Poverty, Aid and Corruption

Keywords: Corruption – Recommendations - Anti-corruption - Aid - Accountability - Transparency

The following paper is an outcome of consultations held within the Transparency International (TI) movement. It should be seen as a first step in adding to and shaping the debate on aid and corruption, reflecting TI’s previous work, national chapter concerns and present development discussions. This paper considers key issues in the aid and corruption debate, focusing specifically on abuses that occur in development assistance targeted at poverty reduction. To improve aid effectiveness, developments partners — both aid providers and aid recipients — have a shared role and responsibility in preventing one of the main breakdowns: corruption. All stakeholders have a duty to wage this fight.

The following paper is divided into different sections that build on these ideas and provide a framework for understanding the arguments. Section 2 describes how aid and corruption interrelate. Section 3 presents the core issues involved — politics and governance, transparency, mutual accountability and citizen empowerment. Section 4 looks at how the mutual accountability framework has shaped current trends in development cooperation. Section 5 examines how aid can be used to prevent rather than promote corruption. Section 6 provides concluding remarks and Section 7 offers a short summary of policy positions to be taken on the issues discussed.

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