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Humanitarian aid integrity programme

This project is now complete

This project was completed in 2017. For more information please contact ti@transparency.org

What's at stake?

Around the globe, tens of millions of people rely on humanitarian assistance following natural disasters and conflict, and over recent years, humanitarian emergencies and the needs of affected people has been growing.

Relief is delivered in challenging environments, in the midst of conflict and where natural disasters have stretched national capacities. The injection of large amounts of resources into resource-poor economies, where institutions have been damaged or destroyed, can exacerbate existing problems and increase opportunities for the abuse of power. There is often pressure to disburse aid rapidly and immense organisational challenges in suddenly expanding the scope and scale of programme delivery.

This means that even when lives are at stake and people at their most vulnerable, corruption and other abuses are not uncommon.

What we're doing about it

Since 2005 Transparency International has been engaged in humanitarian sector, working directly with key actors to understand the corruption risks that exist in humanitarian operations and developing ways to prevent and mitigate these risks so that essential resources are used for their intended purpose.

In 2014, TI created a global initiative – the Humanitarian Aid Integrity Programme – to work with all humanitarian stakeholders to prevent corruption and ensure the integrity of humanitarian aid.

To understand the problem, we have undertaken targeted research to build up an evidence base of the risks in the sector. The TI Handbook on Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations, which was developed in collaboration with several international humanitarian organisations, provides a practical guide offering a number of good practice tools and practices for preventing and detecting corruption in humanitarian operations. We advocate for policy improvements amongst key humanitarian actors, and offer training for humanitarian staff to increase their understanding of the risks and possible solutions. We engage with affected communities, to raise awareness of their rights and to ensure that they are able to voice their concerns.

Our approach

Transparency and accountability are essential prerequisites for greater integrity in humanitarian operations. We work with governments, donor agencies, the UN, international and national humanitarian organisations, and affected populations, to strengthen both policy and practice in the effective implementation of humanitarian assistance.

TI has developed some key resources and evidence-based research for the sector, in particular:

  • Policy brief – The Humanitarian Imperative: How curbing corruption can save lives
  • The CREATE (Collective Resolution to Enhance Accountability and Transparency on Emergencies) project provides an overview of corruption risks and mitigation measures in different humanitarian emergencies, as well as key recommendations for humanitarian stakeholders. The project developed case studies on Afghanistan, Guinea, Lebanon and Somalia, as well as a Synthesis Report.
  • The TI Handbook on Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations, developed in collaboration with seven international humanitarian organisations, provides a practical guide offering a number of good practice tools for preventing and detecting corruption in humanitarian operations.
  • Complementing this, and in cooperation with the International Federation of the Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), TI Norway developed an online training module. This free online course can be found here: IFRC Learning Platform (course: 101 Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Aid), DisasterReady, etc.
  • Uwajibikaji Pamoja” (Accountability Together) project is a web-based complaint referral mechanism that brings together 40 state agencies and international and local NGOs in Kenya.