One of the biggest obstacles to achieving a democracy that delivers for all citizens is corruption. Improving transparency and fighting corruption is crucial to establishing the rule of law, enhancing business environments, and ensuring that democracy is inclusive. Private sector can be both a participant and victim of corruption. Crucially, it is also the key to addressing this corrosive problem.
CIPE has traditionally worked on curbing the demand for corruption by helping business organizations identify domestic laws, rules, and regulation that are vague, overlapping, or too onerous to comply with. Such complexity leaves excessive room for interpretation by public officials and creates corruption risks – it needs reform. In this project, CIPE has also brought its focus to addressing the supply side of corruption given the growing global movement to make bribery and other forms of corruption unacceptable in international business. Norms such as the United Nations Convention Against Corruption or the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Convention on Combating Bribery, and laws such as the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the UK Bribery Act create a strong anti-corruption framework that affects business conduct everywhere.
In today’s world, global value chains stretch across borders and continents, anti-corruption compliance provides a vital competitive advantage. Yet, smaller companies in emerging markets often lack sufficient knowledge and resources to comply with these global norms and become reliable partners for multinational enterprises. CIPE’s key objective has been to help these local firms understand and apply best practices in order to improve governance and business environment in their countries. To that end, CIPE created Anti-Corruption Compliance: A Guide for Mid-Sized Companies in Emerging Markets and publishes Corporate Compliance Trends blog where authors focus on small and medium-sized enterprises, and the role of business associations and chambers of commerce in raising compliance awareness.
Based on these resources, CIPE also developed a comprehensive training curriculum for private sector organizations and businesses around the world. The curriculum has been field-tested in diverse countries such as Kenya, Pakistan, and Ukraine and became a starting point for more extensive country-level work with local partners. To reach new audiences, CIPE also launched an interactive, online anti-corruption training course. Most recently, CIPE began exploring the intersections between anti-corruption compliance and compliance in other key areas such as labor and environment. This integrated approach to educating local businesses on global best practices is currently underway in Indonesia where CIPE works with companies and civil society organizations in the palm oil value chain. By providing actionable tools and training, CIPE helps local companies understand and leverage the business case for strong compliance and ethics.