The participation of non-state actors – citizens, civil society organisations, the private sector, religious or minority groups, the media – in public policymaking is a core element of democratic governance. Yet in too many countries, mechanisms for participation exist only on paper, not in practice.

Citizens and business people may invest significant time and money in building informal networks with public officials to overcome public service delivery shortcomings and access business opportunities. Understanding these networks better can strengthen anti-corruption efforts.

This research case study gives a brief overview of our Public Governance team's research in Uganda and Tanzania. Through interviews, the team explored when, how and why informal networks are built and used to access public services or business opportunities corruptly.

Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Public Governance, and Jacopo Costa, Senior Research Fellow, will speak at the 5th session of the Seminar Series on Corruption and Impunity. The series is sponsored by the Institute of Latin American Studies (ILAS) at Columbia University and the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM Mexico).

The virtual event will cover:

This presentation by Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Public Governance at the Basel Institute on Governance, explains the latest evidence on informality and its role in preventing and combating corruption.

Her presentation is based on research conducted in East and Central Africa for the UK-funded Global Integrity-Anti Corruption Evidence Programme (GI-ACE).

This Knowledge Partner session at the 2021 OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum explored how practitioners could tailor approaches to strengthen integrity during an emergency response to counter recurrent social norms and informal practices.

Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Public Governance at the Basel Institute on Governance, moderated a panel of experts in health, anti-corruption and behavioural research:

Why do people poach, trade and buy protected wildlife – and what might change that behaviour? This virtual panel discussion focused on how behavioural approaches can and must complement interventions tackling illegal wildlife trade (IWT) and other environment crimes.

It was part of the Corrupting the Environment webinar series of the Basel Institute on Governance and the OECD.

Frédéric Boehm, Economist/Policy Analyst at the OECD, moderated the panel featuring:

Can social norm and behaviour change approaches help to reduce corruption related to illegal wildlife trade (IWT)? Very possibly. SNBC initiatives have been shown to help combat diverse corruption problems, although for those related to IWT and other areas of conservation and natural resource management, the evidence for doing so is sparse.

Corruption risk assessments in a law enforcement context seek to map what and how corruption risks could undermine investigations and prosecutions of serious crimes like illegal wildlife trade. But how do you answer why those corruption risks arise in the first place?

Understanding this is key to developing corruption risk mitigation measures that are not just technically sound but politically feasible.