Journal: Out-Sourcing Corruption

Ethics, Methods & Process

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U.S. Nonprofit Screws up Iraq Jobs Program, Now Working on Afghanistan Repeat

As Joanna Nathan recently warned at, the U.S. government’s business-as-usual approach of outsourcing development work could have very negative consequences for the mission in Afghanistan.

“If gaudy new mansions built in the local ‘narco-tecture’ style are rented for thousands a month by U.S. contractors, UN agencies, foreign embassies and even rule of law projects, what does that say of the Western commitment to accountability?” she wrote. “For it is important to recognize that when Afghans speak of ‘corruption,’ they may mean perfectly legal actions under the direct auspices of foreign donors. When they hear of billions of dollars being spent in Afghanistan via private contractors only to often see much of the money lost in layer after layer of subcontracting and little real effect on the ground, that is labeled corruption whatever signed contracts there may be.”

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