TAI Weekly

TAI Weekly|Under the Corruption's Grip

By TAI (Role at TAI)
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Check out a new Civil Society Debt Transparency and Accountability Checklist to facilitate CSO advocacy for improved transparency and accountability in public debt legislation at country level.

“Successful democracies breed their support”: Daron Acemoglu and research partners make the case in this new research that reinforces calls for democracy “to deliver.”

The Governance Action Hub offers four governance and political economy insights regarding Colombia’s energy transition (no surprise that there are competing views of what “justice” means in the context of the transition.)

Jesinta Kunda discusses tensions in Zambia between traditional authorities, communities, and the government regarding land allocation for investment projects, particularly in sectors like agriculture and mining.

Yeun Yeun Ang offers her compelling latest paper laying out a path toward adaptive political economy. 

Azerbaijan ecology minister Mukhtar Babayev, future president of the COP29 UN climate summit, urges recipient countries to have clear accounting and transparency in reporting progress on how they use climate finance.

Transparency advocate Dr. Gubad Ibadgohlu remains imprisoned in Azerbaijan. In response, the UNCAC Coalition has published an open letter signed by 240 organizations and individuals worldwide calling for his immediate and unconditional release.

Emily Manuel and Maria Karla Espinosa offer mid- to long-term recommendations to advance beneficial ownership transparency reforms within and beyond extractives in the Philippines.

Various African countries are developing strategies to increase the tax compliance of high net-worth individuals. Giovanni Occhiali, Jalia Kangave, and Hamza Ahmed Khan give preliminary insights into the challenges surrounding the taxation of such individuals in Nigeria.

TAI has been tracking all the debates and initiatives on tax and intersections with climate, but if you missed it, Devex have this recap piece. And the Guardian had this deep dive on the potential of taxing fossil fuel firms to generate climate finance.

Is transparency enough? Sidonie East looks to the effects of Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative implementation on accountability, corruption and trust in Zambia


Go check out on Apple or Spotify this podcast with Sylvia Tidey, a cultural anthropologist and Associate Professor at the University of Virginia. Tidey examined the continuation of civil service corruption in Indonesia in the aftermath of stringent anti-corruption measures meant to promote "good governance." 


CHANDLER FOUNDATION: Chandler Institute of Governance launches the 2024 Chandler Good Government Index, which ranks and measures government performance globally this Wednesday, 15th May. 

FORD FOUNDATION: The Natural Resource and Climate Change team has published its recent program evaluation undertaken by the Dala Institute. It offers fascinating reading. Stay tuned for their strategy update later this year. 

MACARTHUR FOUNDATION: Press Forward recently opened applications for its first Open Call. Small local US news outlets with budgets up to $1M can now apply for funding. 100 news organizations will receive close to $100,000 in funding for general operating support.


Read this Open Letter to the OECD DAC from the #ShiftThePower movement with an Urgent Call to End Discriminatory Funding Against Global South CSOs. Related analysis of DAC member aid flows reveals systemic imbalances in the distribution of Official development assistance.

A Bridgespan team looks at the transition from traditional donor-centric models towards more collaborative and trust-based approaches and ask, “Are they at odds with strategic philanthropy? Does unrestricted funding mean that funders add nothing beyond their checkbooks?”

NGOs and civic groups from closing spaces increasingly see the need to relocate some staff abroad to continue serving their communities at home. A new resource helps to navigate and comply with the legal framework as it applies to different types of workers in different jurisdictions

Casa Fund in Brazil releases data and reflections on support for human rights and environmental defenders, drawing on lessons from its own funding.  


Ann Applebaum argues that we are in a new war against authoritarian propaganda, whether coming from Russia, China, or the American far-right, that has a very different goal: to create fear, cynicism, nihilism, and apathy. She argues that we need to persuade people that civic engagement is important, that public debate matters, and that democracy has a future.


Corruption's Grip: From Global Real Estate to Natural Resource Exploitation

At TAI Weekly we frequently cover the expansive reach of corruption and the brave efforts to expose it around the globe. For example, an investigation exposes how Turkish businessman Erdal Aksoy's family-owned Vremax Properties Limited acquired a London residence linked to an Azerbaijani official's son. Aksoy's reported ties to Azerbaijan's political elite raise disconcerting questions about potential conflicts of interest and the blurring of lines between business and political influence.

Shifting focus to the lush Congolese forest, Alfred Ntumba reveals how illegal artisanal logging has expanded over the past decade. To evade detection, they often designate their wives or children as the owners of the timber. For those looking for possible policy responses, look no further than the final set of learning resources from the Targeting Natural Resource Corruption project.

More inspiration of what’s possible comes from the winners of the Accountability Lab’s HackCorruption competition in Asia - learn more about the work of such innovators as Integrity Eyes, Voices4Budget, Carbonitor, and Land Looters.

What of those who enable sanctions-busting? Kinga Redlowska, Zoe Reiter, and Tom Keatinge discuss the fight against kleptocracy and  how Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine has energised governments in their efforts to combat modern kleptocracy, while a new policy brief outlines the steps policymakers can take to "disable the enablers,” of sanctions on those associated to Russia’s war in Ukraine. In parallel, Martin Sandbu urges the G7 to adopt a "race to the top on openness about Russian state assets," arguing that democracies should embrace the transparency that authoritarians fear, as a means to combat corruption and illicit financial flows.


In their new book, Solidarity: The Past, Present, and Future of a World-Changing Idea, Leah Hunt-Hendrix and Astra Taylor argue that solidarity doesn’t just emerge spontaneously. Rather it’s the product of considerable effort, organizing, and a willingness to reimagine just about every facet of a social structure that rewards the few while sowing division among the many.




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