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UCL academics supporting developing countries to tackle corruption

By Sophie Vinter, on 19 February 2016

UCL academics helping developing countries to combat corruption have secured British Academy funding to support their research.

Professor Alena Ledeneva (School of Slavonic and East European Studies) and Dr Christian Schuster (Department of Political Science) are part of teams that recently secured grants from the Academy’s £4 million global anti-corruption research scheme.

Run in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID), the scheme funds projects that will identify new initiatives that can help developing countries tackle corruption and the negative impact it has on millions of people’s lives.

Professor Ledeneva is working with academics at the Basel Institute on Governance (Switzerland) and SOAS on a project proposing to emphasise the role that informality plays in fuelling corruption and stifling anti-corruption policies in East Africa.

Drawing on a global network of scholars, Dr Schuster is co-investigator on a project researching civil service reform and anti-corruption in developing countries. The initiative will obtain tools and evidence from eight countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, investigating the impact of civil service practices in key areas such as recruitment, dismissal and integrity management.

Their research will provide new evidence for use by DFID and its partners.

Lord Stern, President of the British Academy said: “Endemic corruption is an enormous international challenge that blights far too many countries and research such as this is one of the most worthwhile ways that the UK can offer practical support.”