Bottom-up initiatives and anti-corruption technologies: how citizens use ICTs to fight corruption


Corruption is a global challenge that affects the lives of millions of citizens. In the past decade, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) have become indispensable tools in the fight to reduce corruption, especially when employed from the bottom-up by civil society organizations. While pioneering initiatives in this direction have flourished, to date we only have unsystematic and descriptive evidence regarding how they work and the associated consequences. With the objective of significantly advancing knowledge on this topic, BIT-ACT will open a new line of inquiry by investigating what I call anti-corruption technologies (ACTs) to: (1) assess how civil society organizations engage with ACTs to counter corruption, (2) appraise how ACTs enable intersections between bottom-up and top-down efforts against corruption, and (3) evaluate how ACTs blend with the transnational dimension in the struggle against corruption. Based on an interdisciplinary framework that combines corruption studies, science and technology studies and social movement studies, BIT-ACT will use the constructivist grounded theory method to analyze a combination of textual and visual data in a comparative and transnational research design including nine countries – Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Estonia, India, Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Uruguay. BIT-ACT will be groundbreaking in three ways. At the theoretical level, it will expand the debate on anti-corruption providing grounded concepts and models to explain ACTs; at the empirical level, it will advance knowledge on how the usage of ACTs is changing the relationship between citizens and democratic institutions; at the methodological level, it will innovate in the use of grounded theory assessing a new standard for cross-national comparative grounded theory. Finally, BIT-ACT will produce sound and useful knowledge for the stakeholders involved in the fight against corruption worldwide by suggesting how to best employ ICTs from the bottom-up.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Alice Mattoni

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Scienze Politiche e Sociali

ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna(Italy)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 1.489.115,00
Project Duration in months: 60
Start Date: 01/07/2019
End Date: 30/06/2024

Cordis webpage

Peace, justice and strong institutions This project contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 802362