Behavioural insights and anti-corruption. Executive summary of a practitioner-tailored review of the latest evidence (2016-2022)

Stahl, Cosimo. (2022) Behavioural insights and anti-corruption. Executive summary of a practitioner-tailored review of the latest evidence (2016-2022).

[img] PDF - Published Version
Available under License CC BY-NC-ND (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives).


Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/90094/

Downloads: Statistics Overview


Donors, governments and anti-corruption practitioners seeking alternative tools to address systemic corruption are increasingly turning to behavioural science. Behavioural anti-corruption approaches appear promising because they respond to a growing body of descriptive evidence on how certain social norms and mental models drive corruption, particularly in fragile contexts. Interventions that target social norms and seek to shift people's behaviours away from corrupt practices could be more effective and long-lasting than ones that, for example, simply add more regulations and controls. Yet few large-scale anti-corruption programmes have so far been informed by behavioural insights - in part due to a lack of evidence on where such an approach would be appropriate, what works and what doesn't. That evidence is slowly becoming available, thanks to an increase in the past five years in what can be called Social Norms and Behaviour Change (SNBC) intervention studies. Many have yielded positive effects and demonstrate the potential of SNBC interventions to tackle systemic corruption, but some studies have encountered counterproductive effects of anti-corruption messaging. Based on a synthesis of the evidence, this brief paper summarises a set of behavioural explanations (i.e. insights and pitfalls) for why some of these SNBC approaches have failed, while others have been effective. The aim is to provide practitioners designing SNBC interventions with evidence to help them develop effective programmes and avoid common pitfalls.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Fakultär assoziierte Institutionen > Zentrum für Afrikastudien Basel
09 Associated Institutions > Basel Institute on Governance
UniBasel Contributors:Stahl, Cosimo
Item Type:Working Paper
Publisher:Basel Institute on Governance
Number of Pages:21
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Discussion paper / Internet publication
Related URLs:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:24 Oct 2022 08:32
Deposited On:24 Oct 2022 08:32

Repository Staff Only: item control page