India’s second wave of Covid-19 has been devastating over the past two months, with the Lancet stating, in no uncertain terms, that the Indian government’s mismanagement of the pandemic is costing lives. And as the disease continues to rage worldwide, in late May WHO Director-General Tedros reminded us that ‘no country should assume it is out of the woods,’ with a forecast that more people are expected to die in the next three weeks than last year’s total.

This update is part of an ongoing series, where we recount what’s been happening with Covid-19 and corruption in 2021.

Written by:
Daniela Cepeda Cuadrado — Adviser, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at Chr. Michelsen Institute.

The World Health Assembly, held between 20…


In December 2020, representatives from Zimbabwe’s National Pharmaceutical Company (NatPharm), the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Care, (MoHCC), the Auditor General, civil society organisations (CSOs) and development partners held a virtual workshop to discuss the challenges of corruption at NatPharm and to identify ways to strengthen anti-corruption in the company.

A woman takes a single box of medication from a rack of shelving, full of medicine boxes.
A woman takes a single box of medication from a rack of shelving, full of medicine boxes.
Effective stock-checks and stock-control processes can help prevent corruption in healthcare distribution. Photo: Community Eye Health/Ferdinand Am/Flickr (CC: BY-NC, photo for illustration only).

Written by:
Olivia Gumbo — an experienced social accountability expert, based in Zimbabwe, working with civil society organisations and governments to promote anti-corruption strategies and systems. She is a governance adviser at the UK FCDO Zimbabwe Mission.

Corruption challenges at NatPharm

NatPharm is a not-for profit company, responsible for procuring and distributing all…


In our previous blog, we saw that a legacy of corruption is one of the factors fuelling institutional mistrust and vaccine hesitancy in sub-Saharan Africa. The dwindling confidence in Covid-19 vaccines is reduced even further by the constant news of corruption and abuse in the pandemic response. Long-term solutions are necessary but ‘quick-fixes’ are urgently needed as well, to reverse this downward trend. Community strategies offer development actors a proven short-term approach for building trust in contexts where the government is perceived as corrupt, and people are increasingly hesitant to be vaccinated.

A radio producer gives the thumbs-up sign through the studio window to a presenter, who sits in front of a microphone.
A radio producer gives the thumbs-up sign through the studio window to a presenter, who sits in front of a microphone.
Community radio can be an effective way to counter misinformation, build trust and dispel vaccine fears. Kulokoko radio station in Yangambi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Photo: Flickr/Axel Fassio/CIFOR, Creative Commons.

This is part two of a two-part series…


Vaccination is a formidable and cost-effective bulwark against ill-health, saving millions from measles, polio, mumps, and rubella. In the ongoing battle against Covid-19, the world has placed its hopes on an equitable rollout through the Gavi COVAX Advanced Market Commitment. However, the vaccine rollout across middle- and low-income countries has met with both new and familiar challenges. While vaccine hesitancy — the delay or refusal to accept vaccination — is as old as vaccines, the flow of information has never been greater — nor more distorted.

A health worker in a surgical mask prepares a syringe of Covid-19 vaccine. The patient waits in their car with the window rolled down. State of Bahía, Brazil. February 2021.
A health worker in a surgical mask prepares a syringe of Covid-19 vaccine. The patient waits in their car with the window rolled down. State of Bahía, Brazil. February 2021.
When the public trust their governments and health institutions, take-up of vaccines for Covid-19 is likely to be higher. Copyright Joa Souza/iStock.

This is part one of a two-part series, The links between vaccine hesitancy, mistrust…


Quatorze après la première plainte de « Biens mal acquis », la France a aujourd’hui l’opportunité de se placer à l’avant-garde de la lutte contre la corruption internationale en faisant de son futur dispositif de restitution des avoirs illicites aux populations spoliées un modèle sur la scène internationale.

Trois voitures de sport garées devant le magasin Louis Vuitton sur les Champs-Élysées, Paris
Trois voitures de sport garées devant le magasin Louis Vuitton sur les Champs-Élysées, Paris
Produits de luxe, voitures de luxe et biens immobiliers haut de gamme figurent parmi les biens les plus couramment achetés avec des fonds illicites et le produit de la corruption. (Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris.) Photo: GoodLifeStudio/iStock. Droits d’auteur.

