News Release

Brookings Launches Anti-Corruption Project to Strengthen Democracy Worldwide

December 5, 2023

Washington, D.C. The Governance Studies program at the Brookings Institution announced a new project to address critical anti-corruption challenges that threaten global democracy and security. Through extensive research and collaborative efforts with stakeholders worldwide, the Anti-Corruption, Democracy, and Security Project (ACDS) aims to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-corruption efforts and track progress on global commitments aimed at combatting corruption and mitigating emerging challenges to democracy.

Leading ACDS is Brookings Senior Fellow Ambassador Norman Eisen (ret.), a globally recognized expert in anti-corruption and rule of law. Ambassador Eisen, serving as Chair, has spearheaded Brookings’ Leveraging Transparency by Reducing Corruption project, and held key government positions, including special counsel and special assistant to the President for ethics and government reform in the Obama White House.

“Corruption has a corrosive effect on democracy and fighting that in the U.S. and around the world is not for the faint of heart,” emphasized Ambassador Eisen. “This pressing challenge requires resolute action, both domestically and globally, and an unwavering shared commitment to develop and implement rigorous and innovative anti-corruption policies.”

ACDS Senior Director Jonathan Katz, an expert in anti-corruption, national security, and democracy, outlined the project’s mission: “Our goal is to empower good governance champions around the world with the knowledge, tools, and connections needed to combat corruption and fortify democracy. We are committed to working with governments, civil society, media, and the private sector to confront the formidable challenges posed by autocrats, enablers, and corrupt entities.”

Camille Busette, interim vice president of Brookings Governance Studies program, highlighted the significance of the project: “This project marks Brookings’ latest effort to help solve the biggest challenges facing democracy. ACDS brings strong leadership, expertise, and relationships to support those combating public sector corruption worldwide.”

The project’s areas of focus and activities include:

  • Co-leading the Financial Transparency and Integrity cohort –  In collaboration with the Open Government Partnership and the U.S. Government, ACDS leads a ‘Democracy Cohort’ focused on advancing financial transparency, accountability, and integrity, a critical component of the 2021 Summit for Democracy. Learn more here.
  • Analyzing anti-corruption commitments – Tracking the progress of commitments made by participating governments to enhance government accountability and address implementation gaps.
  • Assessing corruption measurement frameworks – Exploring best practices and challenges in measuring corruption.
  • Building a global multi-stakeholder community – Convening anti-corruption practitioners across civil society, governments, media, and the private sector to foster peer learning and share best practices, including combatting corruption in businesses and understanding the evolving role of artificial intelligence. 
  • Integrating Ukraine’s anti-corruption and democracy priorities into its recovery and reconstruction process – Ukraine’s success in combating corruption is critical to sustained international support and the realization of an independent and robust democracy. In addition to new research and convenings on this topic, ACDS will continue to update the Brookings Sanctions Tracker.

On Wednesday, December 6, ACDS will host an inaugural event featuring global anti-corruption experts Ambassador Eisen, Shannon N. Green, Assistant to the Administrator of the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance (DRG), and Vernonica Mihailov, Minister of Justice for the Republic of Moldova. Learn more here.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.