Oxfam’s Self-disclosure

Oxfam, the international development agency,
uncovered financial irregularities in its operations in Indonesia and announced
them on its own, a sign of integrity and genuine transparency.

Oxfam , the international development agency, demonstrated integrity and transparency this week that should give donors more reason to believe in the organization and its mission. Finding irregularities in its operation in Indonesia, Oxfam not only acted quickly to address the problem but announced the discovery publicly.

I’ve long respected Oxfam for a variety of reasons. Its programs are well-run and consistently in touch with grass-roots people. It concentrates on long-term community development and has refused to engage in the child-sponsorship pandering and other forms of marketing that don’t contribute to deeper understanding of the empowerment of marginalized peoples. And it has coupled its on-the-ground efforts with education among donor constituencies. All of these impress me with the organization’s commitment and mission.

The self-disclosure of problems in its large operation in Indonesia should make supporters more appreciative, not less. I hope that is the case.

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