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Covid-19 and donor financing

Minimising corruption risks while ensuring efficiency

With the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, development aid and donor agencies face new challenges. They have to deliver essential products and financial assistance in a short time frame to help developing states to cope with the current economic, health and societal crisis. This short time frame presents new corruption risks, as partners may rely on funding modalities that differ from their regular financing cycles.

3 June 2020
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Covid-19 and donor financing

Main points

  • During the pandemic, donors may face a trade-off between delivering aid quickly and efficiently, and minimising the corruption risks.
  • Choosing a financing mechanism to alleviate the effects of the crisis is a delicate process. It should correspond to intervention contexts and objectives but also have the necessary anti-corruption measures in place.
  • Donors should work with agencies and partners for more transparency on financial arrangements and disbursements. Only cooperation and negotiation make effective decisions possible in a multi-organisational context.
  • Previous crises have emphasised the need to coordinate monitoring efforts between private actors, public entities, donors, and civil society. Top-down and bottom-up information sharing is an important aspect in managing corruption and fiduciary risks.

Cite this publication

Nicaise, G.; (2020) Covid-19 and donor financing. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2020:10)

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About the author

Guillaume Nicaise is a senior adviser at the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute. He leads the work on corruption risk management, organisational integrity, and the private sector. Guillaume has a doctorate in socio-anthropology, specialising in norms transfer and norms implementation, with a special focus on good governance mechanisms (transparency, accountability, and civic participation).


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Photo: Yusuf