Newsletter September 2018

Basel Institute on Governance
Publication year: 
Basel Institute on Governance


Dear Sir or Madam,

I am pleased to share with you the latest news from the Basel Institute and our work to fight corruption and promote good governance.

Find out about our new Basel Open Intelligence tool, a “super-search engine” to boost open-source research in due diligence and financial investigations. We have also recently launched an interactive website for our research on informal governance and corruption.

We're also delighted to report on progress in several key initiatives, including our High Level Reporting Mechanism, ICAR training programmes and efforts to strengthen Public Finance Management in Peru.

For a more detailed look at our impact last year and our plans for the future, please download our Annual Report.

I look forward to your feedback and queries, and I hope to see you at upcoming events – especially our International Collective Action conference in November.

Best wishes,

Gretta Fenner
Managing Director, Basel Institute on Governance

Collective Action

International Collective Action conference – register now!


Registration is now open for our 3rd International Anti-Corruption Collective Action Conference: Evolution to Revolution.

The conference, which takes place on 14–15 November 2018 in Basel, Switzerland, will focus on multi-stakeholder approaches to tackling corruption and the potential of Collective Action to stop bribery.

High-profile representatives from public, private and non-profit organisations will lead sessions on hot topics such e-governance, blockchain, new approaches to risk management and how to make a Collective Action sustainable.

Register now!

Public GovernancE

New website for informal governance research

All those interested in the latest research on how informal structures and social conventions drive corruption should visit our new online resource, Informal Governance and Corruption.

This user-friendly and interactive site was created by the Public Governance division as part of our research project in the context of the Anti-Corruption Evidence Programme of the UK Department for International Development and the British Academy.

It contains the findings from our recent comprehensive research project on this important subject, plus a host of short videos and summaries.

Visit the Informal Governance website

Digital tools

Basel Open Intelligence tool

Search result page showing an open-source search conducted with BOI

Basel Open Intelligence is a new due diligence tool that allows users to collect open-source information on individuals and companies quickly and efficiently.

Powered by the latest natural language recognition technology, BOI uses an automated search function to detect connections between the subject and over 270 keywords in multiple languages. The keywords encompass financial and other crimes, law enforcement and judicial decisions.

People, legal entities, locations, professional positions and keywords found in combination with the individual or company are extracted, creating a clear picture of the subject’s profile and network in a single click. Users can filter and download matching sources for easy report creation.

Basel Open Intelligence is free for public agencies eligible to receive development aid and reasonably priced for other organisations and companies.

Find out more and request a demo

Public Governance

Social accountability publication

How can we empower citizens to make anti-corruption initiatives more effective? In a new brief for the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Governance Research at the Basel Institute on Governance, offers guidance to practitioners on "Harnessing the power of communities against corruption".

The paper covers how to design successful social accountability initiatives with high levels of citizen involvement, how to tailor capacity-building activities to empower citizens and the importance of engaging the right community stakeholders.

Download the paper

Collective Action

High Level Reporting Mechanism (HLRM) for Bogotá metro

The HLRM, a tool jointly promoted by the Basel Institute, Transparency International and the OECD to address complaints of bribery solicitation or unfair business practices during public tenders, continues to prove its worth.

In the latest development, the Colombian authorities have requested advice on their plans to expand the scope of the HRLM for procurement related to Bogotá’s first metro line.

What is the HLRM?

Malawi programme

Holistic approach benefits Malawi anti-corruption efforts

Our programme of work in Malawi, led by the International Centre for Asset Recovery with funding support from the UK Department for International Development, has been expanded to complement its original focus on corruption investigations and the recovery of stolen assets with prevention components.

These include assistance with a review of the national anti-corruption strategy, fresh engagements with the private sector and training on research methods and corruption risk assessment strategies.

Experts from Basel Institute’s divisions for Collective Action, Compliance and Public Governance will be involved in the newly expanded programme, which highlights the success of our integrated, multi-faceted approach to combating corruption.


Behavioural ethics – a new approach to compliance

We continue to offer our tailored advisory services to companies seeking to improve their anti-corruption compliance programmes.

Many companies with more mature programmes are showing interest in how to adapt elements of behavioural ethics to their compliance approach. Their aim is to go beyond traditional incentives to embed integrity in employees working in areas more exposed to compliance risks.

In developing these new approaches, we are drawing on our colleagues' expertise in social accountability and analysis of relationships in the workplace and beyond.

Interested in developing or improving your company’s compliance programme? Contact

Asset recovery

Demand for ICAR training courses continues to grow

ICAR training course in Tanzania, May 2018

The International Centre for Asset Recovery training team has been busy with a series of training workshops in financial investigation, asset recovery and related themes in Romania, Ukraine, Tanzania and Namibia.

We have also kicked off a long-term training programme in Malawi. This serves a lead-up to the Malawi ICAR Academy, which is being conceptualised in the context of the DFID-funded and ICAR-implemented Tackling Serious Organised Corruption programme.

In addition to continuing to build capacity in core areas of asset recovery and financial investigation, we have had a positive response to our training in new modular topics such as money laundering using Bitcoin. The Bitcoin workshop was first delivered to law enforcers in Indonesia as part of our current longer-term capacity-building initiative there.

