DiscoverKickBack - The Global Anticorruption Podcast27. Mushtaq Khan and Paul Heywood on Anti-Corruption Evidence (Part I)
27. Mushtaq Khan and Paul Heywood on Anti-Corruption Evidence (Part I)

27. Mushtaq Khan and Paul Heywood on Anti-Corruption Evidence (Part I)

Update: 2020-03-22
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In the first part Mushtaq and Paul outline the milestones in their carriers as corruption researchers.

ACE
The next section of the interview takes a deep dive into the Anti Corruption Evidence Program. Paul outlines how it was initiated after concerns about the lack of evaluation of development projects and the risk of development spending being lost due to corruption were voiced. As a response DiFiD developed AntiCorruption Evidence, which has two parts:
A Research partnership consortium led SOAS ACE which is led by Mushtaq and GI ACE which consists of grants competition for leading international researchers to examine the most effective ways to fight corruption.
Mushtaq gives some background information about how SOAS ACE consists of projects that are linked and share a common theory of change, which focus on Nigeria, Tanzania and Bangladesh. Mushtaq argues that the reason why many anti corruption efforts have failed lies in the assumption that most people in developing countries follow rules and a few greedy people break the rules. The common approach has then been to find and punish these “bad apples” in order to get rid of corruption. SOAS ACE however starts from the assumption that in many developing nations, people do not have the capacities to follow rules leading to a large informal sector. Also politics in developing nations is different. There is less tax revenue in developing nations, leading to more clientelism.
In order to then bring about anti-corruption one has to identify the demand for anti corruption. That is, finding organizations which need a rule of law in their own interest and are powerful enough to demand it. He then outlines how the rule of law is different from rule by law and how economics can help to identify a market for anti corruption.

Paul in turn outlines the approach of GI ACE which has four features: a) Focus on anti-corruption, b) a focus on real world problems real issues, c) politics of anti-corruption, and d) demonstrating impact. It marks a swing towards local problem driven approaches. In this work GI ACE is focused on three core themes, namely International architecture enabling illicit financial flows, promoting integrity and moving away from nations as units of analysis.
He comments on whether the integrity turn by organizations such as OECD and World bank indeed offers a better approach than classical anti corruption efforts.
In the last part of the interview you can find out how much cross-fertilization happens between GI and SOAS ACE and how Paul’s and Mushtaq’s views differ when it comes to intrinsic integrity and how research in behavioral ethics might provide empirical answers (for more info on the study by Gächter that Paul mentions see references or this Kickback episode: https://soundcloud.com/kickback-gap/17-shaul-shalvi)

References
Matthew’s blog post Blogging in a Time of (Mostly Unrelated) Crisis–A Note to Readers can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/GABCorona
Gächter, S., & Schulz, J. F. (2016). Intrinsic honesty and the prevalence of rule violations across societies. Nature, 531(7595), 496-499.
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27. Mushtaq Khan and Paul Heywood on Anti-Corruption Evidence (Part I)

27. Mushtaq Khan and Paul Heywood on Anti-Corruption Evidence (Part I)

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