The NGO Investigation Specialist Roster (NGO-ISR) consists of expert, specialized investigation professionals with extensive experience who are available at short notice to carry out administrative investigations into allegations of serious misconduct involving requesting NGOs' staff. Originally a joint project between UNHCR and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), DRC now manages and operates the project independently.

The NGO-ISR has its roots in a service contract for its establishment and administration that UNHCR awarded to the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in August 2014. This service contract expired on 24 August 2016, and UNHCR is no longer involved in the project.

DRC has nevertheless decided to continue the project in pursuit of the objectives outlined below. It is currently independently financing and managing the administrative aspects of NGO-ISR membership and the matching of NGO requests with investigation specialists.

See the NGO-ISR Administration page for additional details.

The NGO-ISR aims at strengthening NGOs' capacities for administrative investigations into allegations of staff misconduct, as well as NGO accountability and quality of performance more generally.

By facilitating access to expert investigation specialists, the NGO-ISR also aims to positively impact on NGOs' own internal administrative investigation procedures and capacities.

Additionally, the NGO-ISR aims to:

  1. reduce incidents of abuse against persons of concern;
  2. ensure more efficient use of financial, physical and human resources; and
  3. support and strengthen the integrity, accountability, transparency and credibility of NGO actors, be these humanitarian, developmental, environmental, or other.

Composition of the NGO-ISR
The NGO-ISR is composed of senior investigation specialists with expert backgrounds and extensive experience in conducting investigations into allegations of fraud, corruption, and sexual exploitation and abuse, among other forms of serious misconduct.

Between them, NGO-ISR investigators offer professional language proficiency in English, French and Arabic. NGO-ISR investigators are available at short notice to undertake investigations.

See the Investigator Profiles page for additional details.

Who can use the NGO-ISR?
The NGO-ISR is available to all NGOs around the globe, irrespective of their mandates or locations, to ensure that allegations of NGO staff misconduct are effectively and expeditiously pursued, and that the necessary investigations are carried out.

To clarify, NGO-ISR investigators conduct administrative investigations concerning allegations of misconduct, not criminal investigations.

"Misconduct" as addressed by the NGO-ISR
The NGO-ISR defines staff misconduct as "a failure by NGO staff to observe the rules of conduct or the standards of behavior prescribed by the NGO."

In particular, the NGO-ISR addresses misconduct as it relates to serious or gross misconduct, including, but not limited to, fraud, corruption, theft, abuse of authority, and sex­ual exploitation and abuse.