Call for consultant on Corruption Risk Assessment: Guidelines for conservation and natural resource management
Scope of consultancy
Initial contract duration
Expected assignment duration
25 working days in the period 8 August – 3 September 2021
6 August 2021
Background and context
It is now widely recognised that corruption is a barrier to good governance and sustainable development, including environmental and resource management (ERM) sectors. Research has shown ERM sectors provide fertile ground for various forms of corrupt practices, which are often embedded in natural resource management systems themselves, motivating and facilitating corrupt practices.502acf1debfd At the same time, there is significant evidence that corruption in ERM sectors has adverse environmental and economic impacts, resulting in negative social consequences.0fc29cdbb846
ERM sectors in developing countries face high risks of corruption given the vulnerabilities of accountability systems in such context. Hence, building effective anti-corruption strategies in high-risk environments requires strengthening how corruption risk assessment and mitigation strategies inform corruption-related policies and guidelines within project designs or project management approaches.a557ea497955
The donor community is making increased efforts to tackle corruption, including corruption risk assessment processes to inform programming. These trends also demonstrate a growing policy acceptance to assess the extent of corruption risk on the ground, and the fact that entry points for anti-corruption opportunities would need practical corruption risks assessment (CRA) and the mitigation of associated risks in the development process.
According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), a CRA ‘is a systematic tool that can be used by public organisations to identify corruption vulnerabilities within their operations and devise efficient, cost-effective strategies to mitigate those vulnerabilities or risks.”342d09263175 A CRA is a diagnostic exercise which seeks to identify weaknesses within a given system and differs from other corruption assessment tools in that the focus is on ‘the potential for – rather than the perception, existence or extent of – corruption’ hence involving the ‘evaluation of the likelihood of corruption occurring and/or the impact it would have if it occurs.’0875d49391e5 CRAs can also be tailored to a particular setting to identify issues associated with, contributing to, or facilitating corruption.e78666550f50
Many development organisations conduct corruption assessments before significant investments to help them better understand the situational factors that facilitate corruption. They further encourage their partners and aid recipients to adopt and incorporate risk management into their anti-corruption strategies. However, while donor development agencies practice corruption risk analysis, the CRA methodologies employed display a great variety, with gaps in analysing the political economy of corruption in a country and detailed due diligence reviews of potential partners on the other.6dec5c0a97e7 Hence, developing practitioner tools and instruments to assess corruption risk appropriately and then translating that assessment into relevant operational mitigation measures in project management remains a considerable challenge. For one thing, little progress has been made towards common positions on CRA complicated by significant variations in individual donors’ definitions of corruption, approaches to governance assessment, and sanction policies.8a49244a1357 Recognising the lack of reliable and actionable evidence of “what works” generallyc27249cd0516 and in the natural resources sector, in particular,2dc5eb0f0839 repeated calls have been made regarding the importance of local context in how CRAs are designed, implemented, and used to inform development programmes.
The rationale for a practitioners’ guide to CRA
There is a clear need to review existing CRA approaches of development actors generally and those applied in the ERM sectors in particular. Despite its apparent benefits in corruption risk management, CRA often requires significant financial resources, specialised expertise, and an incentive for inter-institutional dialogue, providing the necessary environment for discussing usually sensitive subjects. A recent assessment59b690e81117 of donor performance in anti-corruption shows that while the evidence constantly emphasises the diversity of corruption, donor ways of working have stagnated around a narrow set of approaches and instruments, barely reflecting the realities of corruption risks in many different types of context and sectors.
In the environment and resource sector, the changing patterns of natural resource management present challenges to anti-corruption approaches,1bf1cece537f especially in how actors understand, assess, and manage corruption risks. Emerging evidence suggests that practitioners often lack awareness of the full range of options for these anti-corruption approaches and how to apply them effectively and appropriately.c06520666859An important debate is emerging on the role of internal and external systemic factors in creating situational sources of corruption risks. Anti-corruption approaches overemphasise mitigation measures targeted at state agents and local elites, failing to address corrupt practices by local residents perceived to provide new opportunities for corruption risks.4b4c03dd7b154
Other recent lessons for anti-corruption efforts point to the need to take a systems approach that complements targeting bad actors and the incentives that drive their behaviourb14dd059cace with strengthening weak governance systems that create corruption risks and pressures to engage in corruption.174044346e2e These lessons highlight the importance of contextual factors that contribute to corruption and the increasing need to provide conservation and natural resources management practitioners with the tools to address the evolving forms of corruption, including approaches to integrating detailed corruption risk assessments into their programmatic design work and ensuring the methods employed can generate practical management options. A growing body of research calls for more attention to CRA approaches that enable processes for appropriately assessing and managing the risk of corruption represented in the context in which its activities are carried out.814cfe072626This makes developing some practical considerations for development practitioners to improve how CRAs can be adopted to the ERM sectors a timely and vital task to support additional international spending for anti-corruption programmes.
