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Impact review - Facts and figures about grand corruption: what works and what doesn’t

Application Closing Date - November 2017

Job Start Date - November 2017

Duration - November 2017 – 30th June 2018

Location - Remote and field visits to Central America & Europe

1. Background

Transparency International (TI) is the global civil society movement leading the fight against corruption. Through more than 100 National Chapters worldwide, and an International Secretariat in Berlin, Germany, TI raises awareness about the devastating impact of corruption and works with partners in government, the private sector and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to tackle it.

The TI Movement is comprised of nearly 100 National Chapters (Chapters), approximately 30 Individual Members (IMs) and an International Secretariat with both staff and volunteer Senior Advisers. The Chapters are all independent civil society organisations registered in their own countries and internationally affiliated with TI.

National Chapters have their own Boards and membership structures that set their own agendas in accordance with local contexts. TI international governance structure includes an International Board and an Advisory Council that serves the Movement overall. Collectively, these diverse parts of our Movement are bound together in a commitment to a common vision, mission, values and guiding principles.

Transparency International is committed to strong accountability, effectiveness and learning. Hence, and over the next 4 years the Secretariat will coordinate the implementation of impact reviews. These will focus on assumptions that tend to inform our anti-corruption work.  

This guidance is intended to inform a competitive tender for the implementation of the 2nd impact review that will focus on the assumption that facts and images about grand corruption – shared for example via newspapers, social media, tv or billboards – cause outrage in citizens which leads to action.

The research is part of a project that is funded by the European Union (EU) and builds on a strategic priority by TI-S, namely to conduct a number of ‘impact reviews’ alongside its regular monitoring and evaluation work. These impact reviews, as defined by TI-S, are meant to rigorously test whether and to what degree assumptions made by TI hold true across a number of anti-corruption interventions.

They seek to shed light on fundamental assumptions of the logic of anti-corruption work, rather than evaluate the success of particular projects. TI-S hopes to gain a greater understanding of anti-corruption strategies and approaches, inform strategic decision-making, better advocate for particular issues, enhance its value-for-money narrative, and strengthen its fundraising ability

2. Introduction

Facts and images about grand corruption – shared for example via newspapers, social media, tv or billboards – can cause outrage in citizens which potentially leads to action. But which messages best achieve this goal, and when can information on grand corruption rather lead to disillusionment, fatigue and disappointment on the side of the citizens?

Research on what works and doesn’t work in messaging on grand corruption is still in its infancy and lacks detailed, cross-country analysis. Studies that do exist in this field, as well as supporting evidence looking at corruption more generally and at human rights messaging, suggests that it is likely that messages focussing on personal stories or framed in terms of actual penal consequences of grand corruption and realistic in terms of action to be taken and success that can be achieved, are likely to be the most successful. These are likely to be more successful if they are subject to rigorous focus group testing, both on message and image, with messages targeted to address the different audiences of the campaign. The literature also appears to suggest that messaging that overly focusses on awareness raising on the problem of grand corruption – particularly in non-OECD countries – and that fails to take into account the likely constraints and context the local population feels, are more likely to prevent people from acting than encouraging them to do so.

Research that exists is limited to a few authors and is often the result of country studies, which limits the lessons that can be drawn on a more universal level. Research focussing on grand corruption – defined par TI’s plain language guide as “acts committed at a high level of government that distort policies or the central functioning of the state, enabling leaders to benefit at the expense of the public good” - is missing. There is also a lack more generally of understanding how effective messages are in inspiring action.


The study could explore various variables to assess the effectiveness of messaging on grand corruption including:

3. The Assignment

The assignment consists in testing the assumption according to which facts and images about grand corruption – shared for example via newspapers, social media, tv or billboards – cause outrage in citizens which leads to action (for example sign a petition, participate in a demonstration, vote out politicians, report corruption, or any other forms of civic action).

This is likely to have wide-ranging implications in that it may change considerably the way Transparency International designs and implements many of its public campaigns.

The overall methodology is to be suggested by the applicants in their submissions to the present tender and, after selection, further worked on with Transparency International’s MEL and Research teams.

The work is to be divided into two stages:

There are a number of elements that must inform the work, specifically in STAGE II:

In terms of concrete outputs, the evaluator or team is expected to deliver the following:

4. working and Reporting Arrangements

The evaluator or team is expected to work very closely with the MEL and Research teams, and to report to Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Coordinator and to the Knowledge and Policy Manager. There will be check-in meetings throughout the process, some of which face-to-face. Members of the MEL unit may also be involved in the field visits and data collection process. The MEL team will ensure the organisation of all the logistics associated to this review.

5. Submission elements and Timeframe

In the submission the evaluator or team must include:

Please submit all required documents, as well as questions, to impact@transparency.org  as soon as you can. We will review submissions in an ongoing way as they come in.

The review is planned to start in November 2017 and end by the 30th June 2018, and we estimate it would last no more than 30 to 35 working days.

Unfortunately and due to the high volume of applications TI-S does not have the capacity to respond to candidates that are not selected for interviewing. If you do not hear from us you may safely assume that your application was considered but not selected.


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From our secretariat in Berlin and in more than 100 national chapters, Transparency International seeks professionals and volunteers with exceptional talent and commitment to join our efforts and make a contribution to a better world.


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