Corruption stymies development and undermines democratic governance. It affects everyone, but often hits women and marginalized groups the hardest, as they seek to access services or avoid the impact of discriminatory laws. As corruption becomes increasingly globalized, it inflicts even greater damage on all development sectors. When left unchecked, corruption can sabotage health outcomes, fuel conflict, exacerbate climate change, divert humanitarian assistance, and more.
To keep pace with the changing nature of corruption, and ensure anti-corruption is an enduring Agency priority, USAID has released its first-ever Anti-Corruption Policy. In line with the U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption, the Policy signals our commitment to countering corruption and outlines our plan for institutionalizing anti-corruption efforts across our work, focusing on six lines of effort:
- expanding USAID’s efforts to address contemporary corruption threats to keep pace with the drivers, enablers, and manifestations of corruption today, especially transnational corruption;
- exercising holistic and responsive leadership to marshal USAID’s range of capabilities during pivotal moments for anti-corruption reform and backsliding;
- countering corruption across sectors to thwart corruption that impedes development progress and tackle corruption from multiple angles;
- forging new partnerships and coalitions to spur and sustain anti-corruption progress;
- institutionalizing anti-corruption as a priority across the U.S. Government and USAID’s strategy, policy, and planning processes and frameworks; and
- safeguarding development and humanitarian assistance from corruption risk to preserve public resources for development, protect foreign assistance from diversion, and avoid unintended negative consequences of international aid.
As we implement this Policy, we commit to learning, listening, and iterating as we go. Corrupt actors continually evolve their tactics and approaches, and we must tackle corruption at the source, keep our partners safe, and safeguard our investments.