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Corruption perceptions and risks in humanitarian assistance: An Afghanistan case study

Working papers

This report sets out to examine the risks of corruption faced by those delivering and receiving humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan. It is drawn from a limited amount of fieldwork and interviews, and so should be seen very much as a preliminary effort to understand the issues and dimensions of the problem. However, the picture it paints is a devastating one, suggesting a clear need for more concerted action on the part of the government, aid agencies and donors to address corruption risks. The report insists on the importance of managing corruption risks in an environment where needs are important and resources very limited.

The report focuses on a particular case study – the delivery of aid to a long established IDP camp in Herat in the period 2001 to 2003. Capacity, resource and security constraints limited the scope of the research to this one case study and more general interviews in Kabul, but the wealth of information generated from this short study demonstrates what is possible, and suggests the clear need for further work.

Kevin Savage, Lorenzo Delesgues, Ellen Martin and Gul Pacha Ulfat