Combating Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge

Speeches Shim

Success in the fight against corruption requires a response as clever, nimble, and globally networked as transnational corruption itself.

Citizens listen intently to the discussion
Citizens listen intently to the discussion of the 2019-2020 county budget on Ratego FM in Siaya County, Kenya. The USAID’s Agile Harmonized Assistance for Devolved Institutions (AHADI) supports Kenyan institutions to promote transparent, accountable, effective service delivery, and responsive governance systems.
Photo by Amunga Eshuchi

Corrupt actors siphon off critical resources that should be used to lift people out of poverty and deliver much-needed social services -- exacerbating inequality, stunting development, and eroding faith in democracy itself. Enabled by facilitators in key sectors and industries, corrupt actors launder their ill-gotten gains across borders and around the globe, with devastating consequences for citizens in developing and developed countries alike. Data from 178 countries indicates that approximately 140,000 child deaths per year could be indirectly attributed to corruption1 and during the COVID-19 pandemic, procurement scandals led to life-altering delays in supplies and vaccines, especially for already-vulnerable populations.2 Corruption also increases the transaction costs of shifting to low-carbon energy alternatives3 while compounding environmental degradation, pollution, and biodiversity loss. As President Biden said, corruption is “nothing less than a national security threat in the 21st century.”4

As part of the Presidential Initiative to for Democratic Renewal, an ambitious suite of programs and commitments announced at The Summit for Democracy, USAID is announcing  a five-year Combating Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge

The Combating Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge will leverage innovation and collaboration to prevent corrupt actors from siphoning off critical resources that should be used for the public good.

We will do so by:

  • Harnessing the power of novel approaches, tools, and technologies to detect and disrupt illicit finance, trafficking of high-value commodities, and corruption in global supply chains;
  • Mobilizing the private sector to promote integrity and strengthen anti-corruption practices and norms, especially in high-risk industries; 
  • Partnering with local solvers to address the unique challenges of transnational corruption and protect public resources from theft and diversion; and
  • Building diverse networks across borders and sectors to foster collective action against transnational corruption.

We invite you to join us. The Grand Challenge aims to mobilize a wide range of partners, including businesses, associations, technologists, innovators, philanthropists, civil society organizations, governments, and media in the fight against globalized corruption. Brought together and incentivized by the Grand Challenge, these partners will build coalitions and source novel tools and approaches to curb the threat of transnational corruption. 

Prospective partners are invited to pledge resources, expertise, or technical assistance to contribute to the design and implementation of the Grand Challenge. Partnership tiers are flexible, allowing organizations to participate as their bandwidth permits. 

Interested in learning more about how you can get involved in the Grand Challenge? Reach out to us at to explore partnership opportunities. 

Learn More:

  • Read about the Grand Challenge partnership model in our brief for prospective partners

Hanf et al. 2011, cited in Transparency International 2019
New York Times 2021
Allianz 2020
4  Remarks by President Biden before the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

    Last updated: March 01, 2022

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