Why do developing country anti-corruption commissions fail to deal with corruption? Understanding the three dilemmas of organisational development, performance expectation, and donor and government cycles
This article reviews aspects of the literature on Anti-Corruption Agencies or Commissions (ACC) and sets the context for its empirical research into five African countries, i.e. Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. It argues that ACCs are as likely to be affected by the same problems as any other public sector institution, but the approaches taken by donors and the consequential expectations on performance fail to recognise this. The article further argues that the differing cycles of donor and government activity also poses problems for that development. This has practitioner and policy relevance. With multilateral and bilateral donors still continuing to establish ACCs as the lead agency to address corruption, there is a need to address the future organisational development of existing ACCs as well as the lessons learnt from the performance of such ACCs to provide the continuity for new ACCs to be capable of dealing with corruption.