The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) joins with changemakers around the world to mark International Anti-Corruption Day and affirm our commitment to countering corruption and kleptocracy, both within countries and across borders. This week, as part of these efforts, Administrator Power(link is external) launched(link is external) USAID’s first-ever Anti-Corruption Policy(link is external), enshrining the fight against corruption as a core Agency priority.
In alignment with the U.S. Strategy on Countering Corruption(link is external), the Policy solidifies USAID’s emphasis on transnational corruption, grand corruption, and kleptocracy and commits the Agency to tackle corruption at its source. The Policy lays out a plan for institutionalizing this agenda in the coming years, including through the creation of a new Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, in order to protect resources crucial for development and deliver on the promise of democracy as a system that works in the public interest. USAID will complement its anti-corruption programming with enhanced policy and communications engagement, alongside new strategic partnerships with local actors, the private sector, multi-stakeholder bodies, and other donors.
The policy captures a bold array of actions that USAID will take to seize the opportunities and face the challenges in front of us. For example, our work will build on the recent release of state-of-the-art guidance aimed at modernizing anti-corruption approaches, including a Dekleptification Guide(link is external) focused on uprooting entrenched corruption during “windows of opportunity,” a Guide to Countering Corruption Across Sectors(link is external), a specialized handbook on countering corruption in the global health sector, and a report on the State of Innovation(link is external) in addressing transnational corruption. USAID has also provided seed funding for Reporters Shield, a global insurance product to defend investigative journalists and at-risk civil society actors from defamation lawsuits. Reporters Shield will be operational in 2023.
Corrupt actors continually evolve their tactics and approaches, and we must do the same to transform corrupt systems and networks, keep our partners safe, and safeguard our investments. While we are focusing on transnational corruption, we recognize that much of the groundbreaking work is being led by local actors. USAID is committed to supporting these brave anti-corruption champions, including by responding decisively when they open windows for reform or face backlash, building broad-based coalitions across geographic boundaries and sectors, sharing best practices and lessons learned, and mobilizing support for innovation. As part of this commitment, USAID recently launched the Powering a Just Energy Transition Green Minerals Challenge(link is external) under the Countering Transnational Corruption Grand Challenge for Development. All qualified innovators, from anywhere in the world, are encouraged to apply by January 9, 2023.
Additional details about USAID’s work, including our recent announcements, are available on our website(link is external).