Grounded in rigorous evidence and field work, LTRC is a global initiative from the Brookings Institution and Results for Development (R4D) advancing effective practices for reducing corruption along the natural resource value chain.
Due to widespread corruption and misuse of public resources, revenues generated from natural resource extraction do not always translate into much-needed investments in sectors such as health, education, or nutrition in low- and middle-income countries. Leveraging Transparency to Reduce Corruption (LTRC) is a joint initiative from the Brookings Institution’s Governance program and Results for Development’s Accountability and Citizen Engagement (ACE) practice that brokers knowledge, builds platforms for and supports stakeholder collaboration and platforms, and consolidates and disseminates learning. Our work seeks to advance locally designed, evidence-informed interventions and multistakeholder strategies that complement existing transparency, accountability, and participatory (TAP) efforts along the natural resource value chain. We support the efforts of anti-corruption and governance champions who seek to harness natural resource wealth toward inclusive and sustainable human development.
Corruption, and particularly state capture – i.e., the systemic corruption that afflicts the shaping of the rules of the game or a nation’s laws, regulations, and policies – is among the most profound challenges we face globally. Corruption diminishes citizen confidence in government and public institutions, weakens economies, threatens sustainable development, and ultimately reduces quality of life for billions of people around the world.
Among the tools that have been developed to address corruption in recent decades are initiatives that strengthen TAP. Research has shown that the effectiveness of TAP approaches is mixed and inconclusive. In our LTRC foundational paper, however, we found that TAP approaches work better when designed as strategies that:
- Consider TAP interventions that are complementary to previous or ongoing efforts
- Actively learn from previous experiences
- Consider five context dimensions (capture, trust and conflict, civic space and media freedom, rule of law, and government effectiveness and capacity) from the design stage
We found that a more comprehensive approach is needed to drive broader, more inclusive, and sustainable anti-corruption and development outcomes. We call this approach “TAP-Plus”. This systems approach to the fight against corruption requires effective and realistic collective action that recognizes the need to go beyond purely technical fixes and is able to coordinate a concerted effort.
LTRC’s mission is to complement and strengthen the existing TAP efforts of good governance and anti-corruption champions in the natural resource space through knowledge brokerage, collaborative platforms, and piloting of solutions co-developed with local stakeholders. LTRC uses the TAP-Plus framework to understand the root of existing challenges and to co-design multi-pronged strategies that can overcome them.
LTRC supports change agents at the global level and country level in building favorable environments for effective governance reform and anti-corruption efforts. Consistent with this, LTRC works to:
- Promote new multistakeholder coalitions for change in each country where we work and foster access to evidence and information exchange between stakeholders (i.e., knowledge brokerage).
- Open opportunities for a closer collaboration between international and local actors.
- Tackle the centrality of politics, power dynamics, and capture in overcoming corruption risks in our research and the policy debates we support.
- Undertake and promote research that fills knowledge gaps in support of stronger governance systems, including protecting civic space, overcoming lack of trust between stakeholders, building improved technical capacity, promoting better use of data, and preventing abuse and conflict.
- Lead and partner in global efforts to build knowledge around emerging questions that will mark the future of the field, such as how to build better governance around the energy transition.
Our Country Work
We provide knowledge and facilitate information exchange to support current local priorities, with an eye on fostering the sustainability of change.
In each country where we work, LTRC first engages stakeholders involved in natural resource governance in a co-creation process. This process uses the TAP-Plus framework to reflect on common goals of stakeholders, challenges in the pursuit of those goals, the root causes of those challenges, and possible solutions. This forms the basis of a multistakeholder strategy that considers the need for broad coalitions in the country.
We then undertake research that fills identified knowledge gaps or builds a proof of concept for the solutions explored during the co-creation process. To build a proof of concept, we collect evidence to assess which solutions explored during the co-creation process are likely going to work within the targeted context. The insights from that research are widely disseminated and discussed, with a focus on informing policy and promoting systemic change.
However, we understand that our efforts cannot end there. Corrupt behavior is pervasive and adaptable. To this end, LTRC works to plant the seeds for (or supports existing) regular, inclusive dialogue between policymakers, the private sector, civil society, and the local research community. We want to spur informed debates around preventing and reducing corruption along the natural resource value chain. To do so, we facilitate access to tools and knowledge that empower local TAP champions in their efforts.
Our Global Level Work
We produce research, facilitate dialogue, and promote the use of evidence on global TAP priorities.
Our research and convenings aim to inform the global anti-corruption agenda, focusing on issues such as the TAP efforts in the natural resource space (and beyond), the energy transition, and civic space. Through our work, we support coalitions for change and explore ways to address implementation gaps around existing anti-corruption and good governance efforts.
Examples of LTRC’s results to date include:
- Spotlighting the need for audacity in the natural resource governance field, and how to pursue it
- Highlighting anti-corruption strategies around Ukraine’s recovery and reconstruction
- Establishing a connection between work being done around Peru’s national Mining Vision 2030, and the regional development plan in Moquegua, Peru
- Identifying concrete policy priorities to tackle corruption in Colombia’s oil sector
- Unpacking an ecosystem approach to beneficial ownership, which has informed the beneficial ownership strategy of the Government of Mongolia, EITI’s Opening Extractives program, and others