Fighting corruption with communication in Afghanistan
Client: UNDP Afghanistan | Pillar: governance
Thematic Areas: Corruption, Governance
Services Provided: Research, Strategy Development
High instances of petty corruption during interactions between citizens and public servants, compromising the legitimacy of the government
70.6% of Afghans cite corruption as a major problem in their daily lives
26% of Afghans report having to pay a bribe in the past 12 months
Corruption is highly detrimental to the Afghan economy and national development
According to Integrity Watch Afghanistan, Afghans pay USD 2 billion each year in bribes to public servants in return for services; UNODC estimates this figure at two times higher
Lack of trust in reporting mechanisms and government efforts to combat corruption
Only 25% of Afghans agree that there has been some progress in reducing corruption in any public institution
We conducted formative research to gain insights into the social and behavioural drivers of petty corruption in the justice and security sectors and the drivers of corrupt behaviours in Afghanistan
We compiled and analysed our research findings in a Citizen Journey Mapping report and a Barrier Analysis report
We used our research findings to arrive at an SBC framework and workshopped the framework with key stakeholders
We developed a draft communications strategy based on the SBC framework and stakeholder insights to promote positive behaviours to combat corruption
We discussed the draft strategy and outreach activities with Afghans to ensure practicality and effectiveness
We provided a final communications strategy to UNDP, including a multi-year action plan and M&E framework.
Social and behavioural change INSIGHTS
Afghans believe that corruption is against their religion, morals and values; despite this they are able to morally and practically justify corrupt actions.
“Yeah there are some types of bribe which are acceptable to us with paying less money. But totally giving bribe is a bad action and it is forbidden in our religion Islam.”
Afghans have low awareness of correct service procedures and reporting mechanisms.
“When we don’t have information about the process of the work, we will pay bribe.”
Afghans face retribution if they chose to report corruption.
“If they know that reporting corruption won’t damage them and their family, they should go report corruption.”
Busy, crowded, chaotic nature of offices contributes significantly to opportunities for corruption.
“I want to go to Iran and was supposed to get a marriage certificate, so when I went there it was so crowded and I paid them to do the process sooner.”
There are currently no social sanctions for paying bribes.
*All quotations are from focus group discussions conducted by MAGENTA in Afghanistan.
A comprehensive SBC communications strategy and messaging campaign design
Engaging citizens to take ownership and responsibility for corruption in their communities
Community and national level activities to engage citizens and service providers by encouraging positive behaviours regarding participation in and reporting of corruption
Developing mechanisms for disseminating information about proper legal service procedures
Human-centered design guidelines and safe to fail activity recommendations