Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Operations: A Handbook of Good Practices

March 15, 2010 | By: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Mark Blumberg
Topics: News, Canadian Charity Law, Global Giving, Ethics and Canadian Charities, Avoiding 'Charity' Scams

It was a pleasure having Marie-Luise Ahlendorf of Transparency International Global Programmes presenting this report and handbook at the recent Charity Law Information Program conference in Toronto.  The handbook is easy to read and “compiles best practice from the field, including ways to track resources, confront extortion and detect aid diversion.”  Preventing the diversion of humanitarian assistance should only be a concern of those who care whether beneficiaries actually receive the aid!  http://www.transparency.org/content/download/49759/795776/Humanitarian_Handbook_cd_version.pdf

Here is a press release from TI:

http://www.transparency.org/news_room/latest_news/press_releases/2010/2010_02_01_hum_handbook_launch

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.

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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: Marie-Luise Ahlendorf .
The Handbook is initially available in English. French and Spanish versions will follow shortly.

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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.

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