2021 has been a busy year for the SOAS-ACE programme as the SOAS Team and our partners complete our research projects and work with stakeholders in different sectors and countries around the world to explore feasible and effective anti-corruption strategies.

A particularly exciting development this year has been SOAS-ACE’s work on corruption in the health sector with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Going against the mainstream public health consensus, our work has shown the significance of corruption in the sector and the plausibility of feasible anti-corruption solutions and its adoption by key donors has ensured high impact. Our researchers contributed to the formation of the Coalition for Accountability, Transparency and Anti-Corruption in Health (CATCH) which includes the WHO, the UNDP, the Global Fund and the World Bank, and is supported by NORAD. Our researchers also contributed to the formation of the Health Systems Global Thematic Working Group (TWG) – Action on Accountability and Anti-corruption for achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (AAA-SDG). The TWGs are a core component of the HSG’s work and we believe this is the first instance where corruption has been introduced as a central theme at an international platform of this scale in the health sector. Find out more and join this group.

Over the next few months we look forward to sharing more exciting findings from our research in a a range of sectors including health, education, energy and extractives.

Upcoming event: Unlocking corruption: Frontline perspectives on locally-led solutions 

8 December 2021, 9:30 – 11:00am EST

Corruption persists because it suits the interests of powerful players, and because anti-corruption initiatives often fail to unlock the political-economy drivers that hold corruption in place.In this hybrid event participants will explore the value, and limits, of locally-led approaches to unlocking the drivers of corruption, and how such approaches can best be supported. The event will be chaired by Dr Pallavi Roy of SOAS-ACE and will include presentations by anti-corruption champions from Africa, Asia and Latin America followed by reflections from a representative of the USAID Anti-Corruption Task Force. Register here to attend online

LSE Cutting Edge Lecture Series Making Anti-Corruption Effective: a new approach
In this online lecture, Professor Mushtaq Khan shared insights about SOAS-ACE’s innovative approach to anti-corruption policy and practice. He presented two feasible strategies to achieve developmental goals despite the weak rule of law: the ‘voice strategy’ and the ‘exit strategy’.

Watch on YouTube | Listen to the podcast | Read the blog

The lecture was part of a high-profile lecture series run by the Department of International Development at LSE.

Session Scaling Up Community of Practice: Fragile States Working Group
Part of the 2021 Annual Workshop of the Global Community of Practice on Scaling Development Outcomes, this session focused on scaling social protection/safety nets in fragile contexts, with a focus on Ethiopia. The speakers were Ugo Gentilini and Michael Munavu from the World Bank, and Pallavi Roy, Research Director of the SOAS-ACE Research Partnership Consortium was a discussant. The session explored the mix of responses in fragile contexts like Ethiopia and how they could be scaled up both in terms of delivery mechanisms (eg from public authorities to humanitarian agencies) and implementation approaches (eg cash to food). The session drew from the Bank’s analysis of social protection spends during Covid-19. The discussion that followed focused on the need for introducing adaptive and scalable governance mechanisms on the lines of rethinking anti-corruption for Covid-19. Using multiple agencies can help deliver financial efficiency as well as wider service delivery and mitigate governance and corruption related constraints during crises like Covid-19. The key takeaway from the discussion? Lessons from tackling the pandemic could be transferred to addressing the scalability of social protection in other fragile contexts.
Webinar Resolving citizens’ complaints: what makes it happen? Who owns the process?

A recent webinar organised by the Accountability Research Center and Integrity Action explored the latest findings on how and why citizen complaints get resolved. Examples included Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, South Sudan and more.

Professor Dina Balabanova of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, partner of SOAS-ACE, presented on absenteeism in Bangladesh and Nigeria. Watch the recording here.

Webinar Making anti-corruption messaging effective: the critical importance of feasibility and targeting

Catch up on our discussion on why radical departures are needed in anti-corruption messaging in Nigeria and what solutions are currently being considered including the ACE framework. Watch the recording here.

Working Paper The EFCC and ICPC in Nigeria: overlapping mandates and duplication of effort in the fight against corruption
An analysis of the challenges facing Nigeria’s two anti-corruption agencies, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by Idayat Hassan, Director of CDD West Africa, partner of SOAS-ACE. Read the paper here.


Journal Article From dysfunctional to functional corruption: The politics of reform in Lebanon’s electricity sector
Dysfunctional and corruption-prone power sectors are a persisting challenge in many developing countries. Drawing from the ACE framework and applying it to electricity, this paper explores the service provision model of Electricite du Zahle (EDZ), a decentralized local utility in Lebanon. Read the article here.


Blog Queuing for petrol in Bath and Beirut
Dr Neil McCulloch of The Policy Practice, partner of SOAS-ACE, reflects on how recent petrol queues were driven by two different kinds of expectation. Read the blog here.


Latest SOAS-ACE publications

Briefing papers:

Working papers:

Journal articles: