In the context of a multi-centre research project, the Institute and its partners seek to map the manner in which informality is associated with the resilience of corruption. In this innovative project, researchers shift the focus away from analysing the implementation of formal legal frameworks, regulations and policies to concentrate on informal actions and practices that may be effectively taken into consideration where conventional anti-corruption interventions have failed.

Throughout 2016, ICAR experts have played a significant role in enhancing Uganda’s capacity to fight money laundering and terrorism financing. Part of this support, provided in the context of the Basel Institute’s involvement in the “Strengthening Uganda’s Anti-Corruption and Accountability Regime” (SUGAR) programme managed by Adam Smith International (ASI), involved assisting the country during the process of identifying and assessing its risk exposure to money laundering and terrorism financing.

ICAR continues to work closely with a series of partner countries increasing their autonomy in the fight against financial crimes and money laundering as well as in recovering stolen public funds. ICAR’s current partner countries in the context of its capacity building services include Bulgaria, Romania, Tanzania and Uganda. 

In September, Ugandan prosecutors secured another conviction for money laundering by a former Swedish Embassy accountant, only a few months after the country's first ground-breaking money laundering trial. The accused, who stole almost EUR 1.9 million, was charged by the prosecution with money laundering, embezzlement, forgery and uttering a false document. 

This report is part of a research project funded by the Anti-Corruption Evidence (ACE) Programme of the UK’s Department for International Development (DfID) and the British Academy. 

The project has identified informal practices in selected countries in order to establish their general and specific features in comparative analysis; assess their impact based on the functions they perform in their respective economies and indicate the extent to which they fuel corruption and stifle anticorruption policies. 

From 23 to 27 February 2015, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of South Africa (ARINSA), the Government of Uganda and the International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) carried out a joint workshop for prosecutors, investigators and other relevant stakeholders on the recovery of proceeds of crime from wildlife and forest offences and money laundering in Entebbe, Uganda.

The Basel Institute has been awarded two new research grants; one by the British Academy as part of its GBP 4 million global anti-corruption research scheme in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID) in the context of DFID’s Anti-Corruption Evidence ('ACE') Research Programme; the second by DFID’s East Africa Research Fund (EARF).

Experts from the Basel Institute’s International Centre for Collective Action (ICCA) were in Kigali, Rwanda on 25-27 January to support the country’s Office of the Ombudsman in developing Collective Action strategies for public-private sector cooperation to tackle corruption.