Mobile phones and other technologies have transformed the nature and dynamics of informal social networks in Kyrgyzstan. Some scholars argue that new technology (electronisation, digitalisation) helps to prevent corruption and reduce the risk of bribery, informal social networks and bureaucracy. In their view, new technology has the potential to create transparent and efficient ways to access public services.

This article results from the project on Informal governance and corruption - Transcending the Principal Agent and Collective Action Paradigms, funded by the British Academy-DFID Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) programme.

The author's aim in this project was to explore local patterns of informality in Kyrgyzstan in order to understand how relations of power and influence are organised in daily life.

This three-part Kyrgyzstan country report is part of a research project funded by the Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Programme of the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the British Academy. 

The project has identified informal practices in selected countries in order to establish their general and specific features in comparative analysis; assess their impact based on the functions they perform in their respective economies and indicate the extent to which they fuel corruption and stifle anticorruption policies. 

The Basel Institute has been awarded two new research grants; one by the British Academy as part of its GBP 4 million global anti-corruption research scheme in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) in the context of DFID’s Anti-Corruption Evidence ('ACE') Research Programme; the second by DFID’s East Africa Research Fund (EARF).