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Transparency International: call for external contributors to knowledge services, 25.1. (close of business)

Application Closing Date – 25 Jan 2019

Job Start Date – mid-February 2019

Duration – 15 February 2019 – 14 February 2021

Location – Remote


Transparency International (TI) is the global civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption. Through more than 100 chapters worldwide and an international secretariat in Berlin, Germany, TI raises awareness of the damaging effects of corruption and works with partners in government, business and civil society to develop and implement effective measures to tackle it.

The Research team provides a variety of demand-driven, needs-based research and knowledge products and services to a wide range of anti-corruption stakeholders.

In particular, the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is a knowledge service offering the Transparency International network and selected stakeholders on-demand research on corruption. Subscribers to the service can ask any corruption related question and receive a targeted answer within 10 working days. The Helpdesk relies on a pool of external contributors and experts to operate the service and ensure thematic coverage of key issues as well as geographic coverage.

In general, Helpdesk answers present an overview of a particular issue and synthesise the state of knowledge on a particular topic for an audience of practitioners. Answers usually consist of a

10 to 12 page brief, and draw on publicly available information (secondary research) and input from a network of experts and practitioners. They usually cover country and sector corruption profiles, the current state of research on a particular topic, practical approaches to fight corruption, background analysis of emerging issues, examples of relevant case studies, lessons learned and good practices. Helpdesk answers are published on the Anti-Corruption Knowledge Hub: https://knowledgehub.transparency.org/helpdesk/browse/en

Within this framework, the Transparency International Secretariat (TI-S) in Berlin is seeking for external contributors to support the compilation of knowledge products and anti-corruption briefs (including but not limited to Helpdesk answers) at short notice. This consultancy would involve multiple assignments under a 2-year framework agreement.


External contributors will offer general need-based knowledge and research support to the Research team, including conducting research and drafting reports to address the knowledge needs of key stakeholders. They will more specifically (but not exclusively) focus on providing research and drafting assistance to the TI’s Research team in support of the operations of the TI Anti-Corruption Helpdesk servicing the research needs of various stakeholders (TI national chapters, U4 development agencies, EU development practitioners). Tasks and responsibilities may include:

  • Conduct research and analysis on anti-corruption topics to address the knowledge needs of the TI movement and other stakeholders in a timely manner
  • Contribute to or draft papers and material emerging from the anti-corruption debate for internal and external purposes (e.g. reports, publications, policy analysis, background/scoping papers)
  • Contribute to the development of new knowledge products (topic guides, scoping papers, investigation of emerging research topics, etc).


Selected external contributors will be offered to contribute on an occasional basis to the provision of knowledge services within an agreed upon timeframe. External contributors will be expected to conduct research and compile Helpdesk answers (or other knowledge products) under the guidance of the Helpdesk team within a short timeframe. TI-S will be responsible for the preparation of each specific assignment, including a detailed description of the assignment and its purpose, a description of the deliverable and a delivery date for each assignment. External contributors are responsible for editing and quality control of language. The TI Secretariat retains the sole rights with respect to all distribution, dissemination and publication of the deliverables.


External contributors should have the following qualifications:

  • An advanced university degree in a relevant academic field (law, economics, political science, business or non-profit management or similar)
  • Extensive knowledge of anti-corruption, good governance and development fields
  • Strong research skills; knowledge of research methodologies and techniques with a track record of producing operationally and policy relevant research
  • Excellent analytical abilities  and writing skills
  • Fluency in written and spoken English, ability to read in at least one language other than English is desirable, particularly French or Spanish

Candidates are asked to undertake a small research assignment as part of the application package.


The external contributor will receive an honorarium remuneration (to be determined on a case by case basis) for the answer produced/their contribution to knowledge services upon satisfactory completion of the task. The compilation of Helpdesk answers and topic guides are typically remunerated by a lump sum of €800-1500 per assignment, depending on the nature and complexity of the assignment.

Transparency International e.V. (Secretariat), (TI-S) is registered as a Business Entity in Germany with VAT identification number DE273612486. In order to determine the Value Added Tax (VAT) implications of this tender, we kindly request that applicants fill out the Vendor Form (instructions inside the form) and submit the completed and duly signed form along with their email application.

The Vendor Form is available at Transparency International – Work with us


The application should include the following documents in English:

  • Motivation letter and curriculum vitae
  • One sample of relevant previous work (confidentiality guaranteed)
  • Completed VAT Form for Tenders/Vendor Form
  • A written assignment (see below)

Please indicate “Call for external contributors” in the subject line of your email application. Applications should be sent in English by email to Marie Chêne at helpdeskcontributors@transparency.org by close of business of 25 January 2019.

Please note that only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.



The Helpdesk receives queries from a variety of stakeholders and produces responses within a short time frame (5-7 days).


The following query has been posted by to the Helpdesk by one of Transparency International’s national chapters:

“Please provide an overview of the available evidence on the impact of structural adjustment programmes supported by international financial institutions on levels of corruption in countries undergoing such programmes. Under which circumstances can structural adjustment programmes and rapid privatisation lead to an increase in grand corruption and other forms of economic crime? Finally, what broad conclusions can be drawn from the literature?”


“We are currently analysing the causes and drivers of corruption and organised crime in Eastern and Southern Africa. Examples from that region, as well as from countries of the former U.S.S.R during the transition of the 1990s would be welcome.”


We would like to ask you to:

  1. Briefly discuss the scope of the question, highlighting the challenges you foresee in answering this query and how you would address them (including any clarifications you would request from the enquirer).
  2. Provide a list of key resources, papers and materials that you judge relevant to answering this query and 1 or 2 sentences on why each of them is particularly pertinent.
  3. Provide a detailed outline of the answer you would make.
  4. Provide a brief overview of the topic, covering major issues and findings (in about 250-500 words).


The exercise should not take you more than 3 hours.

Please send your assignment by 25 January midnight along with your application to:


We look forward to your contributions!

The international fight against corruption needs your expertise, your skills and experience, and your passion for social justice.

From our secretariat in Berlin and in more than 100 national chapters, Transparency International seeks professionals and volunteers with exceptional talent and commitment to join our efforts and make a contribution to a better world.


Available at https://www.transparency.org/whoweare/work/call_for_external_contributors_to_knowledge_services


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