The last couple of decades have witnessed increasing interest amongst policymakers, donor organisations and other stakeholders in the role of social norms and behavioural insights in addressing corruption.  Even though social norm-based approaches have long been applied in other areas to understand and modify behaviour, its recent application to corruption provides interesting insights and opportunities to achieve greater impact.

It is in the light of this that research and programming efforts are being directed towards diagnosing norms that drive and accept corrupt behaviour and design targeted and effective policy interventions to address such practices.   The Department for International Development (DFID)’s ACORN programme is designed to address corruption in Nigeria within this framework, to complement more traditional approaches such as institutional strengthening and a stronger sanctions regime.

Hence, under the Society component of the ACORN Programme, four principal national CSO partners – ANEEJ, Actionaid, YAF and SERAP – are working with various sections of society to address corruption by changing social norms and behaviours that will increasingly disapprove of corruption and take action against corrupt practices.

The multiple range of activities engaged in by partners under this component of the ACORN Programme and geographical reach of these activities provides a unique opportunity to evaluate and document the effectiveness or otherwise of a social norms-based approach to addressing corruption.  Furthermore, the results from the implementation of these activities can provide useful lessons and insights on what works and what does not work at a disaggregated level.

To this end, the ACORN Programme is seeking the services of a reputable and experienced consultant to provide strategic research underpinning and coordinating function for the social norms work of various partners under ACORN.


The broad objectives of the consultancy are to:

  1. Establish a comprehensive research underpinning for the application of a social norms approach in anticorruption programming and reforms generally
  2. Clarify, justify and determine the specific policy and contextual assumptions underpinning the social norms approaches adopted in each project under the ACORN programme
  3. Identify and evaluate the risks involved in the application of a social norms approach in anticorruption programming generally and in the specific context of the ACORN programme and recommend appropriate action.
  4. Examine and determine the appropriateness of the monitoring and evaluation framework of the ACORN Programme for capturing the social norms components of its projects and activities – including baselines, statement of outcomes, measuring impact and documenting lessons learned – and make necessary recommendations.
  5. Establish a framework for the coordination of the work of various partners on social norms under the ACORN Programme to achieve optimal results.


  1. Research work on Social Norms Approach in Anticorruption Programming

i.  Background to the theoretical and historical underpinnings of a social norms approach and its application in interventions aimed at behavior modification generally and in specific sectors of society

ii.  A comprehensive literature review on the application of social norms in anticorruption programming, including its justifications, criticisms, challenges and prospects

iii.  examination of case-studies in the application of a social norms in targeted intervention programmes  on anticorruption in countries in the global north and the global south, highlighting success stories and lessons learned

  • Scoping Exercise on Application of Social Norms Approach in the ACORN Programme

i.  Examine and specify the various social norms-based activities of partner projects and interventions under the ACORN programme

ii.  With regard to specific interventions and activities, determine and document their underlying assumptions, methods and tools, anticipated or recorded progress, barriers and prospects.

iii.  Evaluate the context of the application of these social norms interventions in the anticorruption scene in Nigeria with regard to issues relating to tribe, religion, culture, language, geographical elements, etc.  The examination of context should also take into consideration the role of key influencers such as the media, celebrities, traditional and religious leaders.

iv.  Establish the relationship and balance between social norms-based interventions and interventions focused on sanctions and systems in addressing corruption, in the specific framework of the ACORN programme in Nigeria

  • Monitoring and Evaluation-related Tasks

i.  Working with the monitoring and evaluation teams of individual projects of partners and the broader monitoring, evaluation and learning framework of the ACORN Programme, determine:

(a) Whether the M&E frameworks at both levels effectively captures the social norms interventions under the ACORN Programme

(b) Whether appropriate baselines and milestones are set

(c)  Whether the indicators used are suitable for measuring progress and impact of social norms interventions under the ACORN Programme

(d) What necessary recommendations can be made to enhance work on social norms under the ACORN programme in the area of monitoring and evaluation, especially in terms of determining impact and documenting lessons learned.  

  • Cooperation, Coordination, and Ownership

i.  Determine the parallels between the social norms-based interventions of the various projects under the ACORN programme and recommend appropriate mechanisms to enhance cooperation between projects

ii.  Examine the sustainability framework of the various social norms-based interventions under the ACORN Programme and make necessary recommendations

iii.  Recommend a framework for collective action and ownership of social norms interventions by partners under the ACORN programme to enhance coordination and impact


  1. Research paper on the Application of Social Norms in Anticorruption Programming
  2. Scoping Report on social norms interventions under the ACORN programme
  3. Report on assessment of M&E requirements of the social norms components of the ACORN programme with recommendations
  4. Framework for cooperation and coordination of social norms interventions of partners under ACORN.

Host Organisation and Institutional Support

ANEEJ shall provide residency and institutional support for the purpose of undertaking the consultancy, for an on behalf of DFID and other ACORN Partners.


The work is to be undertaken for an initial period of 6 months, with the possibility of extension, depending on the findings and recommendations from the deliverables produced within the initial timeframe.


Adequate remuneration will be provided by ANEEJ at a competitive rate in accordance with best standards in the sector


  • Proven knowledge and application of rigorous research methods
  • In-depth knowledge of the anticorruption regime in Nigeria and of global mechanisms and trends in anticorruption and good governance reforms
  • Proven experience of undertaking quality academic work, demonstrated by publications in international journals and sources
  • Particular knowledge of the application of social norms and behavioural change approaches in anticorruption programming is highly desirable
  • Experience of working with state institutions and civil society organisations or projects in the governance and anticorruption is desirable.


Interested and qualified persons should submit an application with the following documents to:

  • Detailed curriculum vitae
  • Sample research publication, preferable an article in an international journal or a quality policy brief
  • Covering letter

Enquiries on the consultancy can also be sent to or by calling 08187674339


The deadline for applications is  7th August, 2019.