Most read reports
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- World Humanitarian Data and Trends 2018
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- Reaching those furthest behind
By Luca J. Uberti and David Jackson
Series editor: David Jackson
U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Issue 2018:5)
Since the early 2000s, aid spending on electoral assistance programmes around the world has increased dramatically, but in newly democratising countries, electoral contests are often (though not always) plagued by procedural flaws, intimidation, corruption, and all sorts of irregularities. Have donor investments had an impact on the quality of elections? How could aid effectiveness be improved?
By Aled Williams and Kendra Dupuy
U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2018:2)
To incentivise the return of rejected asylum-seekers and irregular migrants, most European states support Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programmes. Corruption impacts these programmes’ performance. However, corruption control measures can lead to unintended outcomes. Certain efforts are likely to improve the quality and uptake of these return programmes. They include more realistic design of corruption prevention measures combined with stronger complaints mechanisms and monitoring processes.
This Expert Answer covers the use of income and asset declaration (IAD) regimes for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and discusses whether this system is suitable for the sector. The first section gives a brief overview of the role of civil society in a democratic state. The second part covers the ways in which the space for civil society around the world has been threatened over the past two decades, including, for example, the restriction of foreign funding for civil society organisations (CSOs).
Where the delivery of development assistance is fragmented and donor agencies’ activities lack coordination, transaction costs are likely to be exorbitant and the proliferation of parallel service delivery structures undermines both the efficacy and legitimacy of the recipient state’s institutions (German Development Institute 2011). In the area of anti-corruption, inconsistencies in donor approaches entail additional challenges, such as enabling recipient governments to jettison much-needed governance reforms.
Financial crimes such as corruption, fraud, and embezzlement generate significant profits, often at the expense of the public budget. These proceeds of crime are usually hidden outside of the country where the crime was originally committed, and laundered through complex financial and commercial transactions, often spanning across numerous jurisdictions. Asset recovery – the process of identifying, restraining, seizing, and repatriating these assets to the countries from whence they were originally stolen – is one of the greatest challenges for the global anti-corruption movement.
As NGOs take on an increasingly prominent role as development assistance implementers and political counter-power, they are under greater scrutiny and pressure to demonstrate that they are using their resources in an efficient, accountable and transparent manner. Their legitimacy in managing aid resources is closely tied to their accountability to their constituency (and the public at large), their adherence to their mission, the transparency of their processes, and their effectiveness in fulfilling their mandate.
U4 Brief No. 19
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are often on the front line of aid delivery, managing a significant proportion of aid funds. The risk of corruption in NGO operations is therefore a significant concern. Yet so far, many international donors and the NGOs themselves have not taken a comprehensive approach to managing these corruption risks. Based on an analysis of the systems of four donor agencies and four international NGOs, this report distills good practices for NGO corruption risk management systems.
Corruption in emergency procurement reduces the amount of available resources for life-saving operations, impacts on quality of products and services, and diverts aid from those who need it most. This U4 Issue Paper aims to unpack and analyse this problem for the purposes of mitigating risk: how and where does corruption typically occur, and what can be done? Suggested strategies reflect a multi-layered approach that stresses internal agency control mechanisms, conflict-sensitive management, and the need for common systems among operators.
As part of a broader analysis of corruption in emergencies, the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre initiated a dialogue on the role(s) of the media. On 30 May 2006, a working meeting held at NORAD offices in Oslo brought together donors, NGOs and journalists, including media practitioners from Sri Lanka, Liberia and Nepal. The purpose was to draw on actual case studies to suggest ways in which humanitarian agencies and the media can mutually support responsible coverage of corruption in emergency aid.