Addressing Bribery and Favouritism in the Tanzanian Health Sector: a Behavioural Approach

This project uses a rigorous experimental approach to implement and test the impact of anti-corruption behavioural interventions aimed at addressing bribery and favouritism in the Tanzanian health sector.

The project builds on previous research findings about the crucial role played by informal social networks and social norms of reciprocity in driving bribery and favouritism in the Tanzanian health sector.

The central hypothesis of this study is that, although social networks have been identified as fuelling and perpetuating practices of petty corruption, they can also be harnessed to promote positive anti-corruption behaviours. Specifically, we will work with community opinion leaders to deliver behavioural interventions that have shown promise elsewhere but have often lacked the right delivery mechanism to test their effectiveness at scale.

This two-year project was launched in 2019 with support from the UK-funded Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme.

Project team

The project’s Principal Investigator is Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Governance Research at the Basel Institute on Governance. Claudia has three Co-Investigators:

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Harnessing Informality: Designing Anti-Corruption Network Interventions and Strategic Use of Legal Instruments

The Basel Institute's second project under the UK-funded Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme aims to help anti-corruption practitioners design more effective interventions by taking into account – and in fact leveraging – the informal relationships and social networks that underlie people's behaviour.

The importance of context, and of understand how informal networks can drive and normalise corrupt behaviour in a society, is now increasingly recognised within the anti-corruption community.

Working in Tanzania and Uganda, the team will test the hypothesis that the power of social networks can actually be harnessed to promote positive anti-corruption attitudes and incentives to act with integrity.

The research aims to contribute to enhanced social accountability interventions, Collective Action initiatives and public sector capacity building efforts. Initial outreach and fieldwork with local researchers in Uganda and Tanzania is already attracting the interest of local anti-corruption authorities, consistent with the researchers' aim to make the findings as relevant as possible to practitioners and decision makers.

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Informal Governance and Corruption: Transcending the Principal-Agent and Collective Action Paradigms

University College London and SOAS researched informality and its relationship with corruption and governance. A multi-disciplinary team of researchers explored how corruption really works in seven countries in East Africa and Eurasia.

Their findings shed light on why "conventional" anti-corruption practices have been so unsuccessful to date, and on the kinds of policies and interventions that could have a bigger impact in the fight against corruption.

This research was funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the British Academy through the British Academy/DFID Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme.

The dedicated Informal Governance website for this project provides access to multimedia material synthesising the research findings, including videos, country-by-country  and comparative summaries, policy implications as well as all project-related publications.

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Corruption, Social Norms and Behaviours in East Africa

This project focused on identifying the behavioural factors that influence the propensity of citizens and public service providers to engage in, resist and report corrupt transactions in Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Research activities included a semi-systematic literature review on the influence of behavioural factors on corruption and a comparative analysis of the relative effectiveness of different interventions aimed at tackling petty corruption.

With a focus in the health sector, the field research produced evidence suggesting that social expectations, social norms and shared mental models reinforce attitudes of acceptance vis-a-vis certain practices of corruption in Tanzania and Uganda.

In Rwanda, despite similar social norms to Tanzania and Uganda, corruption has become a behaviour that is socially condemned This can be explained by the Rwandan government’s stronger approach to anti-corruption, as well as to the implementation of behavioural insights to public policy such as environmental cues and educational campaigns to promote integrity and communal wellbeing.

Dedicated policy briefs distill the practical implications of the research for practitioners. A comparative analysis delves into the importance of considering behavioural insights to improve anti-corruption outcomes.

This project was implemented from 2016 to 2018 and was funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) through its East Africa Research Fund (EARF).

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Understanding Networks and Social Norms Behind the Illegal Wildlife Trade

The Public Governance team is working on a cross-divisional project aimed at understanding and tackling the corruption and trafficking networks driving the illegal wildlife trade between East Africa and Southeast Asia. The project is funded by PMI Impact and is part of the Basel Institute's Green Corruption programme.

The research and community engagement component of the project focuses on understanding the context-specific drivers of wildlife trafficking and the role of informal social networks and their associated corrupt practices in facilitating it.

Developing a better understanding of the root causes of illegal wildlife trafficking, along with the application of social network analysis to the investigation of related crimes, provides a novel and complementary approach towards the prevention and effective enforcement of illegal wildlife trafficking in East Africa.

You can find our research outputs from this project on our Publications page.

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