Upcoming event: Making anti-corruption real: how to stop wasting money and start making progress

Tuesday, 29 March 2022, 9:30am – 12:30pm BST (GMT+1)

In early 2022, Transparency International reported that ‘corruption levels remain at a standstill worldwide, with 86% of countries making little to no progress in the last 10 years’. The entrenched and sometimes growing levels of corruption in many countries demonstrates the limits of current strategies of anti-corruption and the theories informing them. Results have been poor, and much money has been wasted, because theory and practice have largely ignored the problem of implementation.

If a policy adversely affects powerful individuals and organisations, we shouldn’t be surprised when they try to block or distort its implementation. In developing countries where the rule of law is weak, policies may also be blocked in informal or corrupt ways.

Making anti-corruption real means understanding these processes and ensuring that every anti-corruption strategy has built-in incentives so that actors with the ability to implement these strategies will do so in their own interest.

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.

Join us (in person or virtually) for a panel discussion in which we outline these three approaches, share case studies and discuss areas of future anti-corruption implementation. Find out more about the event.

Register here to attend in person or virtually


Blog Nigeria’s ‘miracle examination centres’ undermine education: how to stop the rot
With a top-down enforcement of rules not working, the authors of this study suggest a number of solutions to tackle institutionalised cheating in school certificate examinations using the SOAS-ACE approach, which seeks out ways to change people’s rule-breaking behaviour.
Read the blog here.


Blog What opportunities are there for reducing corruption in climate finance and the energy transition?
The SOAS-ACE team has reflected on what our work can tell us about effective and feasible anti-corruption strategies to reduce leakage and corruption in climate initiatives. We have collated a number of relevant resources which provide pointers of where there are opportunities for effective anti-corruption. These include resources for climate adaptation projects, private power projects and high corruption areas with severe environmental damage. Read the blog here.


Briefing Paper Lending corruption and bank loan contracting: implications for gender inequity and inclusive growth in Nigeria
Lending corruption captures both paying bribes and using familiarity rather than merit as the metric for access to credit. In Nigeria, women face numerous challenges in accessing credit. This paper recommends policies to mitigate lending corruption that align with the SOAS-ACE anti-corruption strategies. These include online loan application approaches, the use of centralised and structured credit systems, and the inclusion of men as well as women in empowerment and sensitisation programmes.
Briefing Paper | Working Paper


Film Inside an artisanal oil refinery in the Niger Delta
In this short film, an owner explains how a typical artisanal oil refinery works. The rudimentary technology has evolved over time into an industrial-scale phenomenon. There are thousands of similar sites located across the Niger Delta of Nigeria, processing stolen crude oil, and producing gasoline, diesel, and kerosene. This presents a conundrum to policy makers as it highlights a productive trade, which creates employment and fuels. But it is deemed illegal, as it functions on stolen crude oil, and has severe impacts on environment, health, and corruption.

The film is based on research by the SOAS-ACE programme and SDN Nigeria into the networks of corruption associated with the artisanal oil industry. It follows on from the short film The networked economy of the artisanal oil industry in the Niger Delta.



Latest SOAS-ACE publications

Briefing papers:

Working papers:

Journal articles: