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CurbingCorruption’s Journal records progress against corruption – practical, reflective, theoretical, even anecdotal.

We encourages readers – whether politicians, officials, company executives, activists, researchers, students or citizens – to add their own contributions to global knowledge of tackling corruption. The article does not have to be academic, can be cited and easily accessed here for download. Get in touch.

Practical strategies for corruption reduction: The Sector Focus and Reformulation Approach (SFRA)

Mark Pyman and Paul Heywood (2020) CurbingCorruption Journal, December 2020

Rethinking corruption reform: Strategy, Scale and Substance

Paul Heywood and Mark Pyman (2020) CurbingCorruption Journal, December 2020

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.

Tackling defence corruption with a ‘whole sector’ approach; a history of TI’s efforts; Working paper

Mark Pyman (2019). Curbing Corruption Journal, December 2020.

Tackling defence corruption is about much more than stopping dodgy commissions on arms sales. Civilians and soldiers die because of corruption in defence, insecurity rises, peace is compromised, wars extended. This working paper describes the twenty-year effort by Transparency International’s Defence & Security Programme to reduce defence corruption across the whole sector, collaborating with and pressuring defence ministries, military forces, defence companies, NATO, NGOs and others. The progress suggests that a ‘whole sector’ approach – covering companies, governments, regulators and civil society – can be effective, and may hold lessons for how reform approaches in other sectors can be better conceived and implemented.

Increasing the impact of an anti-corruption website through social media: a practical experiment.

Paul Heywood, Siddharth Chaudhari, Jen Kartner, Faith Muniale, Denisse Rodriguez, Sigrid Vasconez & Mark Pyman (2020). Curbing Corruption Journal, September 2020.

This is the story of an experiment to expand the reach of CurbingCorruption, which ran for six months from 1 February to 31 July 2020.

Progress in Local Government reform in Myanmar

Heesu Chung (2019). Curbing Corruption Journal, June 2019.

How Myanmar advanced from second to bottom in the CPI in 2010 to 132nd out of 180 in 2018 through incremental systems change. The paper reviews 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.

Leung Cheuk Ki (2018). Curbing Corruption Journal, October 2018

This literature review, supplemented by interviews with Chinese scholars, follows the evolution of thinking in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) about corruption, from the toleration of corruption among the outstanding national leaders at the time of the establishment of the People’s Republic of China to understanding corruption as a force de-legitimising the CCP. The main reform measures are described, together with current criticism of them.

The effectiveness of police ‘internal affairs departments’ in limiting corruption in police services – a literature review

Wilf Dunne (2018). Curbing Corruption Journal, October 2018

This review presents an analysis of English-language literature on the available knowledge about models of corruption investigation within the policing sector, particularly the role and effectiveness of Internal Affairs Units (IAUs) and Professional Standards Units (PSUs). It examines literature on both the organisation models and the experience from police services in the USA, UK, Australia, Slovenia, Israel and Zimbabwe.

Corruption in Iran. Experience, perception, and reform efforts – A literature review

Helena Bennett & Mark Pyman (2018). Curbing Corruption Journal, September 2018.

This paper reviews Farsi academic and media sources on corruption and anti-corruption policies in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It identifies several trends in the literature which suggest that corruption is generally seen as an issue of concern for governance in Iran, most notably in the security forces and judiciary. Scholars observe that several Iranian administrations have passed legislation aimed at reducing corruption, but some are critical about its effectiveness. The report concludes that a culture of fear around criticising senior government figures and officials has led to a lack of detailed research into the nature of corruption in Iran.


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