Throughout the summer, I have been preparing for an upcoming USAID task order seeking to combat transnational corruption. To prepare for its release, I have researched how to mitigate elements of transnational corruption such as illicit finance, officials siphoning public resources, and trafficking.
Through my research, I’ve found that first and foremost, the actors involved in corrupt activities must be identified. This requires a process called “mapping.” To begin, a central actor must be identified, then the flow of money and/or resources is tracked from that individual to the next, ultimately producing a map of corrupt actors and their confidantes. By creating a map of those involved, fragile points in the scheme can be identified, allowing money and resources to be retrieved prior to crossing borders or being used, and then allocated as intended. Additionally, mapping provides an extensive list of individuals that can be held accountable. When courts hold corrupt individuals accountable, corrupt activities are hindered and the public’s trust in its government is increased.
Another necessary tactic in combatting corruption is garnering support and engagement from the public. If members of the public have a desire to root out corruption, they will be more willing to participate in the process. These individuals can play a vital role in identifying corruption and corrupt actors, assisting with the mapping process and increasing accountability. Furthermore, the public’s negative opinion of corrupt individuals can deter other actors from participating and ensure future elected officials are not involved in corrupt practices.
After completing my research, I met with some of DT Global’s partners to determine how they could assist in successfully implementing these practices to combat corruption. These partners included UNISHKA Research Service, American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI), and Adam Smith International (ASI). With its technological and research capacity, UNISHKA can develop complex maps to track corrupt actors and the flow of money and resources; ABA ROLI and ASI both have experience fostering support and engagement from the public. I look forward to working with each of the partners to continue developing plans to combat transnational corruption.