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Sida’s handling of suspicions of corruption and irregularities in international development co-operation

Annual Report 2021


Corruption is one of the biggest obstacles to reducing poverty and oppression. Corruption diminishes social trust and hinders economic growth and investment. When people lack trust in authorities, democracy weakens, and the misuse of funds limits access to health care, education, housing, food, water and sanitation. Sida’s work against corruption is a vital and integral part of our work for development, poverty reduction and against oppression. Many countries where we operate are severely affected by corruption. Several of our partner countries appear at the bottom of Transparency International’s corruption index. Our work against corruption as an obstacle to development is therefore very urgent. It is equally important that we prevent and deal with corruption impacting our own operations. This report considers such cases. Transparency is an antidote to corruption and Sida as an agency must facilitate scrutiny and thus demonstrate our management of risks and instances where Sida’s operations are exposed to corruption. To this end, we have published our annual corruption report since 2009. We define corruption broadly. Most common are financial irregularities, such as funds used in ways other than as agreed with Sida or with one of Sida’s many partner organisations, or funds embezzled using false invoices and receipts. But Sida also includes various forms of abuse of power, such as recruiting unqualified candidates based on their family or other private ties to the recruiter. Sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment (SEAH) can also be included in the statistics concerning irregularities in some instances. In the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, some aspects of this work were made more difficult by the fact that it became more challenging to travel and to follow-up or audit activities on site. This contributed to adaptations in our methods and to the digitisation of parts of the investigation work. One result of this work is that, for the first time, we have been able to close more cases than we opened. We are constantly improving our procedures, hiring more investigators to improve their availability and developing and publicising our whistleblowing functions. A large part of the increase in the number of cases is due to the fact that more people in partner organisations dare to report suspicions and know how to do so, with great confidence in our management. They know they can make a report without risk to themselves. We have also confirmed many suspected instances of irregularities. Of the 374 cases closed in 2021, irregularities were confirmed in more than 60 percent (228 cases). With transparency and persistence, we continue to work towards eradicating corruption connected to development assistance and helping to reduce the incidence of corruption in the countries where we work. Together with our partner organisations, we continue our work to strengthen the rule of law and ensure equal opportunity all over the world.


Publicerad på webbplatsen: 2023-01-30

Publikationstyp: -

Utgiven: 2023

Språk: Engelska

Författare: Sida