Countering Corruption is essential to fulfilling USAID’s mission of strengthening democratic societies, and advancing a free, just, and peaceful, world. To drive inclusive, sustainable, locally-led development and safeguard our investments, USAID is making preventing and countering corruption a top priority.

Ani (right) collaborates on a story with Hetq Online’s social media marketing specialist. Heqt is a collaborative space that promotes journalism education in Armenia and is supported by USAID/Armenia and U.S. Embassy Yerevan.
Photo by Jessica Benton Cooney, USAID

USAID seeks to enhance the capacity of countries to prevent, detect, and mitigate corruption of all forms and hold corrupt actors accountable. Our programs empower change agents in government, civil society, and media, especially at the local level, to combat corruption.

Corruption undermines national security and the rule of law, stunts development and equitable economic growth, exacerbates the impacts of climate change and other shocks, and saps governments of legitimacy, eroding faith in democracy itself. It diverts resources that are needed to lift people out of poverty, improve health outcomes, and ensure that children have access to a quality education. While systemic corruption remains a pervasive challenge within countries, it has also become a transnational threat that causes severe harm to communities and democratic institutions around the world. That is why USAID has placed countering corruption - at the local, national, and international levels - at the top of our development agenda.

To address corruption with the urgency and resolve that it requires, USAID is taking concrete actions to elevate, integrate, and strengthen anti-corruption across the Agency, and to improve coordination with our partners across the U.S. government and the development community. This includes:

  • Bolstering anti-corruption efforts: USAID is expanding its anti-corruption programs, including launching signature initiatives at the Summit for Democracy. 
  • Accelerating innovation and adaptation: USAID is increasing  its focus on innovative, responsive, and flexible programming, as well as addressing the increasingly transnational nature of corruption.
  • Embedding anti-corruption across USAID: USAID is institutionalizing anti-corruption throughout our internal operations, and  integrating anti-corruption across key sectors, including health, humanitarian assistance, and climate change.
  • Building partnerships and coalitions: USAID is fostering new partnerships -- including with businesses, technologists, researchers, and other donors -- in our effort to transform the fight against corruption.
  • Prioritizing localization: USAID is deepening support to frontline actors, whose leadership is essential to anti-corruption progress.
  • Strengthening safeguards: USAID is enhancing our already-robust anti-corruption safeguards to ensure our assistance is neither diverted nor inadvertently feeds into corruption dynamics.

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  • Through the Anti-Corruption Task Force (ACTF), USAID is robustly supporting implementation of the President’s National Security Study Memorandum, and the subsequent U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption, including by expanding and accelerating our efforts to build local capacity to prevent, detect,and  mitigate corruption and hold corrupt actors accountable; strengthening oversight, accountability, and justice sector institutions; supporting open government and transparency norms; and empowering civil society and media reformers to uncover corruption and engage in collective advocacy. Our first-ever Anti-Corruption Policy captures this new direction.

  • The transnational nature of corruption requires a global response. USAID is initiating a bold suite of programs that address the localized drivers, enablers, and manifestations of corruption. Announced at the first Summit for Democracy, these programs include: 

    • The Empowering Anti-Corruption Change Agents Program, which will boost support to frontline actors in civil society and media who are speaking truth to power and ensure they can operate safely, including through a new Defamation Defense Fund for journalists;

    • The Countering Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge, which will crowdsource, fund, and scale forward-thinking solutions from partners across the globe to identify, expose, and disrupt transnational corruption; and

    • The Global Accountability Program, which will strengthen country frameworks for fighting transnational corruption, including by ending opaque business practices, combating kleptocracy, and disrupting the movement of illicit finance and goods.

    • The Anti-Corruption Response Fund, which will support, test, and pilot evidence-based, responsive, and transformative anti-corruption programming. Additionally, the Fund will respond to the increasingly globalized nature of corruption and its linkages to transnational organized crime, kleptocracy, and strategic corruption.

  • USAID is enhancing support to critical multi-stakeholder initiatives that focus on transparency, open government, and accountability, including the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI).
  • As referenced in Administrator Power’s June 7, 2022 speech, USAID recently launched a new dekleptification guide—a handbook to help partner countries that aim to dismantle kleptocratic structures in transition periods when political will for reform is very high. To learn more visit here.
  • USAID also launched the Guide to Countering Corruption Across Sectors—-practical, practitioner-oriented guidance for USAID staff, implementers, and the broader anti-corruption community on identifying and capitalizing on opportunities to address corruption through sectoral approaches. To learn more visit here.


Connect With Us

For more information on USAID’s anti-corruption work, please contact the Anti-Corruption Task Force at 

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