Whistle-blower policy & procedure
Voice is committed to providing safe spaces filled with integrity and respect for ALL people as well as for financial resources.
The core value for Voice is the equal rights for every human being regardless of gender, ethnicity, religious belief, disability, sexual orientation, social class and age. In Voice’s view this equal right can only be exercised when there is a complete commitment to being transparent and accountable to Voice, the target groups Voice stands for and other (broader) stakeholders in equal measures.
This whistle-blower policy is intended to encourage anyone who is involved in the implementation of Voice and others to report suspected or actual occurrence(s) of fraudulent, unethical or inappropriate events (behaviours or practices including but not limited to sexual harassment, or showing undue favours over contractual matters) without retribution.
PLEASE NOTE that this policy is not meant to question grant-making decisions taken by Voice nor should it be used to reconsider any matters which have already been addressed under other grant management procedures within Voice. For that purpose there is a grievance mechanism for which you need to contact the relevant Country Team.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MAKING A COMPLAINT AND BLOWING THE WHISTLE?
When someone blows the whistle they are raising a concern about corruption, unethical practices, danger or illegality that affects others (e.g. grantees, wider stakeholders, or their employer). The person blowing the whistle is usually not directly and personally affected by this. Consequently, the whistle-blower rarely has a personal interest in the outcome of any investigation into their concern – they are simply trying to alert others. For this reason, the whistle-blower should not be expected to prove the malpractice. He or she is a messenger raising a concern so that others can address it.
This is very different from a complaint. When someone complains, they are saying that they have personally been poorly treated. This poor treatment could involve a breach of their individual employment rights or bullying and the complainant is seeking redress or justice for themselves. The person making the complaint therefore has a vested interest in the outcome of the complaint and, for this reason, is expected to be able to prove their case.
For these reasons, it is not in anyone’s interest if this whistle-blowing policy is used to pursue a personal grievance. Both consortium partners within Voice, Oxfam and Hivos, have separate procedures for this.
If you like to report an incident or have proof, or a justifiable suspicion, of unethical, inappropriate and/or corrupt practices within the Voice Country Team (based at either Oxfam Country Offices or Hivos Regional Offices) or within any of its grantees you may report them through the following confidential channels. Email: email@example.com Phone (Whatsapp and Signal): +31 (0) 6 13 322 26 88
All reports received will be investigated and, if substantiated, acted upon within a reasonable timeframe. If your concern involves a Voice grantee we will liaise with the Voice country team and/or senior management of either the Hivos or Oxfam office, following due process of the relevant organisation. If your concern relates to the functioning of the Voice country team and/or senior management of the relevant office itself, the Voice Global Programme Manager will coordinate the investigation, again following the relevant policies and processes of either Hivos or Oxfam. The Global Programme Manager will also be responsible for any concerns related to multi-country grantees. If the concern is directly related to the unethical and/or corrupt behaviours of the Global Programme Manager it will go to the Voice Steering Committee.
The whistle-blower can report the event with his/her identity open or anonymously. In all cases, Voice will protect your identity as a whistle-blower. We implement a zero-exposure policy to safeguard you as the source of information that helps us to expose and address wrongdoing. The whistle-blower should therefore exercise due care to ensure accuracy of the information.