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Civil service reform and anti-corruption in developing countries: Tools and evidence from eight countries in four developing regions

University of Nottingham

Project Website

For details of the ongoing progress of this award please check theĀ Civil service reform and anti-corruption in developing countries: Tools and evidence from eight countries in four developing regions project blog.

Civil service reform is a central component of anti-corruption aid. Yet, reformers lack robust evidence and flexible instruments to gauge the effectiveness of distinct civil service designs in curbing corruption in developing countries. In part as a result, reforms overwhelmingly fail. By examining the impact of civil service practices in key areas - recruitment, dismissal, pay, training and integrity management - on corruption, clientelism and bureaucratic performance, this project will provide both new evidence and a practical toolbox for future use by DFID and its partners.

Drawing on a global network of scholars and practitioners, the project will combine comparable survey experiments with public servants and qualitative case studies in 8 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and Eastern Europe. Through empirical, methodological and theoretical innovations, this global research will provide the most robust and nuanced actionable policy recommendations for the design of civil service systems to reduce corruption in developing countries to-date.

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