Curbing Corruption

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Better techniques for front-line corruption reformers

The guidance and research contained in CurbingCorruption  is founded on two insights. First, that preventing and reducing corruption is a different mindset from protesting against the injustices of corruption or of prosecuting corruption, requiring different strategies and the engagement of the professional organisations within each sector. And, second, that fixing, reducing or preventing corruption requires detailed disaggregation of corruption into the component issues.

I founded CurbingCorruption in 2017, collaborating with Professor Paul Heywood. This was after my time as an Independent Anti-Corruption Commissioner in Afghanistan, when I had been struck by the need of Ministers and officials for usable techniques that would enable them to make at least some progress against corruption in their Ministries, and the lack of such guidance.

Web-links last accessed at: April 20, 2021

Papers & Reports

Pyman, Mark and Heywood, Paul 2020 The Sector Focus and Reformulation Approach (SFRA) enabling politicians, leaders and managers to formulate practical strategies for corruption reduction. Accessed April 20, 2021. In CurbingCorruption, December 2020, here: Also available on the ACE/Global Integrity website, here:

Heywood, Paul and Pyman, Mark 2020 Rethinking Corruption reform: Strategy, scale and substance. In CurbingCorruption, December 2020, here: Also available on the ACE/Global Integrity website, herhere:

Pyman, Mark 2020  Redefining sectors: a more focussed approach to tackling corruption. In Graycar, Adam (ed) Handbook on Corruption, Ethics and Integrity in Public Administration, Edward Elgar. Accessed April 20, 2021 at

Pyman, Mark 2020 Tackling Defence Corruption: History of a ‘Whole Sector’ Approach. A working paper. Available here

Pyman, Mark, Eastwood S, Hungerford J and Elliott J 2018  Analysing the anti-corruption approaches of the 26 top-ranked countries: an opportunity for a new generation of strategies. Accessed April 20, 2021.

Bennett, Helena and Pyman M 2018  Corruption in Iran. Experience, perception and reform efforts – a literature review. Published at CurbingCorruption.Accessed April 20, 2021.

Pyman, Mark 2017  Addressing Corruption in Military Institutions, Public Integrity, 19(5), 513-528, DOI: 10.1080/10999922.2017.1285267. Accessed April 20, 2021.     See Pdf here

Pyman, Mark, Eastwood S, Hungerford J, and Elliott J 2017  Research comparing 41 national anti-corruption strategies. Insights and guidance for leaders. Accessed April 20, 2021.

Mustafa, Saad, Bock T and Pyman M 2016  Fighting corruption in conflict areas, Chapter 14 in Lucius and Rietjens (ed) ‘Effective civil-military integration in peace operations’, Springer International Publishing,, Switzerland. Available at


Pyman, Mark and Heywood, P 2021 SFRA: A mental model for front-line reformers. June 18, 2021. Corruption in Fragile States Blog, CJL program, The Fletcher School, Tufts University.

Pyman, Mark 2020  International experience shows that achieving high police standards with good police morale is possible, but also strewn with failures. Curbing Corruption Trusted Policing Blog, June 15, 2020.

Nygren, Birgitta and Pyman, M 2020  Where are the voices of telecoms companies on anti-corruption? FCPA Blog March 23, 2020.

Pyman, Mark 2019  From Maersk, AEC, and Shell, inspiring stories about changing corporate behaviour. The FCPA blog, 23 July, 2019. Accessed April 20, 2021.

Pyman, Mark 2019  Broad Anti-Corruption Programs Are the Wrong Approach. Corruption in Fragile States Blog, Fletcher School, Tufts University. Accessed 23 Sept 2019 at

Pyman, Mark and Boamah F 2019  Usain Bolt meters: reform successes in the electricity sector can go fast, but only the failures are reported. Global Integrity Blog. Accessed April 20, 2021.

Pyman, Mark 2018  More anti-corruption leadership from business, please. FCPA Blog July 31, 2018.

Pyman, Mark 2018 Tackling Health Sector Corruption—Five Lessons from Afghanistan. Global Anti-Corruption Blog March 29, 2018.

Pyman, Mark 2018  We need to talk about donors. Global Anti-Corruption Blog, January 11th, 2018.

Pyman, Mark 2017  A helpful response to unhelpful research. Blog Henry J Leir Institute, Tufts University, April 21, 2017. Accessed April 20, 2021.

Pyman, Mark 2017  The Unhelpful Nature of Anti-Corruption Research, As Seen by People Trying to Develop Solutions. Blog Henry J Leir Institute, Tufts University, Jan 24, 2017.   Accessed April 20, 2021.

Presentations, Speeches & Interviews

Winning the war against maritime corruption. Interview with Lee Kok Leong of Maritime Fairtrade, February 25, 2019.

New horizons in Anti-Corruption 2019. 8th Anti-Money Laundering Forum, London October 17-18, 2019.

Changing corporate behaviour requires new skills and a different focus 2019. IBA Anti-Corruption conference, Paris, June 2019. 190623 Pyman IBA conference speech 2019 ChangingCorporate Behaviour

Curbing corruption sector by sector. Slide presentation at the seminar ‘Thinking and Working Politically’, Dec 2019, Washington DC.  191206 Pyman Curbing corruption on a sector basis TWP seminar 2019

Corruption reform in the health and water sectors. Invited talk at the World Bank, Washington DC, Dec 2019. 191204 Curbing corruption in the Health and Water Sectors at World Bank 2019

Lessons from analysing National Anti-Corruption Strategies 2018. Speech at the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) Copenhagen, October 2018. 201012 IACC 2018 Copenhagen. Lessons from analysing National Anti-Corruption strategies

International Corruption Hunters Alliance. 2018 Conference Report, Copenhagen,  October 2018.

Anti-Corruption and Zero Tolerance 2008. Keynote speech to the European Busines Ethics Forum (EBEF), January 2008. 201012 Pyman EBEF speech 2008 Anti-corruption policies and zero tolerance

Contributions to commissioned reports

Evaluation of Norway’s Anti-Corruption Efforts as part of its Development Policy and Assistance: The Health Sector 2020. Accessed April 20, 2021. Thematic Case Study: Health 2020. Annex 5.1 of the Study by NGC for Norwegian MFA, July 2020

Evaluation of Norway’s Anti-Corruption Efforts as part of its Development Policy and Assistance: Climate and Forestry 2020. Accessed April 20, 2021.Thematic Sector Case Study Annex 5.3 Climate and Forestry, July 2020


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