Public sector corruption is a key barrier to effective service delivery and an impediment to economic growth and development. This report provides findings from a systematic review on the effectiveness of micro-level anti-corruption strategies implemented in developing countries. Our exclusion criteria were applied to nearly 6,300 papers and resulted in the inclusion of 14 studies in our synthesis of results. We employed the ‘narrative synthesis approach’ to synthesise data extracted from the included studies. The review focuses on the distinction between interventions that utilised monitoring and incentives mechanisms and interventions that changed the underlying rules of the system. We find convincing evidence that monitoring and incentive-based interventions (both financial and non-financial) have the potential to reduce corruption, at least in the short term. We also find more-limited evidence that decentralisation, a strategy that changes the rules, has the potential to reduce corruption in certain settings. Strategies that change the rules are thought to be more sustainable in the long term, but additional research is needed to better understand the long-term effects of this and monitoring and incentives interventions. The review concludes with several policy recommendations and highlights pertinent areas for further research.
There is a protocol for this systematic review
Hanna, R.; Bishop, S.; Nadel, S.; Scheffler, G.; Durlacher, K. The Effectiveness of Anti-Corruption Policy. What has worked, what hasn&#8217;t, and what we don&#8217;t know. EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, London, UK (2011) 121 pp. ISBN 978-1-907345-14-2