Combatting corruption in the developing world has been a formidable challenge and taken a prominent place in the agenda of the international development community for the last two decades. Nonetheless, the results and outcomes of conventional anti-corruption interventions continue to be modest at best. This is often reflected in the so-called implementation gap, whereby countries adopting sound legal and organisational anti-corruption frameworks continue to experience very high levels of corruption.

In many countries high levels of corruption persist in spite of the adoption of so-called anti-corruption “best practices”. In this paper we make a call to pursue a context-sensitive inquiry into the drivers of corruption in order to substantially improve the practices and effects of anti-corruption.

This practitioners’ handbook provides the required tools for contextualising social accountability initiatives aimed at empowering citizens to engage in anti-corruption actions. The material herein contained has been developed through a collaborative effort with UNDP and reflects the findings from academic research conducted in the scope of the ANTICORRP research consortium (

Social accountability has become a favoured approach among most major multilateral and bilateral donors to develop grass roots mechanisms for democratic governance. In a successful scenario, citizen participation can promote more responsive governments and better provision of basic services by linking users’ feedback to the policy design, implementation and monitoring activities typically undertaken by the state.