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


Please provide an overview of experiences of compliance reviews by NGOs, with special attention to Latin America but not limited to that region, and addressing lessons learned and challenges ahead.


Civil society organisations around the world are increasingly leading corruption compliance review processes. After analysing a series of examples around the world, it can be seen that some common mechanisms are being implemented, such as impartiality, transparency, accountability, data collection, analysis and final report production, and communication of the results. There are also some tendencies which are repeated; for example, the growing involvement of local communities in monitoring processes and the vital role of access to information legislation. Some challenges have also been identified, such as the importance of ensuring accountability from community-led initiatives and offering protection to citizens in dangerous contexts

This approach can be used to assess compliance reviews at an international level; however, this Helpdesk answer has focused mainly on local and national compliance review processes from Latin America and elsewhere in the world.


  1. Overview of anti-corruption review mechanisms
  2. CSO involvement in compliance reviews
  3. Examples of CSO-led compliance review mechanisms
  4. Lessons learned and challenges
  5. References

Main points

  • CSO corruption compliance reviews are external procedures carried out to analyse if a private or public body is correctly complying with external or internal anti-corruption standards.
  • The most common forms of compliance reviews undertaken by CSOs are shadow reports, social audits, citizen reports cards and corruption complaint follow-ups.
  • The principles that these mechanisms should strive for are impartiality, transparency, accountability, and clear and understandable research and results


Iñaki Albisu, [email protected]


Nieves Zúñiga, Transparency International




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