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) during windows of opportunity for anti-corruption reforms. The initiative is guided by a theory of change that posits 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, 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.

This experience inspired CIPE to create a time sensitive “rapid response” anti-corruption program to quickly respond to windows of opportunity—with prior and existing programs in The Gambia, Ecuador, and Sudan.

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 years, 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. In a testament to the value of rapid responding to anti-corruption windows of opportunity, CIPE’s Rapid Response intervention in The Gambia was cited in USAID’s new Dekleptification Guide.

To better broadcast the growing number of rapid response anti-corruption initiatives, this site seeks to act as a clearinghouse for publications, blogs, podcasts, and updates related to anti-corruption rapid response, not just for CIPE, but for the global anti-corruption community. Should you have resources/blogs to share, events to promote, or would like to learn more about the Rapid Response program at CIPE, please reach out to Program Officer Richard Christel (

Izabela Chmielewska leads the Anti-Corruption Rapid Response Program at the Anti-Corruption and Governance Center at CIPE. This program spans several countries and is aimed at solidifying anti-corruption gains in windows of opportunity.

*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.

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