TNRC Event Definitions matter: What do we mean when we talk about corruption in conservation, and what difference does it make?

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Targeting Natural Resource Corruption

Harnessing knowledge, generating evidence, and supporting innovative policy and practice for more effective anti-corruption programming

TNRC Learning Series
Anti-corruption insights for conservation and natural resource management

Definitions matter: What do we mean when we talk about corruption in conservation, and what difference does it make?

April 8, 2021

9:00am - 10:30am Washington, DC
2:00pm - 3:30pm Cambridge, UK
4:00pm - 5:30pm Nairobi, Kenya
8:00pm - 9:30pm Bangkok, Thailand

Remote Only

Watch the Recording

About the event

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What do we mean when we say corruption undermines sustainable management and conservation of natural resources? Are we all talking about the same thing? Does it matter? Corruption is usually defined in terms of individual actions that “abuse entrusted power for private gain,” but what do we miss when we focus on individual actions? In natural resource governance, other ways of defining corruption reflect more systemic approaches that highlight who exercises power over resources or is excluded, how formal processes and institutions may compete with informal power structures, and other characteristics of corruption that go beyond the sum of individual actions. In this Learning Series webinar, we will explore these different approaches to defining corruption, what differences they imply for anti-corruption strategies and tactics, and the possible trade-offs they represent for NRM and conservation practice.

Learning questions

1. How has corruption been defined in relation to renewable natural resource sectors?
2. How have understandings, definitions and indicators of corruption relevant to natural resources changed or evolved over time and space?
3. What are the main implications of the various definitions of corruption in terms of prioritization of policies and approaches for tackling natural resource corruption?
4. What lessons should natural resource management practitioners take away from discussions on corruption definitions and how might they apply these in their work?

About the speakers

Headshot of Aled Williams

Aled Williams, Senior Advisor, U4-CMI and Research Coordinator, Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (Presenter):
Aled Williams is Senior Program Advisor at the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre. Aled focuses on the uneven politics of natural resource-driven development, with a particular interest in issues of corruption, access, legitimation and control. He has a country focus on Indonesia and experience from assignments in Albania, Cambodia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Macedonia, Mozambique, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Vietnam, and Zambia. He is co-editor of the books: "Corruption, Grabbing and Development: Real World Challenges" and "Corruption, Natural Resources and Development: From Resource Curse to Political Ecology" He was previously Senior Research Coordinator at the global anti-graft NGO Transparency International based in Berlin. He is currently Research Coordinator for the five-year USAID-funded project Targeting Natural Resource Corruption, working with consortium partners WWF-US, George Mason University and TRAFFIC.

Headshot of Festus Boamah

Festus Boamah, University of Bayreuth (Panelist):

Dr. Festus Boamah obtained his Master’s and PhD degrees in Development Geography at the University of Bergen (Norway) and Bachelor’s Degree in Geography & Resource Development at the University of Ghana, Legon. Dr. Boamah’s earlier research focused on the Political Ecology of Biofuel ‘Land Grabbing’ in Ghana. His current post-doctoral research (Habilitation) at the University of Bayreuth focuses on Self-organization of Solar PV Electrification, Socio-Technical Systems and Energy Justice in Ghana and Kenya. The output of his academic research has appeared in Geoforum, Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Development & Change, Review of African Political Economy, Energy Research & Social Science, Politics and Governance (PaG), and Journal of International Development. He has published book chapters in ZedBooks and Edward Elgar Publishing. He recently co-edited the PaG themed Issue Politics and (Self-)Organisation of Electricity System Transitions in a Global North–South Perspective.

Headshot of Camila Gianella

Camila Gianella, Researcher, CMI (Panelist):
Camila Gianella received a PhD in Psychology from the University of Bergen. She holds a Msc from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and a degree on psychology from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, where she is currently the Executive Director of the Centre for Social Sciences Research CISEPA and assistant professor at the faculty of psychology. She is also a researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) and global fellow at the Centre on Law and Social Transformation, Bergen, Norway where she is has been part of projects, hereby; Targeting Natural resources Corruption, Elevating water rights to human rights: Has it strengthened marginalized peoples’ claim for water?, Abortion Rights lawfare in Latin America, Operationalizing a Rights-Based Approach to Health Service Delivery, Political determinants of sexual and reproductive health: Criminalisation health impacts and game changers and Litigating the Right to Health.

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Elizabeth Hart, Chief of Party, Targeting Natural Resource Corruption, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) (Moderator)
Liz Hart is Chief of Party for the Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project at WWF. Liz has more than twenty years of experience in governance and anti-corruption analysis and practice in the international development sphere. In addition to a 14-year career with USAID, she was formerly the director of the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre and an active consultant in governance, anti-corruption and development.

Image attribution: © / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus