Assistant Researcher

Name of Company/Organization: 
Location for Performance: 
All Counties
Deadline to Apply: 
Wed, 04/30/2014
Description of Job: 
II. Background Corruption negatively impacts a country’s development and affects delivery of public services especially to vulnerable groups in society. Despite efforts to curb corruption the problem has become endemic in most sub-Saharan countries. West Africa is no exception. According to Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perception Index, out of the 176 countries and territories surveyed, only four West African countries make it into the hundred least corrupt countries. These are Cape Verde (39), Ghana (64), Benin and Senegal (both at 94). In Benin, Corruption is present in the public and private sectors of the country. Five former ministers face trial for corruption before the High Court. In Senegal, Karim Wade, the son of former Senegalese president Abdoulaye Wade, is facing charges for illegal enrichment. In Guinea Documents obtained by U.S. authorities investigating mining corruption show Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz's mining company promised to pay millions of dollars in Africa to win valuable mining concessions. Recent studies show that Guinean traders pay up to about 500 billion Guinean francs in bribes per year. In Sierra Leone, the country’s 29 top health officials found themselves indicted by the anticorruption agency on charges of misappropriating a half-million dollars in grants from a global vaccine provider, GAVI Alliance. In Mali the current crisis can be linked to frustration over corruption that has undermined the state’s ability to ensure national security. Despite efforts to establish anti-corruption institutions and adopt laws aimed at curbing corruption, the problem persists and seems to be worsening. In 2003, the African Union adopted the Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption, in recognition of the negative effect of corruption on the economic and social development of the African region. The Convention entered into force in 2006 and its first objective is to “Promote and strengthen the development in Africa by each State Party, of mechanisms required to prevent, detect, punish and eradicate corruption and related offences in the public and private sectors” (Art 2(1)). The African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance that was adopted in 2007 and came into force in 2012, addresses the effects of corruption in relation to democratic governance, rule of law and free and fair elections. The AU Convention on Corruption defines a range of offences related to corruption (Art 4), and Article 5 on “legislative and other measures”, requires states parties to “Establish, maintain and strengthen independent national anticorruption authorities or agencies”. Other measures include strengthening of accounting systems, especially in the public sector; protection of witnesses and informants in corruption cases; ensuring systems that allow corruption to be reported; and public education on corruption. In 2001 the Economic Community of West African States adopted an anti-corruption treaty: the Protocol on the Fight against Corruption. The ECOWAS Protocol requires states to establish “specialised anti-corruption agencies with the requisite independence and capacity that will ensure that their staff receive adequate training and financial resources for the accomplishment of their tasks” (Art5(h));. It also echoes the specific requirement on states parties to the UN Convention Against Corruption, adopted in 2003, that “the body or bodies” created to prevent corruption should have “the necessary independence, in accordance with the fundamental principles of its legal system, to enable the body or bodies to carry out its or their functions effectively and free from any undue influence. The necessary material resources and specialized staff, as well as the training that such staff may require to carry out their functions, should be provided.” In a different article, the AU Convention does provide that the “national authorities or agencies” responsible for acting against corruption offences “shall be allowed the necessary independence and autonomy, to be able to carry out their duties effectively” (Art 20(4)). In general, the guiding principles for anti-corruption agencies or mechanisms should be in line with those applied to the operations of national human rights commissions, election commissions and similar independent bodies. The AU Convention establishes an Advisory Board on Corruption within the African Union, whose first members were appointed in 2011. The Advisory Board is required, among other things, to build partnerships with other governmental and non-governmental institutions to facilitate dialogue in the fight against corruption. Even before the adoption of the AU and ECOWAS Conventions, a large number of West African countries had adopted anti-corruption laws that established dedicated anti-corruption agencies. Some of these anti-corruption efforts have yielded positive results in the form of prosecutions of corrupt officials, recovery of stolen assets, increased public awareness, and bolstered anti-corruption legislation However, there is still widespread skepticism across the region of the effectiveness of these institutions, with many critics pointing to an ongoing disparity between governments' anti-corruption rhetoric and the impunity enjoyed by the public officials. Anti-corruption agencies often lack independence from the executive and are rarely equipped with a broad enough mandate, prosecutorial powers or sufficient resources with which to tackle the scale and scope of systemic corruption. Part of the problem may lie in the fact that many anti-corruption agencies have been established to appease international donors, rather than as a serious bid to tackle corruption of which their governments are often the main beneficiaries. This is particularly true of countries highly dependent on aid, with anti-corruption requirements often included as central aid conditionalities. Other reasons cited for the failures of anti-corruption agencies include lack of political will, absence of an over-all national strategy, inadequate legal framework and resources, limited independence and public trust, lack of an enabling climate and necessary know-how, and lack of