TNRC Partner Resource USAID Technical Guidance on the Development Response to Organized Crime

Image representing TNRC's four focus areas: wildlife, fisheries, forests, and finance

Targeting Natural Resource Corruption

Harnessing knowledge, generating evidence, and supporting innovative policy and practice for more effective anti-corruption programming

Technical Guidance on the Development
Response to Organized Crime

This Technical Guidance from USAID offers a series of practical, important lessons for how development programming can target, respond to, and counter organized crime. The Guidance focuses on criminal activity, which is not necessarily synonymous with corruption. For example, corruption can facilitate illegal activity, or affect the broader policy and law enforcement environment such that illegal activity becomes accepted or goes unpunished. This Guidance recognizes these 'enabling linkages,' and can therefore inform programs to prevent the negative impacts on conservation and other environmental outcomes when crime and corruption converge.

Among the most relevant lessons from the Guidance for natural resource management practitioners are:

  • The need for any intervention to be politically informed, with a clear understanding of the context, especially when rule enforcers themselves may be corruptly complicit in violating the rules.
  • The importance of targeting the incentives to engage in negative behavior, and the risks of getting caught doing so. Incentives include both ‘push’ (individual need and/or greed) and ‘pull’ factors (the potential payoffs). Risks include the likelihood and severity of being punished for the negative behavior, which are often directly affected by corruption.
  • The role that the private sector can be encouraged to play as a legality and anti-corruption champion.

For NRM practitioners with projects targeting organized crime, or even just operating in contexts where organized crime is significant, this Guidance is a helpful resource for designing and implementing projects for success.

Download the PDF


Image attribution: © / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus