BEST PRACTICE IN:
Accountability and Complaint mechanismBeneficiaries humanitarian assistance are exposed to the risk of having entitlement reduced/taken (kick-backs, forced or “voluntary” sharing, harassment, larceny and violence). While risk can be reduced in all phases of the action, a complaint mechanism is an essential element to reduce abuses, rectify targeting errors and spot frauds. Complaint mechanisms should have SOPs and designated responsibilities among staff to classify and pursue cases, whistleblowing and privacy policies; Awareness is particularly important; too often beneficiaries are not informed of the existence of the mechanisms. Complaint mechanisms should be distinct from a “customer service” which is designed to handle forgotten PINs, wrong spelling of names…. not frauds and abuses. To reduce conflict of interests, partners may opt to have the complaint mechanism handled by their accountability/monitoring department, separate from operations. Nevertheless, it is good practice to outsource the complaint mechanisms to specialized institutions (monitoring, audit).