Fighting corruption – a major barrier to development

Figure: Two hands coming together in a handshake, with a folded banknote held in the palm of one hand.
The SDC works against corruption in all its forms, including paying bribes to obtain medical care. © SDC

Corruption hinders development, causing the disappearance of crucial financial resources, the erosion of public trust and a general sense of powerlessness and injustice that can escalate to full-blown conflict. Corruption hits poor and vulnerable groups the hardest as they cannot afford bribes to obtain public services.  The SDC is therefore determined to combat corruption. 

Fighting corruption is one of Switzerland's key priorities and vital to establishing good governance. Responsible and transparent action on the part of governments and the imposition of sanctions for corrupt acts are major weapons in fighting corruption.

Key objectives are ensuring that public funds are used effectively and efficiently for development within a particular country and building public trust in the government.  The SDC also aims to stop corrupt practices that subvert government institutions and political processes and to create a more level playing field, which helps reduce tensions. 

Focus of action

The SDC works to combat petty corruption that affects people's everyday lives, such as paying bribes for medical care. It also fights large-scale corruption involving powerful politicians and business leaders, with substantial sums changing hands. The SDC uses a two-pronged approach to tackle these issues: firstly, supporting specific anti-corruption programmes and secondly, incorporating anti-corruption measures into other areas of work. The SDC works to address all aspects of corruption, ranging from bribery, fraud and embezzlement to nepotism, unfair price-fixing and extortion.

Zero tolerance policy

If the SDC were to be affected by corruption, payments would normally be suspended pending the results of a legal investigation. In addition, the SDC strives to recover misappropriated funds in all circumstances.

Where can suspected instances of corruption be reported?

The FDFA Compliance Office is responsible for dealing with any instances of corruption or abuse which are reported within the FDFA or by external parties in connection with SDC-funded activities.


FDFA Compliance Office – Reporting corruption, misappropriation of funds and abuses

Alternatively, suspected instances of corruption may be reported on the whistleblowing platform of the Swiss Federal Audit Office.

Swiss Federal Audit Office (SFAO) whistleblowing platform

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 27

Strengthening democratic local governance

01.01.2022 - 30.06.2026

The project aims at supporting the democratic transition and the peace efforts in Myanmar. Using a decentralized budget support approach to all townships of one state in the Southeast of the country, it will strengthen township’s participatory planning and budgeting capacity. The project will also deepen the community’s capacity to demand public services. Additionally it will support national level policy discussions based on this experience.



PRODEL - Program for strengthening municipal capacities for local development

01.04.2021 - 30.06.2024

PRODEL III contributes to the decentralization reform through introducing its municipal autonomy approach into new laws and policies, through training of “multipliers” and creation of advisory services to extend its tool of Municipal Development Strategy to more municipalities. The EDM strengthens municipal autonomy and efficient use of local resources for production infrastructure and services, while promoting participation and inclusion.


Promoting good financial governance in Tanzania

Good Financial Governance - Longido, Arusha

01.08.2020 - 31.07.2023

The Good Financial Governance (GFG) project supports the public finance system by strengthening the provision of and demand for accountability as well as enhancing domestic revenue mobilisation to increase local development. GFG builds capacity at national and sub-national level, including of civil society and the private sector. The project enhances Swiss support to state institutions that are more efficient and effective, inclusive and increasingly free of corruption. 


Core contribution to Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) global partnership

01.05.2020 - 31.12.2022

This core contribution to the global partnership Sanitation and Water for All hosted by UNICEF aims at strengthening the capacities of populations to enjoy their rights to water and sanitation. SWA supports countries that are off track in progressing towards the Sustainable Development Goal on water, including through a mutual accountability mechanism. The opening of an operational office of SWA in Geneva will enrich this growing community of global water actors, allowing SWA to work more closely also with key human rights and public health actors. 


Somalia: Strengthening State Institutions for better service delivery

01.09.2019 - 31.12.2022

Building state institutions and the capabilities of the Somali government to implement better services is of primary importance to realize the developmental objectives contained in the Somalia National Development Plan (NDP) and the Sustainable Development Goals. With the contribution to the World Bank Multi-Partner Fund (MPF) Switzerland will support the rebuilding of core state functions and the socio-economic recovery in Somalia.


Accelerating financing for development: international taxation and investment

01.08.2019 - 31.12.2023

The realization of the 2030 Agenda requires an unprecedented mobilization of public and private funds. Through targeted engagements with well-known think tanks, this intervention will support the creation of evidence on the combined potential of international investment and taxation policies as accelerators for the financing of sustainable development. Translated into policy options, this evidence is expected to contribute to the shaping of policy discussions in relevant international fora, notably at the OECD, and inform Swiss positions.


Accountability in Health & Agriculture

01.07.2019 - 30.06.2023

While governments have translated regional policies on Food Security and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) into national policies, these are poorly implemented and the public lacks capacities to act effectively upon them. The project will improve the accountability and gender responsiveness of public resource management and complement the ongoing Swiss funded projects in ensuring that policy/advocacy work developed at national, regional and global levels is disseminated and implemented by relevant SADC and governmental institutions.


Contribution de la DDC à l’appui conjoint des PTF au Secrétariat du Groupe Exécutif de Coopération (GEC), ex Pool Technique

01.07.2019 - 31.12.2021

Le Secrétariat exécutif du Groupe Exécutif de Coopération (SEG) est un instrument commun des bailleurs de fonds dont la tâche est de soutenir leurs efforts de rendre l’aide au développement plus efficace. La contribution de la Suisse vise à rendre l’engagement des partenaires techniques et financiers (PTF) plus sensible au contexte fragile et vulnérable du Mali par une meilleure coordination, l’application d’approches de travail communes et le renforcement du dialogue politique de haut niveau.


Budget Support to the health SWAp in the Kyrgyz Republic

01.05.2019 - 30.04.2022

Health sector reform is a priority of the Kyrgyz Government. Considerable improvements of the health status of the population were achieved in the last years. Yet, additional efforts have to be done to improve cost-effectiveness of the health system. The Kyrgyz Government approved its Health Strategy 2030, in view to strengthen primary health care, improve the quality of services and promote public health. The project will support the implementation of the Health Strategy by providing funding and technical assistance to the Government. 


Social Accountability Programme

Tanzanian citizens

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

Against the backdrop of shrinking civic space in Tanzania, the Social Accountability Program supports four key accountability Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country. It aims to enhance transparency and accountability of public resource management at national and local level and to empower citizens – including youth and women - and local organizations to engage effectively in public oversight, decision making and advocacy on social issues of concern.


Somalia - UN Joint Programme on Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG)

01.09.2018 - 31.12.2021

After two decades of civil war and the following establishment of an internationally recognised federal government of Somalia in 2012, the UN Joint Programme for Local Governance and Decentralised Service Delivery (JPLG) supports the building up of more effective, accountable and inclusive local governance systems. Focusing on improved regulatory frameworks, enhanced public service delivery, and civic engagement, SDC contributes to enhanced state legitimacy, peacebuilding and more equitable access to public service well-being for all citizens, aiming thereby at more stability in the Horn of Africa.

Object 1 – 12 of 27