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October 2019

A talk by Mark Pyman on ‘New Directions in Anti-Corruption at the 8th Anti-Money Laundering Conference, London Oct 18th 2019.

191017 Pyman New horizons in anti-corruption. AML Forum London Oct 2019

191010 Pyman AML talk London

August 2019 – Corruption reform in Electricity & Power

We are starting our analysis of corruption reform in the electricity and power sector. This is a major sector, with significant corruption issues in both developed and developing countries.

‘Usain Bolt’ meters: Reform successes in the electricity sector can be quick, but only the failures get reported

Dr Festus Boamah

A very interesting, original analysis of the dramatic progress in electricity supply in Ghana and Kenya. The author, Dr Festus Boamah, finds that there were numerous improvements in the way electricity programmes were rolled out, leading both to better access and to reduced abuse through corruption. Successful reforms included many ‘problem-solving’ measures, such as the frequent monitoring of electricity infrastructure, introduction of pre-paid metering systems, improved revenue collection/tariff payment mechanisms, establishment of legal frameworks to punish criminals involved in power thefts, effective oversight roles of civil society organisations and vibrant media engagement in the procurement of electricity infrastructure.

Read our blog here              See the sector page here. 

Read his full paper here:

July 2019 – Companies addressing corruption problems directly, not as risk mitigation

From Maersk, AEC, and Shell, inspiring stories about changing corporate behavior

If you Google “corruption,” you get 344 million hits. A large number, yes, but dwarfed by “change management” with 4.1 billion hits.

This huge volume of advice is a reminder that changing corporate behavior is hard to do. Yet within the anti-corruption, compliance and legal communities, guidance on how to change the behavior of organizations continues to be narrated simplistically, through such tropes as “tone from the top”. Cultures are more effectively changed by business leaders and regulators who believe that better business comes from actually reducing the corruption in their sector, not just by limiting their exposure to it. 

Every now and again we see great examples of this. This blog describes three examples

June 2019 – Local Government reform – Myanmar

An original analysis by Heesu Chung of how Myanmar has advanced from second to bottom in the CPI in 2010 to 132nd out of 180 in 2018 through incremental systems change

Heesu Chung

In 2008, 14 state/region governments with legislative and administrative responsibilities were created.

Three mechanisms have been established for public participation in the subnational governance system: Members of Parliament have been set up to be locally elected; Township Management Committees (TMCs) and Township Development Affairs Committees (TDACs) were established with some community representation. In 2012, Ward/Village Tract Administrators were made to be directly elected by community members through a system of voting for household leaders.

Survey results – below – show significant variations in corruption between Myanmar urban regions. So far there is no obvious explanation for the differences.  

The paper describes functional reforms in local administrations like one-stop shops, people-centred reforms like community monitoring by civil society, transparency reforms like citizens budgets, and strengthening media networks. Read the full article here:

May 2019 – Broad anti-corruption strategies are too ambitious in conflict zones

My experience in Afghanistan suggests that anti-corruption strategies need to be tailored to the specific enablers and drivers of each particular sector.

New blog on Ministry anti-corruption plans in Afghanistan.  in the series ‘Corruption in fragile states’ at the Henry J. Leir Institute, Fletcher School of Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA.

Broad anti corruption programmes are the wrong approach


April 2019 – The logic of sector-specific corruption reform

Presentation by Mark Pyman to the World Bank and several of their ‘Communities of Practice’ on tackling corruption using sector-specific approaches.


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