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Stopping corruption to save lives: A practical guide for humanitarian emergencies

A timely, comprehensive practical guide for combating corruption in relief and reconstruction has been published today by Transparency International (TI), the global anti-corruption organisation, in collaboration with seven major humanitarian agencies.

The guide, Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations: A Handbook of Good Practices gives aid workers facing immense pressure and challenging environments the tools to confront corruption, so that they can focus on saving lives and long-term recovery.

“Disasters like the catastrophe in Haiti highlight the absolute necessity of ensuring that the funds and supplies allocated actually reach those in need. Corruption in emergency aid is a matter of life and death. Stopping and preventing corruption should be a strategic priority for the humanitarian community,” said Christiaan Poortman, Global Programmes Director at TI.

The TI Handbook compiles best practice from the field, including ways to track resources, confront extortion and detect aid diversion. The guide was developed in collaboration with Action Aid, CARE International, Catholic Relief Services, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Lutheran World Federation, Save the Children USA and World Vision International. All seven agencies will be incorporating its tools into their policies and practices for their relief and development efforts.

“The handbook helps both those on the ground and those managing relief operations deal with difficult situations as they arise and helps highlight areas where corruption is potentially a risk,” says Roslyn Hees, Senior Advisor, TI and co-author of the handbook.

The handbook, part of TI’s broader work to stop corruption in humanitarian assistance, covers policies and procedures for transparency, integrity and accountability, and specific corruption risks, such as supply chain management and accounting. It also identifies corruption risks along the programme cycle, from needs assessment to post-distribution monitoring and evaluation.

The research for the Handbook was carried out by the Feinstein International Center (FIC) of Tufts University, the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) of the Overseas Development Institute, and TI in collaboration with the seven aid agencies.


Transparency International is the civil society organisation leading the fight against corruption

Download the full Handbook here.

To receive a printed copy and/or CD of the Handbook, please contact: Larissa Schuurman [email protected].
The Handbook is initially available in English. French and Spanish versions will follow shortly.

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