Once engaged with a local counterpart on finding solutions, what should you do if you encounter unethical behavior or corrupt practices?
Anticipating this possibility will help you handle it. Start by looking for the implications of the behavior or practice within the local political context. Then you can move on to weighing the impact of a decision - potentially, deciding between "blowing the whistle" to expose corruption and allowing a project to continue flourishing. These decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis.
The audio on this page gives advice on how best to weigh the options and make such decisions
Up to what point do you have to tolerate corrupt or unethical behaviour? Do you have to tolerate them at all? What do you do when you discover such behaviour? Many advisors will find themselves in situations where they will be asking these questions. Funds dedicated to a specific project, for example, may be paid to a private account where some of it is lost or unaccounted for. However, the project in question may be successful and be effectively addressing a problem in a given community. In such a situation, it may be difficult to call off the project.
Very often, your deploying institution or government will have a clear policy on dealing with the issue. Your first reaction should be to consult these policies and speak to someone who will be able to explain them to you. Other questions that could help you make a decision include: What is your host government’s or institution’s policy on this type of behaviour? How widespread is it in general in the country or institution you work in? What is the nature of the corrupt or unethical behaviour? How many people does it involve? Has it been going on for long? Is this a recurring or a one-off practice? What could be the underlying reasons behind this practice?
While you may not be able to find the answers to all these questions, having the answers to some of them could help you make a sound decision about what to do on a case by case basis. Under no circumstances should you condone or engage in corrupt or unethical practices. This will seriously compromise your integrity and destroy your credibility.