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I’m Linnea (I also go by the names of Dr Mills and Mamma).


I'm a researcher on international development and good governance. I have a PhD from the London School of Economics on the subject of corruption and have spent the past 13 years researching, thinking and writing for a variety of national and international organisations.

I have been busy this year working on a lot of very interesting projects. Among the big ones are a report commissioned by the Natural Resource Governance Institute on trying to better understand the implementation gap in natural resource governance and beyond: why is there an implementation gap related to transparency and accountability-focused legislation and what can we do about it? Somewhat related to this is another project commissioned by the World Health Organization on analysing budget under-execution of health budgets in low income countries. For this project I look at why budgets are not executed as they should be according to budget laws. I have also recently finished an exciting project I’ve been working on with the Overseas Development Institute on how aid agencies can most effectively balance demands for accountability and flexibility in relation to their work in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Next up is a World Bank evaluation of a social accountability project in Ghana.


I'm also an aspiring author and I've recently published my first book called 'I Spy with My Little Eye: A journey through the moral landscape of Britain'. It's a book about the prevailing norms and values in today’s Britain, interpreted through the seven deadly sins and seven heavenly virtues. It includes topics as diverse as celebrity culture, work-life balance, immigration politics and economic divisions. 


In my next book, I'm tackling our society's evaporated trust in politics, business, and international institutions, and how we can regain trust through the various integrity-enhancing ideas that are out there, and that I've spent the past decade working on. I shed light on these ideas through interesting (and, hopefully, amusing) case studies, starting with the curious case of Donald Trump's fibbing.


I grew up in rural Sweden, moved around in my 20s (Spain, France, the USA, New Zealand), and came to London in 2006 where I met my husband, Duncan. We now live in rural Devon with our three young children. This year I aspire to do lots of foraging, take frequent nature walks with my family, and start learning the art of beekeeping.



Research portfolio

I specialise in policy-relevant research, including policy analysis, project/programme evaluations, literature reviews, and evidence assessments. I have expertise in a range of topics related to governance and international development, in particular: transparency & accountability, corruption/anti-corruption, public financial management, illicit financial flows, asset recovery, political finance, and development co-operation. Below is an illustration of my experiences per research topic and client followed by a list of my publications. 



Other research reports

Mills, L. & de Lay, S. (2016). Legislative Oversight in Public Financial Management. London and Birmingham: Department for International Development and University of Birmingham. Available at

Mills, L. (2017). Parliamentary transparency and accountability. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. Available at

Mills, L. (2017). Transparency and performance. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. Available at

Mills, L. (2017). Barriers to improving tax capacity. K4D Helpdesk Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies. Available at

OECD. (2014). Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries: Measuring OECD Responses. Paris: OECD. Available at

Gray, L., Hansen, K., Recica-Kirkbride, P. & Mills, L. (2014). Few and Far: The Hard Facts on Stolen Asset Recovery (StAR Initiative). Available at

Mills, L. (2012). Annotated bibliography on aid transparency. London: Publish What You Fund. Available at

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© 2018 Linnea Mills.

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