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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Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund (ZimRef)

01.12.2015 - 31.12.2021

The Zimbabwe Reconstruction Fund is a multi-donor trust fund that supports the Government of Zimbabwe in its reconstruction and development efforts in particular by strengthening the Zimbabwean public finance management and accountability system for improved service delivery, including in the health sector. The fund, with its management mechanism, is currently a key instrument of dialogue and experience sharing between the donors and the Government of Zimbabwe.


Municipal Development Programme Mozambique - PRODEM

01.01.2015 - 31.01.2021

In the framework of the ongoing decentralization process in Mozambique, 53 municipalities have been established since 1998. The programme aims to contribute to urban poverty reduction and a sustainable development of 26 municipalities. This shall be achieved through improvements in municipal government’s administration with a focus on service delivery and resilience to climate change impact complemented by enhanced citizen’s participation and social accountability.


Governance Facility (GF)

01.10.2014 - 31.12.2020

People in Nepal still suffer from weak public accountability, lack of rule of law and prevailing impunity. Switzerland, Denmark and DFID have established a sector-wide multi-donor basket facility to support public and private institutions in the governance sector, aiming at improving the rule of law, access to justice for marginalized men and women, the protection of human rights and at strengthening public accountability mechanisms for the most vulnerable people in Nepal.


Transparency International Bangladesh: Building Integrity Blocks for Effective Change

01.10.2014 - 31.12.2021

Transparency International Bangladesh promotes improved governance in selected institutions of integrity (parliament, judiciary, etc.) and five sectors providing basic services to the people (education, health, local governance, land, climate finance) as well as it strengthens its grassroots movement in order to reduce corruption for the benefit of the poor and the marginalised.


Programme d’Appui aux Collectivités Territoriales (PACT)

01.06.2014 - 30.06.2021

Les élections municipales de juillet 2004 ont scellé l'irréversibilité du processus de décentralisation au Niger. Malgré cette décision souveraine, les transferts de compétences et de ressources aux Collectivités Territoriales restent modestes, sans grands effets sur l'évolution de la gouvernance locale. Pour dynamiser cette réforme prioritaire, le PACT entend contribuer au développement d’une gouvernance locale fondée sur la participation citoyenne, l'accès équitable des populations aux services publics locaux et à la redistribution inclusive des richesses.


Regional and Municipal Infrastructure Development in Georgia

10.04.2014 - 30.06.2021

The project will increase human and institutional capacities of all municipalities in Georgia (except the capital city Tbilisi). lt will enable them to perform independently the core three functions for decentralised delivery of basic infrastructure services, i. e. Project Cycle Management, Financial Management and Asset Management. Such a decentralized System will enable the Government to better respond to population needs at local level.


Local Governance and Community Development Programme (LGCDP) II

16.07.2013 - 31.12.2020

As a result of this project, the demand side of local governance will be strengthened through the empowerment of right holders. Social mobilization interventions will enable beneficiaries to more effectively demand public services and hold national and local governments accountable. Simultaneously, the supply side will be strengthened. As a result, local bodies with strengthened institutional capacity and resources will provide services more effectively to the people, esp. to disadvantaged groups. In addition, an enabling policy environment will be promoted. Inter alia, this will help to prepare Nepal for a future federal system, as and when this system is defined in the new constitution.


Third Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP3)

01.09.2012 - 31.12.2021

The Third Sustainable Livelihoods Project (SLP3) aims to foster improved rural local governance and effective service provision by building capacity and institutionalizing community participation in the planning and delivery of priority investments. It will do so by supporting the implementation of the new Integrated Budget Law (IBL), which is the centrepiece of the government’s decentralization reform process. SLP3 will provide essential training, development and performance grants to all 330 soums and benefit 40% of Mongolia’s population.

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