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

How to keep desperately needed humanitarian aid out of the hands of the corrupt

Around the globe, tens of millions of people need humanitarian assistance from governments, humanitarian aid agencies, and the UN, but even when lives are at stake and people at their most vulnerable, corruption and other abuses are not uncommon.

How the IMF can have real impact on fighting corruption

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is meeting in Washington DC this week. We want to send a strong message about what the multi-lateral lender can do to have greater impact on fighting corruption.

The impact of the Azerbaijani Laundromat

Since the story of the Azerbaijani Laundromat broke, Transparency International has been following up on the allegations and, along with OCCRP, calling for action to hold to account the politicians, businesses and intermediaries who were named in this complex money-for-influence scandal.

Corrupción en ascenso en América Latina y el Caribe

Conversamos con más de 22.000 personas en 20 países en América Latina y el Caribe sobre corrupción. Tomando en cuenta el tamaño estimado de la población de estos países, eso significa que alrededor de 90 millones de personas pagaron sobornos.

Corruption on the rise in Latin America and the Caribbean

Transparency International asked more than 22,000 people in Latin America and the Caribbean about corruption in their daily lives. The survey also looks at how institutions are perceived and how corruption has been developing in each country.

Sustainable Development Goals turn two: time to ensure justice for all

September 25, 2017 marks the two-year anniversary of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. Transparency International highlights the need for governments to set meaningful targets for success.

3 things we’ve learned since the Anti-Corruption Summit in London 2016

In May of last year, 43 governments & six international organisations met at the Anti-Corruption Summit and made 648 commitments. To keep up the pressure and make sure that these promises are kept, we looked at 453 commitments to find out what progress has been made - today Transparency International UK has launched a new report and a global pledge tracker with the results.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media

Would you like to know more?

Sign up to stay informed about corruption news and our work around the world