Kyoto, 23 July 2018
For the past eight years, my professional and academic efforts have focused on the pursuit of knowledge and improvement of public policies and public integrity. I started my career, fresh out of college, as an intern at the Secretariat of Public Management of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Peru, where I joined the taskforce in charge of developing corruption prevention policies of mandatory application at the national level. There, I supported the promotion of ethics, transparency, access to public information, and citizen participation through the training of public servants across the country, and the development of related norms such as the supreme decree that approved a new standard platform of transparency for public agencies. Later, in the post of consultant, I was assigned with the production of two monitoring reports on the implementation of preventive anti-corruption policies in the executive branch, one of which was then presented to Parliament by the Prime Minister. These reports were successful in assessing the performance of all executive agencies under the mandate of the national government, creating proper indicators and quantifying their activities in regards to the prevention of corruption. As a result, deficiencies, risks and recommendations were properly formulated for later consideration at the top decision levels of government.
Drawing from those early experiences, I dedicated my Master’s in International Area Studies and Doctorate in International Public Policies to the research of social and political patterns that sustain corruption in developing countries. I first addressed the characteristics and operationalization of corruption tolerance among citizens, redefining traditional indicators and providing models drawn from social psychology and political behavior. For tolerance towards high-level corruption, I applied quantitative content analysis and structural equation modeling, while for low-level corruption I relied on standard econometric analysis. Wanting to expand my grasp on the processes that sustain corruption in a political system, I then turned to examine the impact of corruption and anti-corruption over national politics, offering a comprehensive explanation and description of their mechanisms and testing the empirical validity of my tenets. For this purpose, I conducted two rounds of fieldwork to obtain data from public records, private interviews, and media sources, all of which I used to reconstruct in detail the history of a number of public anti-corruption efforts following the method of process-tracing.
For the past two years, I have been engaged in the design and development of a non-profit project concerning the construction of a worldwide qualitative and quantitative database of daily corruption and anti-corruption events. The project, entitled Daily Corruption: News Feed & Database, has for objective the use of text mining to provide daily, readily processed, and immediately available information on a number of variables concerning ongoing corruption cases, such as public sector affected, corruption type, range, resources and organizations involved, and several others. By being based on the daily indexing of news (processed by local partners such as NGO’s and research institutions), the project aims to eventually complement and improve classic measurement tools such as the Corruption Perception Index and the Global Corruption Barometer.
Expanding my connections with international academic organizations, my position as coordinator of the Trans-Pacific Human Capital Development Program of the University of Tsukuba put me in constant communication with leading universities in Latin America. The program, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT), had the purpose of fostering human capital to contribute to the shared international goals of sustainable development and resolution of global issues. To support its mission, my tasks involved looking after the successful application, temporary transfer, course selection, academic life and performance, and overall well-being of exchange students to (and from) partner universities in Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and Chile.
Currently, the focus of my work at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies of Kyoto University involves data generation and theoretical and computer modeling of corruption and moral values in Asia-Pacific and Latin America.
I hope this brief self-introduction gave you a better idea of my skills and expertise, as well as an insight into the topics that drive me and motivates my professional efforts. Thank you for taking the time to read it, and I hope to hear from you and to have the opportunity to expand on any of the points introduced above at a later time.
Joseph Pozsgai-Alvarez, PhD