CIPE’s Anti-Corruption & Governance Center (ACGC) has led a Rapid Response Anti-Corruption program since 2016. The program quickly deploys financial and technical support to local civil society organizations (CSOs) and governments during windows of opportunity for anti-corruption reforms. The initiative is guided by a theory of change that proposes that, during critical junctures, well-resourced reformers can seize opportunities and make tremendous gains against corruption that would be impossible during normal times.
“I can't tell you how important it is to be fast on your feet [with anti-corruption]. Time-sensitive policy windows open, and you have to take them before they go away. You're always going to be hurtling back toward the status quo. If the status quo is corruption, then...you can never break through [with] incremental, technical, bureaucratic changes.”
Paul Massaro, Senior Policy Advisor – The Helsinki Commission
The program’s genesis can be traced to CIPE’s anti-corruption programs in Ukraine following the Revolution of Dignity in 2014. In CIPE’s view, the international anti-corruption community response was too slow to catch opportunities to dismantle corrupt systems that have plagued the country’s institutions for years. While Ukraine’s civil society is strong and external support has helped make it stronger, embedded corruption has endured without support and reforms within the Ukrainian government.
This experience inspired CIPE to create a time sensitive “rapid response” anti-corruption program to quickly respond to windows of opportunity. CIPE’s network, experience, and resources make it uniquely positioned to connect to and support local anti-corruption reformers and to encourage coordination and information sharing among local and international anti-corruption advocates. Since 2019, CIPE’s ACGC team has convened a quarterly Rapid Response Community of Practice* that is made up of over 65 anti-corruption experts, donors, and activists.
In recent months, support for a rapid response approach to anti-corruption has continued to grow in the US Congress, USAID, and in the anti-corruption NGO community. To better broadcast the growing number of rapid response anti-corruption initiatives, CIPE’s ACGC team launched this website in the hopes it can act as a clearinghouse for publications, blogs, podcasts, and updates related to anti-corruption rapid response. In addition to sharing CIPE’s rapid response experiences in The Gambia, Armenia, Sudan, and Ecuador, we hope to use it to highlight the experiences of other programs, individuals, and organizations.
We hope that it becomes an active and lively space for everybody interested in rapid response. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in sharing your work on this page.
Peter Glover, a Program Officer with CIPE’s ACGC team, leads CIPE’s Rapid Response program. You can read and listen to his work on this topic through his blogs and the Rapid Response podcast miniseries.
*The Anti-Corruption Rapid Response Community of Practice was created by CIPE in an effort to learn from anti-corruption practitioners, activists, academics, and donors about what works and doesn’t work when conducting interventions during political windows of opportunity. CIPE was motivated by a belief that the success of the rapid response approach depends on generating a critical mass of informed and committed stakeholders in the activist, NGO, government, and donor community. Each quarterly meeting provides opportunities for intensive discussion, information sharing, and collaboration. If you are interested in participating in a future Community of Practice Meeting, please send us a message on our Contact page.