Looking at Organized Crime

We work alongside USAID to understand and address organized crime

We have a strong record of delivering quality analytical work on organized crime.

We are currently working with USAID to develop guidance on strengthening rule of law (ROL) approaches to address organized crime. As part of this effort, we organized a series of roundtables and white papers to better understand key dynamics between organized crime and ROL.

In previous work, we have:

  • Developed a programming guide to counter drug trafficking and ameliorate its impacts, drawing from case studies on Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mozambique and Sierra Leone;
  • Assessed the links between organized crime, conflict and fragility through a literature review and case studies in Nigeria, Guatemala and the Democratic Republic of the Congo that highlighted piracy and trafficking in persons, drugs, wildlife, natural resources and arms;
  • Examined what kinds of illicit activities are more likely to lead to corruption of high-level officials, how high-level corruption affects politics in different contexts, and how durable illicit networks are in the face of political upheavals when new political leaders replace corrupt officials;
  • Produced a study on “Street Gangs and Violent Extremist Organizations: Learning Across Fields”, drawing on a desk study and two experts’ roundtables to identify applicable lessons and programming recommendations that translate across the two domains;
  • Assessed the impact of organized crime on conflict in Niger focusing on regional smuggling networks and youth gangs;
  • Examined the economics of cocaine trafficking and maritime piracy in West Africa, and the socioeconomic impact of drug trafficking in South Africa; and
  • Conducted a rapid political economy assessment of counterfeit pharmaceuticals in Benin and the hunting concession process in Tanzania.




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