Anti-Corruption Agencies

Anti-corruption agencies are important, and contested, players in the fight against corruption. Find the latest evidence on their value and performance on this theme page

The number of Anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) around the world has increased dramatically over the past decades. Nevertheless, the value of ACAs is increasingly being questioned by international donors and national governments. Frequently, ACAs are not considered to deliver on the high expectations bestowed upon then. The question is by which measure - and how - we assess the performance of these institutions, and how we can best improve their performance. On this page you can:

Author: de Sousa, Lu
Release date: January 2009

Anti-Corruption Agencies: Between empowerment and irrelevance

This paper gives a useful yet brief overview of recent issues around anti-corruption agencies (ACAs), from their development, over trends to features and reasons for success or failure. It argues that approaches to establishing ACAs in the past have often been too stereotype, not looking enough into contextual factors and performance criteria. The general features/principles of independence, inter-institutional cooperation, recruitment and specialisation, competences and specia powers as well as institutional durability are discussed more in detail. While there are a serious of possible internal and external factors for institutional failures, the article highlights also a series of (un)intended errors committed at the conception phase of ACAs. The author also argues that anti-corruption activity should be regarded as an important aspect of study in itelf, as opposed to much research still focussing on corruption as the problem.
Author: de Sousa, Lu
Release date: January 2009

Does performance matter to institutional survival? The method and politics of performance measurement for anti-corruption agencies

This article seeks to discuss issues of institutional failure of Anti-Corruption Agencies (ACAs) by focussing on politics and processes tied to the evaluation of their performance. It gives an overview of indicators that have been used so far in that regard (input, output, throughput). The author argues that no matter how effective an ACA really works, it must take evaluation procedures seriously, dedicate time to devlop performance indicators and learn how to communicate them. This is especially important, because most ACA's work in a rather hostile setting and the decision of creating or abondoning them is often more a political one than based on true knowledge about their performance.

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