U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Are there any best practices where corruption was countered through triggering behavioural change in local actors and, if yes, how exactly? Furthermore, are there any research results, which indicate what approach should be taken in the future to achieve anti-corruption through behavioural changes?


  1. Background: understanding corrupt behaviour and “behavioural change”
  2. Behavioural practices and approaches against corruption
  3. Assessment of behavioural approaches against corruption
  4. References


Behavioural change approaches have increasingly gained ground in policymaking as they aim to influence how people behave and make decisions. In anti-corruption policies, these approaches contribute to understanding how people decide to act towards and engage in corruption. That requires first an understanding of the psychology of corruption, and second a holistic approach to influence both the mind and the environment in which the individual makes decisions.

Studies show that the cost-benefit calculations of engaging in corruption or not are not only based on logic. Often, they are influenced by mental shortcuts, false intuitions, how individuals process and organise information, emotions and social norms. A behavioural approach against corruption is based on an understanding of corruption, and it takes into account communication and social aspects. Behavioural practices can take several forms, such as information campaigns, collective deliberations, promotion of intrinsic motivation and civic engagement, among others.


Nieves Zúñiga


Mahmoud Farag, Marie Chêne and David Jackson




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