About the organisations behind this consultancy ToR
The Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) is an independent multi-disciplinary development research institute in Norway that focuses on addressing issues that shape global developments and generates knowledge that can be used to fight poverty, advance human rights, and promote sustainable social development. The U4 Anti‐Corruption Resource Centre (U4) at the CMI was established in 2002 with the aim of promoting a better understanding of anti‐corruption issues and approaches in international development. At U4, we work to reduce the harmful impact of corruption on society by sharing research and evidence to help international development actors get sustainable results. We communicate practical entry-points for countering corruption – through dialogue, publications, online training, workshops, and a helpdesk.
CMI–U4 contribute to the Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project, and this ToR relates to that work. This is a USAID-funded project to improve biodiversity outcomes by equipping practitioners to address the threats posed by corruption to environmental and natural resources sectors including strengthening USAID's efforts and the efforts of a wider community of stakeholders to improve natural resource management outcomes by reducing threats posed by corruption. TNRC focuses on delivering new thought leadership and research on how to approach anti-corruption issues in the natural resource sector with an emphasis on wildlife, fisheries and forests; evidence, learning and innovative approaches for USAID and other practitioners to strengthen anti-corruption implementation; deepening global partnerships to combat corruption in the management of natural resources; and more effective anti-corruption programming on the ground. TNRC is implemented by a consortium of leading organisations in anti-corruption, natural resource management, and conservation: World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, TRAFFIC, and the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) at George Mason University.
Proposed study objective and research questions
The proposed background study is commissioned by U4 and the TNRC Project to provide an overview of the current CRA approaches/methodologies adopted by development practitioners and develop practical guidelines/considerations to improve how development practitioners can adopt CRAs to the ERM sectors. The study aims to outline emerging lessons from characteristics of CRA approaches and methodologies and addresses three research questions:
- What are the main CRA approaches and tools adopted by conservation and NRM practitioners, and how do they define and measure corruption and corruption risks?
- What are the gaps in understanding and potential conflicts between adopted CRA approaches and tools and priorities identified by ERM research on corruption risks?
- What are the key practical considerations for CRA in ERM sectors, and how can these be applied by donors, development agencies, and policymakers in project management?
This study will be undertaken primarily through a desk-based review. The methodology for the review study will have the following components:
- An analysis of CRA approaches adopted by development practitioners, including documenting overarching definitions and indicators of corruption and corruption risk. Information will be drawn from:
– investment level: policy documents, project documents (PDs), Annual Reviews (AR), and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) reports and progress indicators, and
– project level: funding organisations’ Theory of Change (ToC) (where they exist), their definition of corruption risks, and the indicators used to measure corruption.
- A synthesis of typology of corruption risks in the ERM sectors from the TNRC literature reviewa5dbb68ce5df and an analysis of the appropriateness and lessons learned from implementing CRA approaches adopted based on their suitability against ERM sector corruption risks.
- The desk review will be supplemented with interviews with major donor agencies and conservation NGOs to document current practices in CRA. Interviews will assess the appropriateness of current CRA practices to conservation and NRM sectors from the perspectives of funding and implementing stakeholders.
- A synthesis outlining the lessons, good practice examples, and the initial CRA considerations/guidelines proposed for conservation and NRM sector practitioners to manage corruption risks.
- A draft review report outlining a typology of existing CRA approaches, lessons learned, good practice examples, and the initial CRA considerations/guidelines proposed for the ERM sectors.
- A final report incorporating comments received from U4, external reviewers, TNRC partners, and other stakeholders.
Responsibilities of the consultant
- The consultant is responsible for conducting a review of relevant literature. This should include studies, previous reviews, assessments, and evaluations of CRAs adopted by bilateral and multilateral development agencies, other development actors, and public sector organisations.
