CJL’s Newest Deep-Dive

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7 Apr 2021

Conflict-Sensitive Anti-Corruption Strategies

Anti-corruption work in conflict contexts is often carried out with little to no regard for conflict dynamics. Yet, our experience at CJL is that without careful consideration, anti-corruption work can unintentionally make conflicts worse. In response, the anti-corruption community needs to know more about how conflict dynamics affect anti-corruption effectiveness in order for their programming to avoid these negative consequences.


As a contribution to bridging the silos of peacebuilding and anti-corruption research and practice, we have launched our newest arm of work to highlight the need for conflict-sensitivity in anti-corruption programming. With this, we are building an evidence base that will inform the conflict-sensitivity of anti-corruption strategies of donors and practitioners.


Working with existing research on the conflict-corruption nexus, we are analyzing evidence for how anti-corruption strategies in fragile and conflict affected states have the potential to exacerbate conflict and fragility, or alternatively can positively contribute to concurrent peacebuilding and stabilization objectives. We aim to identify potential virtuous circles through which anti-corruption, peacebuilding, and governance programming can be harmonized.


From our initial review, we think Afghanistan provides an excellent test-case for this emerging framework of conflict-sensitive anti-corruption strategies. By constructing and applying the framework for conflict-sensitive anti-corruption strategies, we will explore how anti-corruption strategies in Afghanistan have exacerbated, and mitigated conflict dynamics. Our newest stream of work under the Corruption and Peacebuilding Project has been generously supported by the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies at The Fletcher School.


We post our learning-in-progress on the Corruption in Fragile States Blog, so subscribe to stay up to date!