West Point Negotiation Project Anti Corruption Task Force


Duncan Aylor, Jake Baxter, Andy Oswald, Greg Sacenti, Rudy Weisz, Steven Vollmer

Our group is working on a feedback-based process for influencing and preventing corruption in a developing society. Corruption is a social issue occurring in all types of networks that generate negative public opinion and externalities. We are working with West Point Negotiation Project (WPNP) co-founder MAJ Aram Donigian with the ISAF Task Force Shafafiyat (Transparency) to help reduce corruption in Afghanistan. So we are using Afghanistan as a case-study for exploring implementation and results of a corruption reduction process.

The process will be a tailored solution motivated by corruption theory for achieving success, where success is rigorously defined by modeling realistic policy goals of current policy makers. It will rely on metrics derived from systematic negotiation theory and surveys of corruption measurements and quantifications. These metrics will be used to define network characteristics such as corruption, and influencability at a particular point in time – a state point. A simulated application of negotiations theory will be applied to positively affect the state of the network towards a desired end state, while appropriate negotiation tools for achieving this network effect will be demonstrated and explained. Based on the influenced network, a new state point will be generated to demonstrate the positive effect of influence techniques and a path for a feedback-based process used to reduce and deter corruption in a developing society.

Corruption is a concept easily understood, but it is not easy to define. Our greatest challenge to now has been measuring corruption. Is it possible to quantify corruption? That is exactly what we are trying to do. We have developed a list of metrics which help define corruption. We want to create a type of questionnaire or survey that can be filled in with information on a certain person in order to identify their level of corruptness. We will then apply network analysis to this information to create a visual representation of corruption, influence, and relationships. The goal is to have something we can see to identify where corruption is. This will allow us to determine where to most effectively use the tools we have in order to reduce or eliminate the corruption. We have focused on implementation of systematic negotiation tools at this point, but others, such as public policy, social good, and force, do exist. This model is not concerned with only getting the corruption out. It is also concerned with building and strengthening the network. We do not want so simply eliminate corrupt nodes; we want to influence the nodes. The goal from this model is to find the best way to do that.

We ultimately want to create a feedback-based process that can be tailored to all types of situations – from nation-building to strengthening a corporation. Since we are working with TF Shafafiyat our current main goal is to reduce the corruption in Afghanistan and use Afghanistan as a case-study for our process. In the short-term, we are seeking to measure and quantify corruption so we can identify corrupt nodes and measure success. Additionally, we are looking for modifications of current tools or development of a new one to represent a social network to the extent necessary for our project.

For more information on this project, visit WPNP’s website or email wpnp@usma.edu

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One comment on “West Point Negotiation Project Anti Corruption Task Force

  1. Lori Sheetz on said:

    Cadets from the WPNP ant-corruption task force will be presenting their paper, Influencing Corrupt Networks, at The Sunbelt conference to be held 12-18 March 2012.

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