- The consultant is responsible for preparing a draft report and a final report incorporating comments received from U4, external reviewers, other TNRC partners, and other stakeholders:
– An analysis of CRA approaches adopted by development practitioners, including documenting overarching definitions and indicators of corruption and corruption risk.
– A synthesis of typology of corruption risks in the ERM sectors from the TNRC literature review and an analysis of the appropriateness and lessons learned from implementing CRA approaches adopted based on their effectiveness against ERM sector corruption.
– A synthesis/summary outlining the lessons, good practice examples, and the initial CRA considerations/guidelines proposed for the ERM sector practitioners to manage corruption risks.
- Incorporate comments and changes proposed during the peer review process into a final version of both the report and the guidelines.
Qualifications of the consultant
- Substantial knowledge in the area of anti-corruption and corruption risk assessment.
- Substantial knowledge and understanding of NRM operations, resource curse challenges, as well as contemporary debates over resource-related corruption and anti-corruption policies.
- Knowledge of the experiences of the development organisations in the area of CRA and compliance with anti-corruption regulations.
- Experience with producing practical guidelines/ ‘how to’ guidance for development actors.
- Experience with structuring and conducting systematic reviews as well as data analysis.
How to apply
Please send electronic applications/proposals to email@example.com on or before 6 August, 2021 and set the e-mail subject to “U4 CRA Consultant”
We will only consider applications that contain all of the following documents:
- Curriculum Vitae with two (2) references and a list of similar assignments undertaken.
- Letter of presentation, detailing relevant experience and suitability for the post.
- Technical and budget proposal (with an all-inclusive consultants’ fees) with clear methodological approach and basic work plan.
Presentation of requested documents
Technical and budget proposal
Please send any questions you may have to both the coordinating CMI–U4 Senior Advisers for this consultancy assignment:
Achiba Gargule firstname.lastname@example.org and
Aled Williams email@example.com
- Tacconi, L. and Williams, D.A., 2020. Corruption and anti-corruption in environmental and resource management. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 45, pp.305-329.
- For an extensive discussions of corruption within natural resource sectors and case studies providing policy-relevant analyses see Williams, A. and Le Billon, P. eds., 2017. Corruption, natural resources and development: From resource curse to political ecology. Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Hart, E., 2015. Building donors’ integrity systems: Background study on development practice. OECD/U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, p.45.
- Williams, A. 2014. Using Corruption Risk Assessments for REDD+: An Introduction for Practitioners. U4 Issue 2014:1.
- Council of Europe. 2019. Rationale and outline of a Corruption Risk Assessment methodology
- UNODC. 2020. State of integrity: A guide on conducting Corruption Risk Assessments in public organizations.
- Williams, D. A., and Dupuy, K. 2016 At the extremes: Corruption in natural resource management revisited (U4 Brief 2016:6).
- Zaum, D., Taxell, N., and Johnson, J. 2012. Mapping Evidence Gaps in Anti-Corruption: Assessing the State of the Operationally Relevant Evidence on Donors’ Actions and Approaches to Reducing Corruption
- DAC OECD and Corruption Task Team. 2009. Working towards More Effective Collective Donor Responses to Corruption
- Hart. p 10
- Mason, P. 2021. Reassessing donor performance in anti-corruption: Pathways to more effective practice (U4 Issue 2021:1).
- Williams and Dupuy. 2016.
- Villeneuve, J-P., Mugellini, G, and Heide, M. 2020 International anti-corruption initiatives: A classification of policy interventions,” European Journal on Criminal Policy and Research 26, no. 4: 431–55,
- Dutta, A. 2020. The Conservation-corruption conundrum: Understanding everyday relationships between rangers and Communities (U4 Brief 2020:15).
- Wathne, C. 2021. Understanding corruption and how to curb it: A synthesis of latest thinking.U4 Issue 2021:3.
- Belecky, M., Moreto, W. andParry-Jones, R. Corrupting conservation: Assessing how corruption impacts ranger work. Topic Brief, April 2021.
- Hart. Building Donors’ Integrity Systems.
Nash, R., 2020. A political ecology lens for addressing corruption in conservation and natural resource management. TNRC Introductory Overview.
Williams, A., 2014. Using Corruption Risk Assessments for REDD+
- To save time on a review of corruption in ERM sectors, the consultant is expected to provide a synthesis of the TNRC project literature review on the same subject and provide a typology of corruption risks in the ERM sectors.