A great little read just published by the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center is, “The anatomy of a failed anti-corruption project: A case study from Nepal”, prepared for U4 by Narayan Manandhar. Why do I like this particular “practice insight?” For once, we get an honest, unfiltered description of an anti-corruption effort gone wrong, not right.
For those that don’t get the regular newsletter from the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Center, you should sign up. U4 puts out some of the most current analysis of ongoing anti-corruption work globally, and it tends to offer an insightful and evenhanded take on what works and what doesn’t in the good governance/anti-corruption universe.
The most recent U4 publication reminds us there’s as much to be learned from failed projects as successful ones. From the introduction to Manadhar’s piece:
In 2004 and 2005, the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI) implemented the first anti-corruption project involving the private sector in Nepal. Despite the novelty of a supply-side intervention, however, the effort has not managed to survive the termination of DFID funding. This U4 Practice Insight explores how local ownership, through a combination of actions, inactions, and broader political factors, can dissipate at different stages of the project cycle. Since donor support ended, not a single anti-corruption activity has been continued by the FNCCI.
Worth the twenty-minute read, particularly for those who believe “supply side” interventions are a magic anti-corruption silver bullet.
— Nathaniel Heller