Ecrit par :
Sara Brimbeuf — responsable du plaidoyer Flux financiers illicites et Grande corruption à Transparency International France

(Ce post est aussi disponible en anglais)

En décembre 2007, au lendemain du classement sans suite d’une plainte déposée par plusieurs organisations de la société civile française contre des dirigeants étrangers accusés d’avoir…


Fourteen years after its first ‘ill-gotten gains’ case, France now has the opportunity to be a global leader in combating transnational corruption: its planned mechanism for the restitution of illicit assets to affected populations promises to become a model for others to follow.

Trois voitures de sport garées devant le magasin Louis Vuitton sur les Champs-Élysées, Paris
Trois voitures de sport garées devant le magasin Louis Vuitton sur les Champs-Élysées, Paris
Luxury goods, super-cars and high-end property are among the most common assets purchased with illicit funds and the proceeds of corruption. (Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Paris.) Photo: GoodLifeStudio/iStock. Copyrighted.

Written by:
Sara Brimbeuf—Head of advocacy for Illicit Financial Flows and Grand Corruption at Transparency International, France

(This post is also available in French)

In December 2007 a French court dismissed charges against a number of foreign leaders accused of sheltering their fortunes in France — fortunes amassed by embezzling money in their home countries. The following…


Whether anti-corruption efforts achieve ‘real impact’ is a fraught question. Past studies reveal limited evidence of effectiveness at the programmatic or project level. Where targeted anti-corruption projects have met with success, some practitioners have questioned the difference made to the bigger picture, especially in authoritarian contexts.

A close-up photograph of a stacked pile of 10 to 15 logs, showing their cut ends.
A close-up photograph of a stacked pile of 10 to 15 logs, showing their cut ends.
Mangrove logs for fish smoking in Manoka, Cameroon. Photo: Flickr/Joel Kouam/CIFOR, Creative Commons.

Written by:
David Aled Williams — Senior Adviser, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at Chr. Michelsen Institute


Moldova’s judicial system is increasingly well protected in law, but outdated structures and corrupt practices mean true independence for judges is a long way off.

A photograph of the colonnaded entrance to the Orhei courts building in Orhei, Moldova
A photograph of the colonnaded entrance to the Orhei courts building in Orhei, Moldova
Orhei Court, Moldova. In spite of high-quality legislation — designed to ensure an effective, independent judicial system — public trust in the Moldovan judiciary remains low. Photo: Flickr/Photobank MD, Creative Commons.

Written by:
Daniela Vidaicu — reform specialist in justice and the rule of law in the Republic of Moldova. Daniela has been involved with reform processes for over 10 years, as a member of civil society, as a public servant within the Ministry of Justice and as a programme manager at the Embassy of Sweden in Chisinau.

She completed the U4 online course Corruption in the justice sector in spring 2020.

In its recent Resolution…


This update is part of an ongoing series, where we recount what’s been happening with gender and corruption in 2021.

Written by:
Matthew Gichohi — Researcher, Chr. Michelsen Institute
Monica Kirya — Senior Adviser, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Addressing corruption in the education sector is crucial for achieving gender equality

The 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) took place on 15–26 March 2021. This year’s theme was ‘women’s full and effective participation and decision-making in public life, as well as the elimination of violence, for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’.

U4 took part in the session on Women and Corruption on Friday 19 March, where we discussed education sector corruption and its negative impact on girls’ education.


An illustration of a single tube containing a Covid-19 test, alongside the blog post title: Covid-19 and corruption in 2021
An illustration of a single tube containing a Covid-19 test, alongside the blog post title: Covid-19 and corruption in 2021
This update is part of an ongoing series, where we recount what’s been happening with Covid-19 and corruption in 2021.

Written by:
Daniela Cepeda Cuadrado — Adviser, U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at Chr. Michelsen Institute.

Contributions by:
Monica Kirya and Daniel Hausenkamph.

In the latest OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum, Mr Giovani Gallo — Chief of Section of the Corruption and Economic Crime Branch at UNODC — condemned the exclusion of anti-corruption measures in the first responses to Covid-19. Since day one of the outbreak, corruption has infiltrated Covid-19 responses around the world, undermining their effectiveness.

So far this year, reports have been emerging rapidly of Covid-related corruption and fraud, giving us a sense of the true cost of…

U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

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