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Heywood and Pyman 2020 Rethinking corruption reform: Strategy Scale and Substance

In this paper we move from rethinking corruption to ‘rethinking corruption reform’. We start by challenging the current infantilisation of the word ‘strategy’ through an analysis of how good strategy is defined, taught and formulated in the domains of the military, business and politics. We examine the different scales at which anti-corruption initiatives take place, distinguishing three levels where the challenge, and therefore the type of strategy, will differ: international, national and tactical scale change. Whilst national scale change has received the most attention, the vast majority of reform initiatives fall into the tactical scale category. We explore how reformers can better develop the substance of their strategy. We think of this as being the core content of the strategy – the insight or diagnosis involved that allows choices to be made and options discarded – as distinct from the process to be followed in developing a strategy or the other components of formal strategy such as governance, management, coordination or reporting. We consider the substance of a strategy to comprise three distinct but interlinked activities: making an insightful diagnosis, clarifying and reformulating the purpose and the objectives, then formulating an actionable reform approach that guides the reformers, including choosing which specific reform measures will be preferred. We give examples from reform experience of each of the activities.

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