28. February 2024

Corruption risks and health crises in Malawi: new GI-ACE research project

Launch of the GI-ACE project at the Centre for the Study of Corruption
Launch of various corruption research projects under the GI-ACE programme. Photo: Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex.

We are excited to launch a new project on addressing corruption risks in the emergency response of the Malawian health system.

Our team of collaborators will analyse corruption risks emerging in three kinds of crisis situations:

  • external shocks from a pandemic, like covid 19; 
  • internal crises such as recurrent cholera outbreaks; and 
  • extreme climate events such as cyclones, floodings and resulting displacement of the population. 

Working together with key local stakeholders in a participatory manner, we will then develop innovative approaches to preventing and mitigating corruption in that context.

Dr Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Prevention, Research and Innovation at the Basel Institute and Principal Investigator on the project, formally kicked off the three-year project at the launch event of the Governance & Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme in February 2024. 

The GI-ACE programme is funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and is based at the University of Sussex's Centre for the Study of Corruption.

A novel approach

The project will explore different types of corruption affecting the emergency response of the Malawian health system in order to understand whether these are simply an exacerbated version of corruption patterns plaguing the health system in “normal times” or whether emergencies give rise to unique, additional corruption patterns.

Through a participative process with key local stakeholders and inputs from an advisory group of experts, corruption patterns identified in the health system’s emergency response will be prioritised based on how relevant they are and how feasible they are to address.

The prioritised corruption patterns will be thoroughly researched to understand formal, informal and behavioural drivers and enabling factors. This research is essential for the design of tailored and impactful interventions. The use of behavioural insights can increase the impact of anti-corruption initiatives, for example, by correcting misperceptions or addressing perceived social norms. The research is also essential to ensure crisis responses do not exacerbate or fuel corruption risks. 

Ultimately, the team will provide detailed guidance on developing and implementing high-impact, technologically and politically feasible strategies to address corruption in the crisis response of the health system in Malawi. 

Project collaborators

Our team looks forward to working with:

Learn more

See previous research by our Prevention, Research and Innovation team (formerly “Public Governance) under an earlier edition of GI-ACE programme on: