Fighting corruption – a major barrier to development

Figure: Two hands coming together in a handshake, with a folded banknote held in the palm of one hand.
The SDC works against corruption in all its forms, including paying bribes to obtain medical care. © SDC

Corruption hinders development, causing the disappearance of crucial financial resources, the erosion of public trust and a general sense of powerlessness and injustice that can escalate to full-blown conflict. Corruption hits poor and vulnerable groups the hardest as they cannot afford bribes to obtain public services.  The SDC is therefore determined to combat corruption. 

Fighting corruption is one of Switzerland's key priorities and vital to establishing good governance. Responsible and transparent action on the part of governments and the imposition of sanctions for corrupt acts are major weapons in fighting corruption.

Key objectives are ensuring that public funds are used effectively and efficiently for development within a particular country and building public trust in the government.  The SDC also aims to stop corrupt practices that subvert government institutions and political processes and to create a more level playing field, which helps reduce tensions. 

Focus of action

The SDC works to combat petty corruption that affects people's everyday lives, such as paying bribes for medical care. It also fights large-scale corruption involving powerful politicians and business leaders, with substantial sums changing hands. The SDC uses a two-pronged approach to tackle these issues: firstly, supporting specific anti-corruption programmes and secondly, incorporating anti-corruption measures into other areas of work. The SDC works to address all aspects of corruption, ranging from bribery, fraud and embezzlement to nepotism, unfair price-fixing and extortion.

Zero tolerance policy

If the SDC were to be affected by corruption, payments would normally be suspended pending the results of a legal investigation. In addition, the SDC strives to recover misappropriated funds in all circumstances.

Where can suspected instances of corruption be reported?

The FDFA Compliance Office is responsible for dealing with any instances of corruption or abuse which are reported within the FDFA or by external parties in connection with SDC-funded activities.


FDFA Compliance Office – Reporting corruption, misappropriation of funds and abuses

Alternatively, suspected instances of corruption may be reported on the whistleblowing platform of the Swiss Federal Audit Office.

Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) whistleblowing platform

Current projects

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Programme d’Appui à la décentralisation et à la Participation Citoyenne (DEPAC)

01.03.2018 - 28.02.2022

La DDC, à travers DEPAC, permet à 30 collectivités territoriales (CT) de développer des services dans les domaines de l’eau potable, l’éducation, les pistes rurales, répondant aux droits fondamentaux de 6,2 millions de Burkinabè. Le programme renforce aussi la contribution des associations et médias à l’efficacité des mécanismes de redevabilité locale. Face à la forte demande citoyenne, en particulier des jeunes, la phase 2 mettra l’accent sur la construction de la démocratie locale et la promotion économique.


PADIT - Programa Plataforma Articulada para el Desarrollo Integral de los Territorios

06.12.2017 - 31.12.2021

PADIT apoya el fortalecimiento del desarrollo local en Cuba, genera herramientas de gestión descentralizada basadas en la articulación y cooperación entre niveles de decisión (nacional, provincial, municipal e intermunicipal) y entre el sector público y el privado y cooperativo para crear servicios y actividades productivas y mejorar opciones de empleo e ingresos, con énfasis en mujeres y jóvenes. A la vez, PADIT moviliza la participación ciudadana en las decisiones locales.


Public Investment in Energy Efficiency Phase 2 (PIE2)

01.12.2017 - 31.12.2021

PIE2 aims to increase effectiveness of Public Investment Management (PIM) and of Public Finance Management (PFM) replicating and upscaling the achievements of PIE1 in the two poorest districts of Ulaanbaatar city. Improved PIM and PFM capacities, practices, procedures and regulations will be applied to the thermoretrofitting of public buildings, i.e. 20 schools and kindergartens, aiming for demonstration effect for replication. The need to improve education facilities corresponds to a top priority for UB citizens.


