Corruption is recognized by the global community as a threat to development generally and to achieving health goals, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal # 3: ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all. As such, international organizations such as the World Health Organizations and the United Nations Development Program are creating an evidence base on how best to address corruption in health systems. At present, the risk of corruption is even more apparent, given the need for quick and nimble responses to the COVID-19 pandemic, which may include a relaxation of standards and the rapid mobilization of large funds. As international organizations and governments attempt to respond to the ever-changing demands of this pandemic, there is a need to acknowledge and address the increased opportunity for corruption.
In order to explore how such risks of corruption are addressed in international organizations, this paper focuses on the question: How are international organizations implementing measures to promote accountability and transparency, and anti-corruption, in their own operations? The following international organizations were selected as the focus of this paper given their current involvement in anti-corruption, transparency, and accountability in the health sector: the World Health Organization, the United Nations Development Program, the World Bank Group, and the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Our findings demonstrate that there has been a clear increase in the volume and scope of anti-corruption, accountability, and transparency measures implemented by these international organizations in recent years. However, the efficacy of these measures remains unclear. Further research is needed to determine how these measures are achieving their transparency, accountability, and anti-corruption goals.
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