Corruption is a shared problem; CoSP can provide a collective response

This year marks the 10th session of the Conference of the States Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, and the event is now a significant opportunity for anti-corruption practitioners to share experiences and join forces. As organizations with different outlooks and expertise gather, our joint mission is to turn the convention’s obligations into actions.

The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) furthers these goals through its Anti-Corruption & Governance Center (ACGC). CIPE celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2023, offering four decades of experience connecting private-sector leaders with civil society and government leaders. ACGC has driven transformative work since 2018, building partnerships with businesses and civil society organizations and launching interventions from The Gambia to Malaysia to Ukraine to boost transparency, accountability, and fairness in government institutions.

ACGC staff develop and support research on anti-corruption issues; train anti-corruption practitioners, including compliance officers from micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises worldwide; and convene representatives of the private sector, governments, and civil society to support the global anti-corruption community.

In October 2023 the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics (SCCE) honored CIPE with its International Compliance award for 2023. “From Cambodia to the Balkans they have worked to fight bribery, foster compliance and promote ethical business practices,” SCCE Chief Engagement & Strategy Officer Adam Turteltaub said at the award ceremony. “Their efforts include pushing transparency in governments but also bringing the public and private sector together to create a fairer business world.”

That recognition was earned through innovative ACGC programs including:

  • ETHICS 1ST: This program helps African businesses to boost their business integrity and in doing so join global supply chains. It is a part of the Global Initiative to Galvanize the Private Sector as Partners in Combatting Corruption, which was created by the U.S. Department of State to better align business, government, and civil society interests to reduce corruption through collective action.
  • RAPID RESPONSE: Events ranging from COVID-19 to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have forced companies, governments, and civil society organizations to adapt fast at times when business integrity is at risk. ACGC’s Rapid Response Program monitors these disruptive events to identify windows of opportunity for impactful, sustainable anti-corruption reforms. One recent success ensured school-building money in Ghana was spent according to plan. Funded primarily through a grant from the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, CIPE’s Rapid Response interventions are also supported by the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
  • THE PRIVATE SECTOR ROLE IN BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP TRANSPARENCY: CIPE leads research and efforts into transparency and corruption issues, particularly regarding beneficial ownership transparency (BOT). A new report, Beneficial Ownership Transparency: Exploring the Private Sector Use Case, is part of a larger CIPE effort to fight kleptocracy. This first-of-its-kind report explains an important role for businesses in this important governance standard. It also challenges the notion that BOT is merely a compliance burden for private enterprise by illustrating its many benefits of BOT for the private sector, particularly micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.
  • DIGITAL RESOURCE HUB: ACGC programs develop online and technology-based resources to combat corruption. In 2022, CIPE worked with civil society group Accountability Lab to launch the first-ever competitive HackCorruption hackathon, in which activists and technologists gathered in South Africa, Nepal, and Colombia to build innovative tech-based tools to combat corruption, and in doing so seek mentorship, training, and financial support for their next steps. The program is expanding in 2024 to other countries in Southeast Asia.
  • CORRUPTION RISK FORECAST: In 2021, ACGC released the Corruption Risk Forecast, an online resource that synthesizes corruption and transparency indicators in over 120 countries to help users gauge risks and opportunities.

As representatives of government, private enterprise, and civil society convene for CoSP, CIPE is eager to continue engaging with fellow anti-corruption practitioners and identifying opportunities for collaboration in the name of preventing and confronting corruption around the world. To get involved in the discussions happening at CoSP or to learn more about CIPE’s programming featured at the event, please contact Gabrielle Cervone