Preventing corruption in humanitarian assistance
This report describes research on the problem of corruption in humanitarian assistance, carried out in 2007 and 2008 by the Feinstein International Center of Tufts University (FIC) in collaboration with the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) at the Overseas Development Institute in London (ODI) and the sponsoring organization, Transparency International (TI). Seven major international humanitarian NGOs volunteered to be part of the project and allowed researchers access to their headquarters staff and documentation along with similar access to field programs in seven crisis affected countries. This analysis suggests that, in recent years, humanitarian agencies have become more aware of the risks of corruption and have taken many steps to deal with these risks. However, there are remaining gaps that could be addressed both by better sharing of good practices within the humanitarian community, and by looking to good examples from outside of it. Also, many of the mechanisms agencies use to track and control normal financial and human resource procedures along with program quality mechanisms can be used to mitigate the risk of corruption and counter its effects. Agencies have put in place specific mechanisms to mitigate corruption risks, most notably whistleblower programs and strengthened internal audit functions. However, findings here suggest that the former are better known in headquarters than in field operations.