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UNHCR Investigation Resource Manual

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In 2012, the UNHCR Inspector General's Office initiated a project aimed at achieving strengthened accountability and quality of performance on the part of UNHCR's non-governmental organization (NGO) partners in the area of investigation. Capacity building of UNHCR's partners is highly important, including in the development of systems on accountability, complaints and investigations, and in the conduct of investigations themselves.

As part of the project, UNHCR compiled a manual aimed at helping UNHCR and its NGO partners to strengthen their partnership and cooperation on investigations. The "UNHCR Investigation Resource Manual for NGO Partners" comprises documents intended to provide guidance to NGO partners and others in the following areas: legal aspects and basic standards of conduct; accountability and complaints guidelines; investigation guidelines; and specific resources related to investigation and complaints (on sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual and gender-based violence, fraud and corruption, whistleblowing on gross negligence).

The purpose of the manual is to share this compendium of documents with NGOs, to assist them to develop, adapt or improve their own policies and guidelines in the areas of accountability, complaints and investigation. Some organizations have quite sophisticated systems in place. Others may be at a more basic level in their systems development, and thus may derive benefit through accessing these documents in order to prepare or revise their own.

The document gathers most of the UNHCR policies and guidelines on the code of conduct, investigations and related issues. We have also gathered documents from other selected partners, in a bid to reflect a variety of approaches and formats to the key issues of codes of conduct, complaints and investigation.

The Resource Manual is intended to be a repository for exchanging ideas and gathering information, and UNHCR welcomes additional materials and good practice examples to make it continually relevant to NGOs and others. Please send your documents, ideas and suggestions to the toolkit administrator at mandrill@unhcr.org

Additional guidance and reference materials pertaining to investigation and related topics can be found on the following websites: