The World Food Programme (WFP)’s capacity to deliver food assistance in emergencies and work with communities to improve food security and nutrition is greatly dependent on the ability of its employees to maintain the highest standards of conduct and integrity. Our work towards a zero-hunger world is driven by core WFP and UN values, principles and standards. It is critical that all staff uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter and adhere to the Standards of Conduct for the International Civil Service and live WFP’s values of integrity, humanity, commitment, inclusion and collaboration.
Our Code of Conduct reflects the values of fundamental human rights, social justice, the dignity, worth and diversity of individuals, equal rights for men and women, as well as competence, respect and discretion. It also highlights WFP’s commitment to anti-fraud and anti-corruption, protection from sexual exploitation and abuse, as well as accountability towards the people we serve. Our response is rooted in the core humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence. Together, these norms are vital for WFP to effectively reach the individuals and communities we serve.
The Ethics Office was created as an independent and formal office to assist the Executive Director in nurturing a culture of ethics, where employees fulfill their responsibilities with the highest standards of integrity, while respecting the dignity of their colleagues and the communities they serve. The Ethics Office guides employees to think through the different ethical dilemmas they may face while performing their duties, and works towards building and maintaining a “speak up” culture, without fear of retaliation. Since 2018, the Ethics Office has also become the organizational focal point for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.
Our ethics work
Advice and guidance
The Ethics Office assists employees navigating complex situations, where ethical decision making is key. We guide staff to describe their issue of concern, identify the rules and regulations that may apply, examine their options, and understand the potential consequences. Our aim is to empower them to make their own ethical decisions, which do not harm themselves, the people we serve, or WFP.
Protection against retaliation
At WFP, we are committed to providing a safe and respectful work environment for all our employees. The Whistleblower Protection Policy is designed to give protection from retaliation to employees who wish to speak up against misconduct and wrongdoing. Retaliation means any action - recommended, threatened or taken - that is meant to punish, intimidate or injure the employee for engaging in a protected activity. It applies to both current and former employees, regardless of their contract type or duration. If you believe you have been retaliated against, reach out to us confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Conflicts of Interest and Financial Disclosure Programme (ADP)
There are times when employees may be faced with an incompatibility between their private interests and their official duties. The Annual Conflicts of Interest and Financial Disclosure Programme aims to identify and address such conflicts of interest, through disclosure of assets, liabilities, investments and outside activities of certain categories of employees. It is a commitment to transparency and public confidence building.
Training, education and outreach
The first step in building and maintaining a culture of ethics is awareness. Knowledge and active internalization of values, standards and principles are essential components for ensuring compliance. To increase knowledge and skills on the integrity expected of all employees, the Ethics Office engages in regular training and outreach activities, as well as internal communication campaigns.
Standard setting and policy advocacy
Fostering a culture of ethics and accountability requires frequent and consistent advocacy. The Ethics Office advocates for the incorporation of ethical standards into WFP’s organizational policies, practices and operations, which ultimately contributes to giving a voice to the voiceless. Protection from abusive conduct, prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse, anti-fraud and anti-corruption, privacy data protection and confidentiality are just a few of the issues the Ethics Office provides guidance on.
The Ethics Office fosters UN harmonization and coherence and shares best practices through its membership in the Ethics Panel of the United Nations (EPUN) and the Ethics Network of Multilateral Organizations (ENMO), as well as through coordination with the Ethics Offices of the other Rome-based Agencies.