Corruption in Emergencies

Humanitarian assistance can be diverted and exacerbate existing corruption. Learn how to better address such risks in emergency situations.

Humanitarian assistance typically takes place in countries with high tolerance for corruption. Though donors and relief agencies are mostly highly intolerant of corrupt practices, they bring substantial resources into suddenly resource-poor environments of which they may have little knowledge. They also target citizens who quite rightly prioritize their families’ survival. This U4 theme examines why humanitarian assistance is prone to corruption for those seeking to improve the effectiveness of interventions.

This U4 Theme Page will enable you, among other things, to:

  • Appreciate why humanitarian assistance may be subject to corruption and understand risk areas
  • Understand how humanitarian aid providers and recipients perceive corruption
  • Learn about methods for preventing or managing the risks of corruption in humanitarian emergencies
  • Understand corruption in emergency procurement and the role of the media in preventing corruption in emergencies
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Aled Williams

Senior Advisor

+47 47938073

Author: Ewins, Pete, Paul Harvey, Kevin Savage and Alex Jacobs (2006)
Release date: January 2006

Mapping the Risks of Corruption in Humanitarian Action

This report examines the risk of corruption in humanitarian action. It lays out where different risks may lie within the complex system of delivery and contracts that forms the basis of humanitarian assistance. Breaking down typical models of assistance by setting out the various elements of the process in tabular form, it attempts to map where various types of corruption exist, and to show the key components of such risks. In doing so, the report aims to enable the development of more specific corruption risk maps for particular contexts, and to point to the various types of tools and methods that need to be developed in order to minimise c

corruption tsunami
Author: Fenner, G. and A. Williams
Release date: April 2005

Curbing Corruption in Tsunami Relief Operations

This summary of proceedings from a meeting held in Jakarta in April 2005 on “Curbing Corruption in Tsunami Relief Operations” brings together a range of perspectives on the challenges of ensuring proper management of aid flows in the context of the Indian Ocean tsunami of December 2004.


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