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DCID research presented during USAID DRG Learning Forum

Edmund Malesky discussed DCID's research on the dynamics of political will and its role in anti-corruption efforts with an audience of democracy, human rights and governance (DRG) practitioners.

How can corruption be addressed in environments with low political will?

In a project for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Center of Excellence on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance (the DRG Center), a team of Duke Center for International Development (DCID) researchers sought to better understand the dynamics of political will and its role in anti-corruption efforts.

USAID asked the team to address: 1) How should USAID foster anti-corruption in contexts where political will is weak? and 2) How should USAID programming to counter corruption account for and influence political will, particularly where it is weak?

Edmund Malesky, professor of political economy and director of DCID, presented an overview of the team’s research trajectory and findings during the 2024 USAID DRG Learning Forum.

The study included reviewing three decades of academic and practitioner publications on political will and anti-corruption; scoring 10 lauded interventions to identify four that had the greatest compatibility with sectoral anti-corruption programming in low political-will settings; and performing case studies of the implementation of the four highest-ranked interventions.

View the event recording.

Learn more about the project.