Research Lead (Wildlife Management Agency Internal Controls)

Basel Institute on Governance Lead Researcher

The Basel Institute on Governance is an international and independent not-for-profit organisation working worldwide with the public and private sector to counter corruption and other financial crimes and to improve the quality of governance. Registered as a Swiss foundation with headquarters in Basel, the Institute operates and maintains field operations around the world.

The Basel Institute’s Green Corruption programme focuses on applying our in-house expertise and experience in relation to the prevention of corruption and the enforcement of anti-corruption and anti-money laundering standards to the environmental sector. The programme covers corruption and financial crime related to the illegal trade in wildlife, forestry and timber products, fish and mining.

Research background

Numerous government agencies tasked with natural resource management continue to suffer from the effects of corruption. This severely undermines their effectiveness and, in many instances, may well serve as an important enabler of illegal wildlife trade. Examples include: license issuing, curtailing investigations, delaying prosecutions, etc.

Anti-corruption efforts around the world have long highlighted the importance of internal control units (variedly named inspectors general, internal affairs units, internal audit, internal revision, etc.) as first lines of defence to prevent and detect corruption risks within the public service. The value of such mechanisms for preventing corruption in natural resource management has been highlighted in various reports, including U4’s brief on corruption in the wildlife trade.

Like any other anti-corruption tool, internal controls are no panacea: their objectives, no matter whether they follow the confrontational or cooperative model, can be circumvented by unscrupulous actors. However, effective internal controls, appropriately tailored for the institutional setting in which they operate, are an essential prerequisite for sustainable corruption risk management.

The role

The Green Corruption programme is looking for a Lead Consultant to work on a research engagement. The project will study the internal controls/anti-corruption compliance programmes in wildlife management agencies in Peru, Malawi and Uganda under the context provided through previously developed political economy analyses (PEAs) in the three countries. The Lead Consultant will be working with the Basel-based Green Corruption team and with in-country consultants in Malawi, Uganda and Peru.

We are looking for an expert in the evaluation of internal controls with versatile experience, a solid understanding of natural resource management, experience working with emerging economy governments and excellent writing skills.

Key roles and responsibilities


  • Describing the internal control functions in the relevant agencies and the structures/individuals responsible for their implementation. Special attention will be paid to mandate, independence in operations, staffing, funding and reporting mechanisms, in light of the context provided through the previously developed PEAs.
  • Based on the data collected, assessing the ability of internal control functions of selected agencies to control corruption risks based on international best practices.
  • Establishing conclusions (where possible) on the strength of internal controls and the ability to manage corruption risks in agencies, and the associated effectiveness of programmes to counter wildlife trafficking.
  • Providing recommendations for technical assistance programming.


  • 1 public introductory document summarising the importance of internal controls in wildlife management agencies.
  • 1 report on internal controls per country (3 in total).
  • 1 public lessons learned document covering and, if possible comparing, the three countries.
  • 1 webinar presentation on process and results.

Experience and skills


  • At least five years’ experience with internal controls with a focus on anti-corruption compliance programmes.
  • Familiarity working with governments in emerging economies.
  • Familiarity with one or more of the target countries an advantage (Uganda, Malawi, Peru).
  • Excellent English interviewing and writing skills required, ability to work in Spanish an advantage.
  • Experience managing small research teams online.

Other useful information

Remuneration package We offer an interesting and rewarding working environment with a proactive, dynamic and international team spirit. The work is both routine and varied, and offers scope for initiative and innovation. The salary is competitive.


Please send your written application (CV, letter of motivation, reference letters or, at a minimum, the contact details of three professional references; all documents merged in one PDF file), by 26 September 2021 by email to: [email protected].

Equal opportunity employer

The Basel Institute is an equal opportunity employer. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, colour, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, National origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.