IDD Policy Brief: Building Integrity in Fragile Contexts

How can donors balance anti-corruption goals with the need to promote stability in fragile and conflict-affected states? What can be learned from the Performance Based Governance Fund in Afghanistan? Dr Heather Marquette highlights the emergence of context-sensitive approaches to corruption in fragile situations as part of efforts to promote responsive statebuilding.

Key messages

  • In fragile contexts, a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to corruption is unrealistic and potentially destabilising.
  • Instead of attacking corruption in such contexts through direct, short-term anti-corruption initiatives, donors need to encourage integrity through long-term, indirect strategies.
  • For example, Afghanistan’s Performance Based Governance Fund incentivises integrity in provincial governance by publishing regular evaluations and adjusting budget levels according to performance. It emphasises capacity building, transparency, and citizen-state engagement, promoting statebuilding processes that address corruption.

IDD Policy Briefs support evidence-based decision-making in international development, presenting the policy implications of research in a concise and accessible format.

Read the Policy Brief: 'Building Integrity in Fragile Contexts' (PDF 100KB)