Efficient and Accountable Local Governance

01.11.2017 - 31.10.2022

Local Governments in Bangladesh are tasked to deliver important public services like education, agricultural extension and health. The project supports the clarification of functions for the local public sector, the enhancement of financial management and citizen participation for increased accountability in service delivery, with a focus on the sub-district level, and strengthening women’s participation in political processes. 


Parliament Support Programme (PSP)

01.11.2017 - 31.08.2023

Switzerland supports the Assembly of North Macedonia to become an effective, transparent and independent institution by supporting the Parliament’s institutional development, its oversight and legislative capacities and its transparency and accountability towards citizens, including marginalized groups. This includes changes to the regulatory framework, the promotion of a political culture of consensus building, capacity building for MPs, parliament staff and CSOs and improved electronic architecture for effective and transparent communication.


National Governance and Public Administration Reform (NGPAR): Governance for Inclusive Development Project (GIDP)

01.08.2017 - 31.07.2021

In a context of prevailing poor access to public services, the National Governance and Public Administration Reform Programme (NGPAR) has enhanced inclusive service delivery and local development via strengthening public administrations, increased dialogue, and collaboration between citizens and state for more effective service delivery since 2006. NGPAR Phase 4, the Governance for Inclusive Development Project will focus on support to the devolution process for inclusive and sustainable development in Lao PDR.


Potable Water Management Programme (PWMP) in Upper Egypt – Phase 1

01.07.2017 - 31.12.2021

Egypt is a water scarce country and has critical needs in better managing water resources and reducing water losses as well as water consumption. Switzerland can share its know-how in the water sector. This programme contributes to equitable access to safely managed water to deprived and informal settlement areas in the economically disadvantaged governorate of Aswan in Upper Egypt and to improved potable water management and service provision in Aswan Water & Sanitation Company (AWSC).


Albania: Bashki te Forta (Strong Municipalities)

01.06.2017 - 30.09.2022

Municipal administrations in all 61 municipalities in Albania will be supported to effectively manage service delivery based on the citizens’ needs. Municipal councils will be enabled to better represent citizens’ interests and ensure that public resources are well managed. Setting up a reliable and up-to-date local statistical system will allow an informed decision making. Through these improvements, citizens will benefit from better services such as waste and pre-school education and will actively be involved in local issues.


Support to Local Governance Programme (LoGo)

01.05.2017 - 31.12.2019

The programme will reduce the potential for conflict in the Province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) by improving the relationship and trust between the people and the State; as part of the ongoing decentralization reform, the programme will strengthen the basis for accountable and participatory local government processes leading to more efficiency of local governments and public services responding to all citizens’ needs, including those of the most vulnerable.


Sharique Phase IV : SDC LGov Programme

01.03.2017 - 30.06.2020

Sharique has developed a proven capacity development model for urban municipalities strengthening participative and inclusive development planning, transparent budgeting, taxation and representation of women and poor citizens in decision-making and service delivery. In this exit phase, the model will be internalized and applied in two additional districts by national training institutions, empowering 0.8 million citizens to influence planning and provision of public services.


Township Democratic Local Governance (TDLG)

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2020

In Mon State, with a traditionally strong Swiss presence, the project promotes a participatory, inclusive and transparent process around development grants, in order to improve the delivery of basic services at Township and village levels. Together with the state’s authorities, with the aim of including the governance structures of the Ethnic Armed Groups, the living conditions and space for democracy for the local people in ten Townships should improve with tangible development results.


Support to the DPCG (Development Partners’ Coordination Group) Secretariat in Rwanda

15.09.2016 - 15.09.2019

Switzerland and the UK, in an effort to facilitate a broad and fruitful development policy dialogue in Rwanda, will dedicate financial resources towards a UNDP support to the line ministry in charge of aid coordination. It entails, on the one hand, carrying out analytical research leading to evidence-based policy decision, and, on the other hand, the efficient management of the Development Partners’ Coordination Group (DPCG) Secretariat.

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