Annual Report 2023

This week we launched our annual report, coving the strides in the work we have been aiming to achieve since founding the organisation:

  • developing and promoting new and innovative research and policy,
  • connecting and supporting the voices of civil society from across the world on asset recovery, and
  • building an organisation fit to respond to national, regional and international developments.

As the last year of our 2020 – 2023 Strategy, it also saw us look back on our achievements over the past four years and plan for the years ahead.


Highlights of our work in 2023

We continued to push forward important global debates. This included continuing our work on the relationship between sanctions and asset recovery through both our Sanctions Watch platform and with the publication of new research into legislative and policy links between sanctions and asset recovery.

We concluded our own investigation into enforcement of Russian sanctions in three EU jurisdictions. The RussianEscape investigations uncovered possible sanctions evasion, reported for the first time on the total value of sanctioned assets in Italy and Spain, and identified further learnings for how sanctions can lead to asset recovery.

Russian escape event

We published new reports into areas little researched in the asset recovery fields: Reconciliation Agreements and Indirect Return Mechanisms – the latter of which we picked up for discussion with governments at the UNCAC Implementation Review Group meeting in Vienna and in new work that emerged to support Venezuelan civil society.

We developed three new sets of global civil society principles, aimed at setting out minimum framework standards for asset management, anti-corruption sanctions and victims and asset recovery. These principles lay important groundwork for our and our partners’ advocacy in the years ahead.

We extensively engaged on asset recovery with the African Union and regional African bodies in 2023. Alongside joint events and briefings with officials, we developed, and began piloting, a tool to assess implementation of the Common African Position on Asset Recovery. This tool, which will be finalised in 2024, will be an innovative way to advance asset recovery legislation and policy across Africa, rooting reform in African standards.

Lewis Tanzania

We led global debates throughout the year. At the UNCAC Conference of States Parties (CoSP) in Atlanta, USA, in December 2023, we co-organised several events with the StAR initiative, civil society and government partners. At the CoSP, we also advocated for transparency, accountability and participation in asset recovery through our role as co-chair of the UNCAC Coalition Asset Recovery Working Group.


We continued our commitment to strengthening the expertise and supporting the voices of our civil society partners across the world. This included providing trainings and ad hoc support to partners in Venezuela, Kenya, Uzbekistan, Mozambique and Angola, as well as enabling partners to engage with government officials in regional and global forums. Among others, we provided support to NGO partners over the year to attend meetings of the African Union and of the UNCAC CoSP, where they led discussions across the range of thematic topics we work with them on.

We continued our support to advance investigative journalism into financial crime. We carried out Investigate programmes in Madagascar, East and Southern Africa and Peru, training over 50 journalists in financial investigations and supporting them to develop and publish stories. Stories published this year by these journalists had substantial impact and journalists across the programmes were empowered to continue their work beyond our programmes end. A new set of data on cases related to Madagascar was also made available globally following our programme there.

Our achievements in 2023 ended the last year of our strategy strongly. We made progress across all priority areas and did so with a solid and energised team and partners. As we go into a new year and a new strategy, it is clear that 2024 will bring new challenges as conditions and commitment to anti-corruption change globally and as new cases arise. We will, however, also rise to meet the ambition set out in our new 2024 – 2027 strategy and remain ready to take on what the future holds, working as before towards asset recovery that contributes to stronger governance and a fairer world.

We thank our donors and supporters for their assistance in this.

You can read our annual reports and and financial statements here.