In line with our strategy of tailoring training courses to local needs, we have also developed a three-day version of our financial investigation and asset recovery training course for prosecutors in Peru, which is planned to be repeated later this year.

Learn about ICAR training courses

Collective Action

UN Global Compact case studies

Published by our project partner the UN Global Compact, Promoting Anti-Corruption Collective Action Through Global Compact Local Networks is now available on our B20 Collective Action Hub.

The Basel Institute has partnered with the UN Global Compact since 2015 in a joint project supported by the Siemens Integrity Initiative to promote awareness and action among Global Compact Local Networks to use Collective Action as a tool for corruption prevention. The brochure summarises the outcomes of this project in Brazil, Japan, Kenya and Nigeria.

Visit the B20 Collective Action Hub


How banks can combat financial crime

An interview with Gemma Aiolfi, Head of Compliance and Corporate Governance/Collective Action at the Basel Institute, has been published by KMPG.

The interview – "From the top: effective anti-corruption measures and the need for change" – discusses the challenges facing banks in combating financial crime, including the need for senior management to lead by example.

Jump to page 58 of the KMPG magazine, Clarity on Financial Crime in Banking, to read it.

Public Finance Management (PFM)

Capacity building and technical assistance for PFM in Peru


Our Peru office, established in 2016, is working intensively with local authorities at central and subnational level to strengthen Public Financial Management and increase transparency and integrity in the public administration. Building capacity is an important part of this effort, with several recent highlights focused on improving training courses and resources for stakeholders.

Thanks to insights drawn from creating Risk Management Plans for subnational governments involved in the programme, we have recently published a guide to Risk management for the prevention of corruption in Peru (in Spanish). The Office of the Comptroller General has expressed an interest in using it to develop new internal standards.

We are also implementing the Code of Conduct and risk assessments in the Office of the Comptroller General and will help the develop an integrity plan for it that is likely to be replicated in its subnational, countrywide, decentralised units.

Working with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Office of the Comptroller General, we have also released instructional videos on using the Infobras and Consulta Amigable digital tools.

Along with capacity-building and asset recovery training courses in Lima, Chiclayo and Trujillo, we have enjoyed initial success with our training programme for judges and prosecutors on a new Peruvian law on Non Conviction Based Confiscation as a quicker, more effective way to deprive criminals of their illicit gains.

Development of e-learning courses on "Online tools to monitor the use of public resources" and "Open government" is underway. With these training initiatives, we hope to add to the success of the Diploma in Management and Public Finance. 246 students across Peru have so far completed the one-year diploma, which is led by project partner Universidad ESAN.

Due to the incoming regional and local elections in Peru, and the subsequent change of all regional and local authorities by January 2019, the programme will train the candidates of all the subnational offices that it is currently working with in order to transfer the knowledge and capacities it has built to improve Public Finance Management.

Learn more about our Peru PFM programme

Upcoming events and conferences

Staff of the Basel Institute will be at the following upcoming events (among others), either presenting or participating. See you there – or contact us in advance if you’d like to meet up.

  • B20 Argentina summit, Buenos Aires, 4–5 October 2018. The policy recommendations of the B20 Integrity & Compliance Task Force, to which we have contributed, will present their recommendations during the summit.
  • 2018 International Anti-Corruption Conference, Copenhagen, 22–24 October, 2018. Our President Mark Pieth, together with Gemma Aiolfi, will be moderating the High-Level Segment, a closed-door session of ministers and private sector representatives preceding the conference. We will also be hosting an information booth where we will display and distribute our most recent publications.
  • International Conference on Financial Crime and Terrorism, Kuala Lumpur, 30–31 October, 2018. Gemma Aiolfi, Head of Compliance and Anti-Corruption Collective Action, will be presenting at this annual conference organised by the Asian Institute of Finance.
  • Anti-Corruption Collective Action Conference: Evolution to Revolution, Basel, 14–15 November 2018. Basel Institute experts will be among those presenting at the conference.
  • International Anti-Corruption Day, Saudi Arabia, 9 December 2018. Gemma Aiolfi will present on Managing Corruption Risks at the invitation of the Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission.

New staff

We are excited to welcome three new members to our growing global team.

Virgil Ballakistan joined the Basel Institute’s International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) as Investigation Specialist in May 2018. His varied career spans the South African Police Service, Interpol, the private sector and most recently the role of Deputy Director of Forensic Investigations for the Government of Western Cape in South Africa.

Misozi Samuti joins us as Financial Administrator at our local office in Lilongwe, Malawi. With her background in accountancy and experience working with both private companies and aid organisations in Malawi, she will help to support our growing programme of work in the country.

Daniel Wegner joined the Basel Institute in July 2018 as Programme Coordinator for the DFID-funded Tackling Serious and Organised Corruption programme in Lilongwe, Malawi.

Job vacancy: ICT Officer

We are currently looking for an experienced ICT Officer (50%) at the Basel Institute on Governance headquarters.

Read the job description.

Quote of the quarter

“Institutions of democracy, when undermined by corruption, become a farce. They end up protecting rotten systems behind a pretty face.”

Gretta Fenner, Managing Director, Basel Institute on Governance

Social Media and Web


With continued thanks to our key donors and funders

The Basel Institute on Governance is an associated institute of the University of Basel.f735c956-a26d-4d72-b93c-c8ecbf5b7fdf.png