February 16, 2016, by Charlotte Anscombe

Anti-corruption scheme led by Nottingham academic announces major projects

The British Academy has announced eight projects it will fund as part of its £4 million global anti-corruption research scheme, which is led by Paul Heywood, Professor  of European Politics here at Nottingham.

The scheme provides  support for eight outstanding research teams, whose work will focus primarily on DFID priority countries where corruption is a major constraint (including Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Bangladesh). In addition, researchers will draw lessons from anti-corruption efforts in a range of other countries across the world.

These projects will identify new initiatives that can help developing countries tackle corruption and the negative impact it has on millions of people’s lives. The research teams’ work will range from the development of actionable policy recommendations for the design of civil service systems, and a study into the role that informality plays in fuelling corruption and stifling anti-corruption policies, to analysing big data from major aid agencies to better assess the risks of corruption in aid allocation.

The anti-corruption scheme is run in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID). The BA-DFID partnership is one component of DFID’s Anti-Corruption Evidence (‘ACE’) research Programme.

Professor Heywood said:“Although we know a lot about the dreadful damage caused by corruption – which impacts most directly on the poor and the vulnerable, but also undermines political and economic stability globally – the sad reality is that anti-corruption efforts over recent decades have had very limited success. The projects in this scheme are therefore designed to get at the heart of what can actually make a practical difference, looking at how specific interventions can change opportunities, incentives and behaviours across a range of areas.  Rejecting ‘one-size-fits-all’ approaches, the research teams will work closely with policy makers and anti-corruption activists on the ground to identify what kinds of measures are needed to make a real difference.”

Lord Stern, President of the British Academy said:“The British Academy is delighted to partner with DFID on such an important international project, which we believe can make a real difference to improving people’s lives and prospects in a range of different countries. We are confident these research projects can produce new approaches and tools to help tackle corruption. Endemic corruption is an enormous international challenge that blights far too many countries and research such as this is one of the most worthwhile ways that the UK can offer practical support”

Further information is available on the British Academy website:


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