The Government of Ghana has announced an ambitious objective to turn the Ghana Police Service into a world class force over the next decade. To help with this objective, and with the full approval of the Inspector General of the Ghana Police Service, the research team, led by Dr Donna Harris, is carrying out research on how to reduce corruption in the traffic police in Ghana.


Corruption has long been one of the major obstacles to improving economic efficiency and reducing poverty in developing countries. In many places, corruption has become a norm - a way of life - something that is generally accepted as a behavioural standard. How do we change a corrupt norm? The aim of this project is to address this question, based on recent research by the Nobel Laureate Professor George Akerlof, through innovative policy interventions. One of the key ideas is that if you want to change people’s behaviour, it helps to give them a new role or ‘identity’, and new narratives that convey a sense of purpose. Our research aims to do just that in the Ghana Police Service to try to combat possible corruption.


We will be running a new training programme aimed at creating a new identity for the traffic officers or the 'vanguards/future of the Ghana Police Service'. Support networks will be established for the trained officers to reinforce the new identity and provide a 'safe space' for the officers to share stories and discuss obstacles in their daily duty and work together to co-create solutions. Senior officers who have been trained will also act as role models and mentors to junior officers to strengthen this support network. 

The training will be co-created with the Research and Planning Directorate of the Ghana Police Service and advised by Inspector Bruno Schettini from the Brazilian Federal Highway Police, who has successfully created the first National Police Academy in Brazil. The training method will be interactive and immersive using insights from Behavioural Economics and Psychology. The focus will be on tackling conflict of interests, norms, and multiple social identities, and how to maintain professionalism and ethical standards when faced with these challenges.


Project timeline

January 2018 - December 2019


ghana associations logos


Proud to Belong is a short film about the Brazilian Federal Highway Police's fight against corruption, featuring Inspector Bruno Schettini.

Proud to Belong - the Brazilian Federal Highway Police's fight against corruption