We are excited to announce a new phase of the SOAS Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) research programme funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) which will now run until 2027. SOAS ACE will build on the insights and learning from our first phase from 2017 to 2022 which identified feasible, high-impact, evidence-based strategies to reduce corruption in different sectors and countries with over 30 research partners around the world. Led by Professor Mushtaq Khan and Dr Pallavi Roy, the new phase will extend and deepen our work in sectors including healtheducationgreen investments and climate changedigital ID, and government procurement in Nigeria, Bangladesh and several other countries.


OECD: Zero Tolerance for corruption: What does it mean in practice for development cooperation? 
What should we understand by the term ‘zero tolerance for corruption’? Mushtaq Khan at the OECD GACIF conference put forward the SOAS-ACE analysis in a discussion chaired by Jennifer Lewis of USAID. Read our short summary and watch the recording here

Yar’Adua Foundation
Dr Pallavi Roy’s presentation to the Yar’Adua Foundation in Nigeria highlighted how our research could be used to achieve the aims of a just transition that delivers livelihoods and energy security for key sectors in the country. Read our short summary watch the Pallavi’s presentation here


Highlighted publications

Journal article Designing feasible anti-corruption strategies in the Nigerian health system: A latent class analysis of a discrete choice experiment
Health worker absenteeism is a major form of corruption in the Nigerian health system, reducing the impact of healthcare investment and disproportionately affecting vulnerable communities. Top-down governance and accountability measures to improve attendance have had limited effect because they have not addressed underlying incentives driving health worker behaviour. To inform feasible interventions to reduce absenteeism, we investigated how potential interventions targeting key drivers of absenteeism could influence behaviour.

We identified two sub-groups of workers who differed in their willingness to accept a job and preferences over specific attributes, suggesting some may be more susceptible to feasible interventions to improve attendance. We found that focusing on the needs of these groups may offer a path to incrementally, but sustainably, reduce absenteeism across the system. The work represents some of the only empirical evidence to inform anti-corruption strategies in Nigeria and internationally, with findings relevant to other low- and middle-income countries seeking to combat absenteeism among primary health care workers. Read the article here.


Journal article: Breaking the cycle of corruption in Nigeria’s electricity sector: Off-grid solutions for local enterprises
Access to electricity is a major constraint to economic growth in Nigeria. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are arguably the segment of the Nigerian economy most disadvantaged by a lack of access to reliable power. Due to the failure of grid-based supply, over 80 % of SMEs rely on a generator to power operations. Inclusive, diversified growth in the country depends on growth of the SME sector. This paper examines how SME grid access can be improved given the technical inefficiencies and systemic corruption in the sector. We provide a macro-analysis of the sector which helps address and identify a solution to solve the power constraints faced by Nigerian SMEs.  Read the article here



A New Approach to Anti-Corruption – When Rule-Breakers rule

This toolkit provides a step by step guide to analysing corruption problems and developing realistic and effective anti-corruption strategies in contexts where the rule of law is weak.

Over the past 5 years, the SOAS ACE programme has tested a number of different approaches in a range of countries and sectors to identify feasible and implementable anti-corruption strategies. SOAS ACE has identified three anti-corruption strategies which offer most potential for reducing corruption.

This toolkit developed by Pallavi RoyAgata Slota and Mushtaq Khan, provides detailed guidance to analysing corruption problems using a political settlements approach and examples of different methods that can be used to test and develop realistic and effective strategies to reduce corruption. The guide includes detailed case studies to illustrate how the approach has been used in practice in a number of different fields and countries.

It is aimed at policy-makers and practitioners looking to find solutions to deeply entrenched, often seemingly intractable corruption challenges.

Click here to access the toolkit
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Sign up to join our free online anticorruption course

In this online course you will learn about an exciting new approach to anticorruption pioneered by the SOAS AntiCorruption Evidence (ACE) programme. Sign up and study at your own pace and when convenient to you.

Register & start the course here: https://ace.soas.ac.uk/online-course/



Latest SOAS-ACE publications

Briefing papers and think pieces:

Working papers:

Journal articles: