- Is fighting corruption like fighting zombies? Heather Marquette in the Guardian
13:30-13:45 | Welcome and introduction
13:45-15:00 | What do we know about corruption and what works in tackling it? A look at the evidence
Alina Rocha Menocal, Senior Research Fellow, DLP (University of Birmingham); on secondment from ODI
Nils Taxell, Senior Advisor, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre
Discussant: Phil Mason, Senior Anti-Corruption Advisor, DFID
Chair: Marta Foresti, Director of Governance, Security and Livelihoods, ODI
15:15-16:00 | Who cares? What do people in donor countries think about corruption and anti-corruption efforts? And why might this matter?
Dr David Hudson, Deputy Director of DLP / Senior Lecturer in Political Economy, University College London
Discussant: Alessandra Fontana, Governance Advisor, OECD DAC
Chair: Dr Duncan Green, Senior Strategic Advisor, Oxfam GB
16:00-17:00 | So what? Implications for research and practice
Dr Elizabeth Hart, Independent (former Director of U4 and Senior Anti-Corruption Advisor at USAID)
Dr Finn Heinrich, Research Director, Transparency International
Prof Dominik Zaum, Professor of Governance, Conflict, and Security, University of Reading / Senior Research Fellow in Conflict and Fragility, DFID
Chair: James Deane, Director of Policy and Learning. BBC Media Action
17:00-17:30 | Reflections on the day’s proceedings from a policy perspective
Dr Heather Marquette, DLP / GSDRC (University of Birmingham)