FAQs: Collective Action at the Basel Institute

What is anti-corruption Collective Action?

Anti-corruption Collective Action brings companies and other concerned stakeholders together to tackle shared problems of corruption, raise standards of business integrity and level the playing field between competitors.

It involves collaboration and sustained cooperation between stakeholders in the private and public sectors, civil society and international organisations.

See how the World Bank Institute describes anti-corruption Collective Action in this guide for business.

Is Collective Action always about corruption?

No, in fact Collective Action is a common term in a number of fields that refers to multi-stakeholder collaboration to achieve shared goals. Currently, the notion of Collective Action is being increasingly used to describe efforts to address issues of sustainability and the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Our work, however, focuses on business-driven anti-corruption Collective Action. The approach has the potential to address problems of corruption through mechanisms that are pragmatic and business oriented. These types of problems almost always affect entire groups of people and businesses, not just individuals.

How does anti-corruption Collective Action fit into the work the Basel Institute?

Collective Action is fundamental to the Basel Institute’s wider mission to prevent and combat corruption and raise standards of governance. In fact, promoting and supporting Collective Action against corruption was a key objective of the Basel Institute when it was founded by Professor Mark Pieth in 2003.

Our team members regularly contribute their Collective Action expertise to cross-divisional projects. Recent projects include outreach to the private sector as part of the Basel Institute’s support to the Malawian National Anti-Corruption Strategy review, and working with industry stakeholders committed to tackling illegal wildlife trade.

What does the Collective Action team do?

We help to develop and facilitate Collective Action initiatives that bring together businesses and other stakeholders in a variety of industries worldwide.

Examples include our role as a founding member of the Wolfsberg Group, and the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative (PACI) almost two decades ago. Today, we can continue to serve as facilitator of sector-specific Collective Action initiatives such as in machine manufacturing or health care.

We also:

  • Serve as a resource and knowledge centre on anti-corruption Collective Action initiatives and methodology.
  • Host and maintain the B20 Collective Action hub.
  • Conduct research on the functioning and impact of Collective Action against corruption.
  • Regularly speak at anti-corruption compliance events raising awareness of Collective Action.
  • Work with international policy institutions and national anti-corruption policy actors to promote the use of Collective Action among the private sector.

What is the B20 Collective Action Hub?

The B20 Collective Action Hub offers a range of anti-corruption publications and tools, plus a database of over 260 anti-corruption Collective Action initiatives and projects around the world. 

The B20 Hub was launched in 2013, following a mandate from the B20 for the Basel Institute on Governance to develop and maintain this hub in collaboration with our institutional partners. The B20 is an influential platform for business leaders from G20 economies.

How is the Basel Institute's Collective Action work funded?

Our current and past projects have received funding from a range of private and public institutions such as the Siemens Integrity Initiative, the KBA NotaSys Fund, the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO, formerly DFID), the Global Fund to Fight Malaria, TB and AIDS, and directly from some companies engaged in Collective Action initiatives.

What are some key projects and approaches?

Projects and approaches currently receiving a lot of attention include:

Why is Collective Action spelled with a capital C and A?

Because it’s important.

Download these FAQs as a PDF.

Gemma Aiolfi

Head of Compliance, Corporate Governance and Collective Action
+41 61 205 56 74