Workshop on Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods on Corruption and their Application

The Basel Institute on Governance, in pursuit of its mission to improve the quality of governance globally, offers a three-day workshop on research methods on corruption and their application. The workshop is designed to provide working professionals and interested stakeholders with the necessary conceptual and methodological tools to undertake corruption research applicable to a wide variety of topics, contexts and aims.

The first day of the workshop is devoted to teaching and discussion of basic elements of research design as applicable to the field of corruption. The second day provides participants with the opportunity to apply the concepts learned through structured group work.

The following is an outline of the material that is covered during the course:

1. Basic concepts in research design:

  • Variables: Dependent, independent, intervening variables
  • Formulating Hypotheses
  • Operationalization of variables: indicators and issues of validity and reliability
  • Quantitative/ qualitative methods: Big N and small N research design. Comparative strengths and weaknesses
  • Discussion of correlation and causation and the need for theory

2. The role of theories of corruption in driving the research agenda:

  • General and middle range theories.
  • Conceptual and empirical dilemmas in translating theories of corruption into research.
  • Definitions of corruption and challenges to the operationalization of the concept for research.

3. Quantitative methods:

  • Discussion of the available indicators to measure corruption (CPI, WGIs, QoG database etc)
  • Methods for aggregating corruption indicators: strengths and weaknesses
  • When is quantitative analysis appropriate?
  • Discussion of validity and reliability of the leading corruption indicators
  • Discussion of the robustness of the findings from quantitative research on corruption

4. Qualitative methods:

  • Discussion of variables used in qualitative analyses of corruption
  • Power and influence analysis: stakeholder mapping and formal and informal institutional frameworks
  • Functional equivalence analysis
  • Process tracing and ethnographic strategies for researching corruption


For further information, click here or contact Dr Claudia Baez Camargo (

140131 Workshop info: Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods on Corruption