ACE’s Theory of Change

Our Theory of Change is based on a simple but powerful proposition. Anti-corruption policies can be feasible and have a high impact on delivery in sectors as diverse as power generation, pharmaceuticals, health services or fertilisers, if enforcement rules enable actors to use sustainable business models and operate productively.

Horizontal support and enforcement for a general rule of law across society is often absent in developing countries, but our scoping work suggests it is possible to find sectors where appropriate changes in policies and institutions can achieve sufficient horizontal support at sectoral level to enable feasible rule enforcement and anti-corruption efforts.

By researching these possibilities, we will support relevant actors to implement incremental, sectoral reforms that will improve both anti-corruption and development outcomes. In addition, sequential improvements in adherence to rules across sectors will over time support the success of wider efforts to improve systemic rule of law and anti-corruption based on society-wide improvements in transparency and vertical enforcement.

While analysis cannot always guarantee the outcomes we want, it can significantly reduce the chances of failure. Our analysis and evidence can influence the design and support for anti-corruption by:

  • Designing feasible, sectoral policy changes that generate horizontal support for the enforcement of specific rules
  • Designing improvements in sectoral governance that can provide the vertical enforcement demanded by these actors

Using these approaches, ACE is providing evidence and encouraging better policy design to ultimately reduce corruption in the economies of each of our three countries.

View our full theory of change diagram.