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DCID contributes to USAID’s Agency Learning and Evidence Month

The Duke Center for International Development presented research on anti-corruption, offering a multisectoral approach to address regulatory bribery.

How can USAID work with host countries, interagency colleagues and other development actors to address systemic corruption through multisectoral approaches?

The Duke Center for International Development (DCID) presented research addressing this question during USAID’s second-annual Agency Learning and Evidence Month.

The month-long celebration of research, evaluation and learning provided a forum for USAID and its partners, global thought leaders and leading researchers to discuss how high-quality evidence can drive development and humanitarian impact.

More than 1,800 attendees joined from over 224 organizations and 106 countries to exchange evidence-driven approaches and resources related to global priorities in development and humanitarian assistance.

During DCID’s virtual session, “Do Better Managers Bribe Less? A Field Experiment on Management Training and Corruption in Vietnam,” DCID director Edmund Malesky presented the results of a multi-pronged study that culminated in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) funded by the USAID-Laser Pulse Initiative in Vietnam.

The session included:

  • Presenting survey data from close to 200,000 firms in 154 economies to demonstrate that a global negative relationship exists between bribe payments and both productivity and management quality, measured by the World Management Survey.
  • Exploring the causality of this relationship by discussing the results of a USAID-funded randomized evaluation of a firm level training intervention in Vietnam.
  • Presenting evidence that firm training on management and internal controls training led to dramatic reductions in both the scale and scope of corruption.
  • Discussing how these findings help guide scalable, private sector-driven interventions to improve firm efficiency and productivity as well as broader economic, environmental, and health outcomes.

The research study was implemented by DCID in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Development of National Economics University (ISD-NEU) in Vietnam, and the Sustainable Development for Business of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SDforB).

Watch the session recording.