Enhancing anti-corruption performance of law enforcement institutions
In February 2012, the Department for International Development (DFID) launched its Strengthening Tanzania’s Anti-Corruption Action (STACA) programme. This is a 4,5-year, £11 million programme to reduce the impact of corruption on the poor through more active implementation of anti-corruption measures. The U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre in collaboration with Tanzania’s Research for Poverty Alleviation (REPOA) conducted an independent evaluation of the programme in late 2015. The evaluators found that STACA effectively reached key performance indicators (such as an increase in conviction rates), but that it has not yet helped to improve criminal case processing between different law enforcement institutions – its main goal.
The evaluation was focused on measures to enhance the anti-corruption performance of Tanzania’s law enforcement institutions. It drew on six case studies of specific activities led by the National Audit Office, the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau, the Director of Public Prosecution, The Financial Intelligence Unit, the Police, and the Judiciary.
The findings and recommendations can help to understand how anti-corruption programming works. The evaluators identified problems related to the development of effective theories of change (ToC)s – the link between activities and goals, and the assumptions about feasibility and timeframes – and the importance of monitoring and evaluation(M&E)frameworks for assessing success.
“the components of the programme that were evaluated lost focus over time and drifted towards a more traditional capacity building programme”
Actors who lead anti-corruption programming should guarantee follow-through not only at the implementation-level, but also in focusing activities clearly on achieving programme goals. There is a risk that programme implementation settles on a ‘business as usual’ mentality. A key finding of the evaluation was that:
"there was a tension between the original vision of a programme focussed on overcoming bottlenecks in the law enforcement chain supported by DFID, and the vision that later emerged predominantly amongst government actors which viewed STACA more as a conventional programme to build capacity in the law enforcement sector."
The most effective activities were those that closely followed the programme’s original vision, such as joint trainings, fostering collaboration and trust between law enforcement institutions.
Further, STACA’s ToC underestimated how difficult and slow it can be to change the way law enforcement institutions collaborate with each other. Beyond much needed organisational capacity and political will, the enforcement of anti-corruption laws requires trust, incentives for collaboration, and changes in practices, procedures, and even laws. A clear understanding of what is actually feasible within well-defined time frames should be an essential part of anti-corruption programming.
“Linear progression and quick wins are not possible in many complex programmes”
The evaluation also highlights the difficulty of assessing the success of ambitious programmes when they have been implemented for relatively short periods, and when proper baselines and comprehensive data are limited or even absent.
The evaluation identifies a series of specific recommendations for similar anti-corruption programmes:
- Embed a central, independent unit to systematically collect, collate and make data from the implementing agencies accessible.
- Include a M&E team in the management structure.
- From the programme outset, clearly define success together with the key programme partners.
- Support local research institutions in producing reliable external statistics.
- Spend enough time on problem diagnostics and consulting partners about the ToC and preconditions for mutual success.
- Allow a longer implementation phase.
- Focus on case-flow and removing the key bottlenecks in the law enforcement value chain.
- Bring in more technical experts.
- Redesign the programme logic to acknowledge the fact that strengthening public accountability most often requires both state and civil society involvement.
U4 Issue paper. Johnsøn, J. 2014. Cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analysis of governance and anti-corruption activities.
U4 Issue paper. Johnsøn, J. 2012. Theories of change in anti-corruption work: A tool for programme design and evaluation.
U4 Expert Answer. Lindner, M. 2014. Overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Tanzania.