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Community Contribution

USAID Anti-Corruption Evidence and Learning Week


USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force (ACTF) and the Center for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG Center) co-hosted the first-ever Anti-Corruption Evidence and Learning Week on January 10–13, 2022. This week convened USAID staff, U.S. government colleagues, and anti-corruption experts from academia, think tanks, and implementing partners, among others. Participants grappled with data, evidence, and knowledge gaps on existing anti-corruption approaches; shared sectoral learning; and identified next steps for applying learning and evidence to anti-corruption programs. Please see the PDFs for the sessions and links to resources for each day and find key takeaways from each day below. (Note that Day 3 was USAID only.)

Day One – Meeting the Moment – explored the role of evidence and learning in meeting new and emerging U.S. government anti-corruption priorities. Sessions takeaways include:

Day Two – Mining the Evidence – reviewed the data and evidence on the effectiveness of existing and emerging anti-corruption approaches. Sessions takeaways include:

  • Context analysis helps us prioritize institutional reforms, reduce opportunities for corruption, and build incentives for change. 

  • We may find the most effective non-governmental partners to drive change when we engage with informal movements and coalitions, particularly local stakeholders.  

  • Recent experimental research points to the effectiveness of combining top-down and bottom-up auditing with sanctions. 

  • Emerging evidence highlights the influence of social norms on corruption and the need for more evidence on strategic corruption. 

  • Diagnostic tools can help identify corruption risk in sectors (e.g., health and extractives).  

Day Three (USAID Only)

Day Four – Evidence and Learning in Practice – translated the week’s learning into practical steps.  Sessions takeaways include:

  • Transnational corruption has significant connections with transnational organized crime and is pervasive in key sectors (e.g., extractives); approaches such as beneficial ownership standards and other transparency measures can help address the issue. 

  • We need to be clear about our objectives when we measure change in corruption and think critically about what change looks like in specific contexts.  

  • We should leverage local partner expertise to advance the learning agenda, building on their contextual knowledge and long-term perspective.

USAID will use these learnings to shape forthcoming strategic and programmatic guidance for the Agency, support Missions in designing and adapting programs, and formulate new anti-corruption research.  For more information on the week or on USAID’s ACTF, please visit or email [email protected]

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