basic integrity. However, there is little empirical research that provides real evidence for these theories. This comparative study aims to investigate in greater depth the reasons for the successes and failures of dedicated anti-corruption agencies or mechanisms in Africa, with a view to strengthening anti-corruption efforts on the continent. Recommendations arising from the study are expected to deal with issues such as the relevance of anti-corruption bodies, the roles and necessary means and preconditions for their performance and the possible needs for alternative and/or complementary measures/mechanisms (such as could be directed at improving the performance of anti-corruption agencies, or they could indicate that anti-corruption agencies are not the most useful system for anti-corruption work, and efforts should rather be focused on other institutions, including the criminal justice system, banking or accounting standards etc. III. Structure of country chapters Each country chapter will consist of a 25-30 page assessment of the anti-corruption body or bodies in that country, to include: 1. A summary of the principal findings and recommendations, with recommendations directed both at the national and regional level considering establishing an anti-corruption body and international organizations promoting or monitoring their work 2. A short background section on the context of corruption in the country, including any information on its extent, and reforms aimed at reducing corruption. With a section on the legislation used by the body (is the local legislation harmonized with the Conventions?) to fight against corruption. 3. An outline of the legal framework and institutional arrangements established at national level for the anti-corruption body (or bodies), including a. Constitutional or legal guarantees of independence for the body b. The process for nominating its head and other members (is there an independent board, or just a chief executive?) their required qualifications, term of office etc c. The process for removing the head and other members of the anti-corruption body d. the extent of its powers and responsibilities, including i. to prevent, report and/or sanction corruption ii. to prosecute offences in its own name iii. the institutions over which it has jurisdiction (public sector, private sector etc) e. its resources, including staffing, finances and infrastructure, and the sources of its funds (ministry of finance, development partners) f. the requirements for it to report on its activities: how often, and to whom does it report; g. the implementation of the recommendations contained in its reports; h. its structural relationship with other national (ECOWAS national implementing body), regional (i.e. GIABA) and continental (ABC) supervisory mechanisms i. The number of cases investigated, and results achieved (ie summary of information from annual reports and media coverage) (NB. There is no need to include in each country chapter a description of the provisions of African and international treaties relating to anti-corruption mechanisms, which will be provided as a single chapter for all countries included in the research.) 4. An analysis of the principal strengths and weaknesses of the anti-corruption body, including [10-15 pages total]: a. extent to which it has had backing from the head of government and other relevant political actors b. its independence c. its status and powers, as exercised in practice d. the effectiveness of systems for reporting cases to the body (anonymous telephone hotlines etc) e. its relations with other national state bodies, including the prosecution service f. is relations with non-state bodies, including development partners, political parties, civil society, media and the private sector g. its relations with continental or international anti-corruption structures (AU, ECOWAS, UN with special focus on the West Africa Network of Anti-Corruption agencies (NACIWA) etc) h. the reasons for its successes or failures i. A brief history of the activities of the anti-corruption body since it was established, including j. The reasons for which it came to be established (eg internal demand or external imposition by development partners) k. A brief outline of other relevant laws (and/or campaigns to have them introduced) including l. Access to information law m. Whistleblower protection n. Code of Conduct Two case studies of major investigations undertaken by the anti-corruption body, ideally including one successful and one unsuccessful, in terms of convictions obtained or money recovered.
Description of Company/Organization: 
I. Introduction The Africa Regional Office (AfRO) in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation for West Africa (OSIWA) embarked on studies analyzing the role and impact of the anti-corruption bodies in a six countries in West Africa namely: Benin, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. Based on the terms of references stipulated below, a country Researcher has been hired to produce the reports on Sierra Leone and Liberia. We are currently looking for an Assistant Researcher to work with the country Researcher and produce the country chapter analyzing the mechanisms, processes and procedures of the Liberia Anti-corruption Commission (LACC) and its mandate to strengthening anti-corruption efforts in Liberia. The Assistant Researcher will collaborate with the country Researcher and assist him/her with the following: A. Data collection and drafting: - Support in the collection and review of national, regional and international documentation - Identification and set up appointments with key stakeholders (State and Non state actors) B Logistics support for the research - Support on the organization of Focal group discussions - Compilation of interviews notes and rapporteur notes C. Validation workshop and Launch of the report - In collaboration with OSIWA Liberia country office, the local researcher will support and participate in the validation workshop of the country chapter - Work on the finalization of the document validated - Support on the organization of the official launch ceremony D. Structure of final report - Overview of findings and recommendations from the country studies, - Relevant regional, African and international standards - Country chapters (as for EMBs) - Chapter on NACIWA [and role of ECOWAS?]