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Targeting Natural Resource Corruption

Corruption in natural resource sectors undermines global development and biodiversity conservation efforts. Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC), a 5-year, USAID-funded project, brings together a consortium of conservation and anti-corruption experts to respond to this challenge. The TNRC consortium is led by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at the Chr. Michelsen Institute, TRAFFIC, and the Terrorism, Transnational Crime and Corruption Center (TraCCC) at George Mason University.

The Challenge


There may be no more important conservation and development challenge than addressing corruption within the natural resource sectors. Corrupt practices in the governance and management of natural resources result in the misuse or outright theft of public revenues, environmental degradation, unsustainable use of renewable resources, reduced economic growth and enduring poverty, declining trust in and stability of state institutions, criminality, insecurity, and even war. Corruption distorts good governance and effective decision making and it drives the allocation of resources away from the public good and into private hands, adversely impacting both people and biodiversity.

Our Goal


The goal of the TNRC project is to strengthen anti-corruption knowledge and practice to improve biodiversity outcomes by reducing threats posed by corruption to wildlife, fisheries and forests. Our project addresses a gap between anti-corruption knowledge and practice in the natural resource management (NRM) sector and the larger range of tools, lessons and good practices developed over the past two decades of anti-corruption work in international development.

Leader and Associate Awards


TNRC is a Leader with Associates (LWA) award. The Leader Award supports research, knowledge dissemination, networking, and piloting new approaches in a limited number of countries ($10 million + $4 million in cost share over 5 years). Associate Awards may be awarded by USAID country offices and other operating units, at their discretion, to support further analysis and/or implementation of context-specific anti-corruption programming (with a combined ceiling of $35 million).

Strategic Approaches


TNRC's core work at the global level focuses on three Strategic Approaches (SA). Our knowledge element will start with reviews of selected anti-corruption approaches and lessons, specifically tailoring them for NRM practitioners. New field research will also be launched to examine selected approaches in practice and to generate better evidence on the conditions that make them effective or not (topics and geographies to be finalized by August 2019). Network and partner engagement will initially target global-level agenda setters and influencers and will later engage with specialized groups at the international, regional or national/local level driven by research topics, themes and geographies. A limited number of pilots to field test new hypotheses by this research will be undertaken (starting in 2020-2021).

SA1: Research and knowledge management

  • Review existing anti-corruption knowledge and make it relevant and available to NRM practitioners
  • Develop rigorous new evidence on the conditions under which tailored anti-corruption approaches can be effective to reduce corruption in NRM
  • Disseminate knowledge to influence practice

SA2: Leverage networks and partnerships to promote change

  • Engage networks and partnerships to exchange knowledge and amplify the reach of anti-corruption information to promote change
  • Empower others to implement anti-corruption initiatives at the country level

SA3: Apply knowledge and test hypotheses

  • Limited pilots to test new approaches and evidence and feed knowledge back into the research and outreach under the Leader Award
  • Broader application of anti-corruption interventions under Associate Awards

The Associate Awards will leverage and contribute to TNRC's knowledge agenda, while responding to specific programming priorities agreed between USAID missions and operating units and TNRC. In-country programming will feed back into TNRC's core research questions to validate or challenge our initial hypotheses, thereby creating an essential continuum from knowledge to practice, and back again.

Learn More


For future resources, watch this space. To learn more, contact Liz Hart, Chief of Party, or Rachel Kramer, Deputy Chief of Party.

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This content is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.