This guide suggests six steps for bringing political economy analysis findings into a theory of change for a project or programme.

It aims to provide a practical means for conservationists to navigate political economy in contexts where they work. While a theory of change explains the logic of a project, a political economy analysis, which looks at the influence of power, helps get to the heart of what needs to change for a project to work. But practitioners often find it challenging to use political economy analysis in practice. 

The illegal wildlife trade threatens biodiversity and security worldwide. Criminal networks pocket billions of dollars in illicit profits from stripping the world bare of endangered species and corrupting politicians and public officials in the process.

Yet there is very little empirical evidence on the role of both ordinary citizens and criminal networks in the illegal wildlife trade. Our research aims to fill this gap.

The Basel Institute, together with the University of Basel, are joining a consortium of 25 organisations from 15 countries under the EU’s new research project, FALCON: Fight Against Large-scale Corruption and Organised Crime Networks.

The aim: to develop data, evidence and tools to support both policymakers and practitioners in the fight against corruption.

Effectively managing conflicts of interest in the public sector is crucial to mitigate corruption risks. It is also fundamental to building well-functioning institutions and to generating trust in government. How are different states doing this? What models exist? What are the challenges?

To answer these questions, our new report analyses conflict of interest legislation and management in three case study contexts: South Korea, Brazil and the European Union.

This Working Paper presents international case studies of legal frameworks addressing conflicts of interest and highlights common challenges, opportunities and lessons for practitioners and other interested stakeholders. The report covers three contexts: two national (South Korea, Brazil) and one supranational (the European Union). 

This Working Paper is intended to guide practitioners who are seeking to complement conventional anti-corruption measures by adopting a behavioural communications approach.

It aims to connect a typology of anti-corruption messages with behavioural change theories, and discuss their impact.

Subsequently, it suggests practical implications for designing anti-corruption communication as part of behaviour change interventions. This includes outlining how to develop a robust Theory of Change as a means to enhance the success of such efforts.  

Many anti-corruption initiatives contain some kind of messaging element, such as public education campaigns or awareness-raising activities. Substantial resources, financial and human, are invested every year to develop and deliver messages about the evils of corruption and the need to eradicate it.

However, recent research has cast serious doubt on the effectiveness of messages about corruption in achieving their intended results.

Corruption is increasingly understood as a form of collective, social behaviour. It slips easily across borders and involves sophisticated financial strategies and transactions to launder the stolen money. 

Yet the nexus between corruption and money laundering is poorly understood. So too are the structures, functions and mechanisms that enable these crimes.