Fighting Corruption in Contexts of Fragility: IACA at the OECD Forum

IACA participated in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Global Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum in Paris last week, with visiting lecturer and alumna Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent speaking in a panel discussion on Managing Corruption Risks in Contexts of Fragility.

“Fighting corruption in contexts of fragility is about saving lives,” stated Ms. Aït-Mohamed Parent, former Under-Secretary General of Governance and Management Service at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a graduate of IACA’s Master in Anti-Corruption Studies programme, and a former IACA research fellow.

In her guest article on this topic before the Forum, she highlighted the estimated extent of aid-related corruption and outlined examples of this in the humanitarian sector. During the session last week she touched upon the lack of analysis in relation to project partners’ capacity to spend what are often significant amounts of money, especially during emergencies.

Ms. Aït-Mohamed Parent also noted the importance of dispelling the “myth of goodwill”, or the general notion that people working in the aid sector are “good” and therefore not vulnerable to corrupt practices, since this myth can lead to a lack of scrutiny of aid organizations’ internal control mechanisms.

Other speakers during the session, including H.E. Mr. Sarwar Danish, the Vice President of Afghanistan, and John Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, discussed the politicization of anti-corruption efforts in general and the need for safeguards to ensure integrity in projects in fragile contexts. The panel was moderated by Joel Turkewitz of the World Bank and Melissa Khemani (European Bank for Reconstruction and Development) and Yama Torabi (Head, Afghanistan Special Secretariat of Anti-Corruption) also participated as panel members.

In addition, the OECD Forum provided an opportunity for friends of IACA including alumni, members of its frequent visiting faculty, and former colleagues, to gather and discuss their own anti-corruption and compliance perspectives.

The Forum, which this year took the theme of “Planet Integrity: Building a Better Society”, featured speakers including senior government officials, heads of international organizations, and diverse civil society representatives and academics, and provided a platform for anti-corruption practitioners and researchers to discuss current trends.

IACA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the OECD in July 2014 and continues to collaborate closely with the organization. 

Read more about the OECD Forum and watch some of the recorded sessions here.

IACA will be represented at several other important conferences this year, including the Eighth Summit of the Americas, the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its Protocols thereto, and the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Copenhagen in October. Details of participation in other fora will be announced through our website and social media channels: FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter.

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