3ie Brief No. 17
Political corruption is the abuse of public office for illegitimate private gain, and takes many forms. Election fraud, bribery and embezzlement of funds, kickbacks in procurement, nepotism and cronyism and sale of government property for private gain all fit under this umbrella.
Anti-corruption interventions such as voter mobilisation campaigns and public disclosure of information interventions, in particular, are more successful in keeping corruption in check when votes are at stake. However, local power dynamics and people’s perceptions of corruption influence how actively citizens engage in these programmes.
Government support for anti-corruption interventions also plays a crucial role in determining the success of the programme. But there is no evidence yet to show the effectiveness of these programmes in reducing corruption over the long term.