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Donors and "zero tolerance for corruption": From principle to practice

Bilateral donors often use “zero tolerance for corruption policies” to signal a tough stance against corruption, but staff often experience a lack of clarity on how to apply these policies in practice. Some multilateral development banks have had long experience in applying zero tolerance to corruption policies. Their experience indicates that the strict application of these policies—that is, the full investigation, prosecution, and sanction of all instances of corruption, no matter how minor—is usually not feasible. Zero tolerance policies should translate not to zero appetite for risk, but rather to adequate risk management processes.

5 February 2014
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De Simone, F.; Taxell, N.; (2014) Donors and "zero tolerance for corruption": From principle to practice. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief )

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Francesco De Simone
Nils Taxell


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)


donor coordination, anti-corruption policy, corruption