Islamic Relief (IR) is one of seven leading NGOs which have joined forces in a bid to tackle the risk of corruption during emergency relief efforts.
The participating NGOs gave Transparency International (TI) sponsored researchers access to their headquarters staff, field offices and documentation, to enable them to gage staff perception of corruption, the risks and consequences of corruption, the policies and practices in place to prevent it and remaining gaps in addressing the issue.
The information was then used to produce a comprehensive report of their findings, which will be used as the basis for a TI handbook of good practises in managing the risk of corruption and combating corrupt practises in humanitarian assistance.
“IR recognises that humanitarian interventions are, by their nature, susceptible to corruption due to the inherently chaotic nature of disaster-affected areas and the fact that everything from recruitment to procuring, shipping and distributing goods needs to go quickly. Therefore, we see the importance of efforts that aim to minimise the scope for corruption in humanitarian interventions and eagerly contribute to such efforts,” said IR’s Head of Policy and Research, Willem van Eekelen.
Van Eekelen pointed out that as an Islamic organisation IR has come under “more-than-average scrutiny”, but that this had in fact been welcomed and ensured that sophisticated measures were put in place in order to guarantee full transparency and accountability.
“This has turned IR into an organisation that is ahead of most NGOs in this field of work, and that is now able to share a range of good practice principles to the wider humanitarian community,” he said.
The final TI handbook will be issued in early 2009.
To read the Preventing Corruption in Humanitarian Assistance report click here.