Addressing corruption risks in the humanitarian sector requires open and collective engagement

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Transparency International today called on all humanitarian actors to strengthen efforts to enhance transparency and accountability in humanitarian responses to ensure humanitarian aid is distributed in a fair and rapid way without corruption. A more open internal and inter-agency dialogue on the risks of corruption in humanitarian operations is key for addressing corruption risks.

The new Collective Resolution to Enhance Accountability and Transparency in Emergencies: Synthesis report, developed in partnership with Humanitarian Outcomes and Groupe URD, compares the challenges that humanitarian aid actors face in four different complex humanitarian contexts: protracted conflicts in Afghanistan and Somalia, sudden onset disasters such as the Ebola crisis in Guinea, and the response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon.

The study shows that corruption risks exist across the entire programme cycle of humanitarian aid with slightly different emphasis depending on the context and nature of the response as well as the type of actors involved. Where high levels of insecurity exist, risks include the process of negotiating conditions for access, identifying local partners, and the selection and targeting of aid recipients. Other more common risks include procurement, especially in the awarding and pricing of contracts, and human resources, particularly nepotism and cronyism in recruitment.

Across all contexts, there were challenges in engaging with the affected population, which impacts the type of information an organisation might receive on the quality of programmes and the related risks of corruption, including gate-keeping, favouritism and other forms of abuse.

These practices are not specific to a particular type of organisation (national or international). Humanitarian resources are not only diverted by governmental actors and national NGOs, but also as a result of the practices of international agencies.  

While commendable and important initiatives to reduce corruption risks and improve aid integrity are being implemented, there is a need to re-double efforts. A collective, strategic effort to bring about change as well as more open and frank discussions at global and country levels on corruption risks are necessary. In particular, Transparency International makes the following recommendations:

Humanitarian aid agencies should:

Donor agencies should:

Inter-donor and inter-agency fora should:

Host governments should:

 

Note to editors: Click here to download the full report. Funded by the European Commission's humanitarian aid department, this report is part of a series of four case studies looking at corruption risks in the delivery of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies as well as recommendations on how to prevent corruption. Case studies on Somalia, Guinea, Afghanistan and Lebanon are available online.


For any press enquiries please contact

Berlin
Natalie Baharav
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Nairobi
Laeticia Klein
T: +254 790599987
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Foreign bribery rages unchecked in over half of global trade

There are many losers and few winners when companies bribe foreign public officials to win lucrative overseas contracts. In prioritising profits over principles, governments in most major exporting countries fail to prosecute companies flouting laws criminalising foreign bribery.

Ensuring that climate funds reach those in need

As climate change creates huge ecological and economic damage, more and more money is being given to at-risk countries to help them prevent it and adapt to its effects. But poorly governed climate finance can be diverted into private bank accounts and vanity projects, often leading to damaging effects.

Is Hungary’s assault on the rule of law fuelling corruption?

In June 2018, Hungary’s parliament passed a series of laws that criminalise any individual or group that offers help to an illegal immigrant. The laws continued worrying trends in the public arena that began with the rise to power of the Fidesz party in 2010. What are these trends, and what do they mean for the fight against corruption and the rule of law in Hungary?

Will the G20 deliver on anti-corruption in 2018?

This week, activists from civil society organisations all over the world gathered in Buenos Aires, Argentina for the sixth annual Civil 20 (C20) summit.

Returning Nigerians’ stolen millions

The stakes are high in the planned distribution of $322 million in stolen Nigerian public money.

Three priorities at the Open Government Partnership summit

Transparency International has been at the Open Government Partnership's global summit in Tbilisi, Georgia, pushing for action in three key areas.

Civil society’s crucial role in sustainable development

Key players in the development community are meeting in New York for the main United Nations conference on sustainable development, the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF). Transparency International is there to highlight how corruption obstructs development and report on how effectively countries are tackling this issue.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media