2014 Gates Annual Letter: Myths about Foreign Aid

Okay, you need to go and read this. It’s quite long but it’s very informative.

As an internal auditor, I especially liked the following part on a fraud discovered and reported on in the press:

“I appreciate the concern, and it’s a good thing when the press holds institutions accountable. But the press didn’t uncover this scheme. The Global Fund did, during an internal audit. In finding and fixing the problem, The Global Fund did exactly what it should be doing. It would be odd to demand that they root out corruption and then punish them for tracking down the small percentage that gets misused.”

Whenever we are fighting against fraud and corruption, and make no mistake about it, we are vehemently doing that, we patch holes in processes. However, these holes exist in other processes outside of development aid, and there they are not considered to be as damaging as they are to our activities.

The battle against fraud and corruption is an evolution, rather than a revolution. But we get better each and every day.