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Multilateral organisations’ integrity management systems

Multilateral organisations, such as United Nations bodies, are mandated to address crucial global challenges, ranging from climate change, peacekeeping and security to relations between states, sustainable development and the protection of human rights. To fulfil these ambitious missions, they are allocated substantial volumes of money, including by bilateral donor agencies from OECD-DAC states. These two factors – central political importance and large budgets – mean that it is vital for citizens around the world that multilateral organisations have robust internal governance mechanisms in place. Strong checks and balances are required to prevent corruption and other forms of misconduct by staff from undermining these organisations’ ability to protect people, the planet and prosperity. Since there is no “one size fits all” integrity management system that would cater to the existing variety of multilaterals, this paper highlights key integrity functions at a level high enough that it can be subsumed into anti-corruption programming. The key integrity functions include: a) prevention; b) detection; c) investigation; d) sanctions; and e) disclosure.

24 February 2022
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Main points

  • There is no “one size fits all” system that would cater to the existing range of multilaterals with differing institutional, strategic and operational realities. There are, however, key functions that should be a feature of each multilateral organisation’s integrity framework.
  • Prevention: including ex-ante PEA analysis, risk management, due diligence, operational guidelines on anti-corruption and so on.
  • Detection: including whistleblower protection, monitoring.
  • Investigation: including internal and external audits.
  • Sanctions: including debarment.
  • Disclosure: including of cases of corruption and outcome of internal investigations.

Cite this publication

Rahman, K.; (2022) Multilateral organisations’ integrity management systems. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Helpdesk Answer 2022:5)

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About the author

Kaunain received her Master's in Corruption and Governance from The Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex in the UK where her focus area of research was corruption in international business. She works as Research Coordinator at Transparency International (TI), and her main responsibilities lie with the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


integrity, multilateral