Transparency International

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from one of Transparency International’s national chapters. The Anti-Corruption Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International and funded by the European Union


We would like to have an overview of donor accountability mechanisms, including donor requirements for recipient countries. Please also provide us with examples of cases of corruption in development cooperation, if possible on environment, climate change, citizen security and counter-narcotics issues in the Latin America and Caribbean region.


1. Corruption in aid in Latin America and the Caribbean
2. Donor accountability mechanisms
3. Requirements for recipient countries
4. References


There is a broad consensus and reported evidence that corruption can undermine the effectiveness of aid. Public information on specific corruption cases in the areas of citizen security and counter-narcotics is limited, but cases from other sectors illustrate and document the forms of corruption in development aid.

The anti-corruption approach of aid donors has several dimensions. It includes putting in place internal integrity management systems, supporting anti-corruption efforts in recipient countries and implementing mechanisms to safeguard aid. The latter mechanisms can be divided into prevention, detection and investigation, as well as sanctioning activities. For prevention, donors carry out risk assessments (including fiduciary risk assessments), establish due diligence processes, and implement guidelines on transparency and oversight of funds. To aid detection and investigation, donors have installed complaint mechanisms, carried out audits, and encouraged participatory and third-party monitoring. Sanctions used by donors include reprimands, debarment and cross-debarment.

There are also mechanisms that donors can require of recipients to achieve greater accountability for the use of aid. At times contested since they may raise concerns about undue conditionality, the types of requirements that are commonly required of recipient countries are: inserting anti-corruption clauses into development agreements, setting provisions for transparency, accountability and anti-corruption, and improving public financial management.


Samira Lindner, Transparency International, [email protected]


Marie Chêne, Dieter Zinnbauer, PhD; Transparency International




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