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Aid diversion, accountability and questions unanswered: contextualising the World Bank working paper on offshore capture of foreign aid

Stephen Damianos (Centre of Development Studies, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 23 November 2020

Issue publication date: 31 July 2021

144

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to engage a contentious World Bank publication beyond its controversy. In particular, it assesses mechanisms that facilitate elite capture of foreign aid and potential strategies of accountability.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts desk research methodology, relying primarily upon journal papers, books and internet sources related to international development and corruption.

Findings

This paper isolates three factors that contribute to elite capture of foreign aid: the codified secrecy of offshore tax havens, customary clientelism and decentralised aid. Regarding accountability measures, it advocates decreasing livelihood dependence on local elites and encouraging meaningful involvement by civil society.

Originality/value

This paper de-sensationalises the controversial World Bank working paper, providing a contextualised reading that at the time of publication does not yet exist.

Keywords

Citation

Damianos, S. (2021), "Aid diversion, accountability and questions unanswered: contextualising the World Bank working paper on offshore capture of foreign aid", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 633-646. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMLC-08-2020-0086

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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