3.7 Ensuring operational continuity and information management
A key factor in building up expertise and enabling information gathering is continuity. A seemingly simple approach, it is often more difficult to achieve than it seems. For the military, deployment rotations pose a particular challenge: when a new headquarters, with new staff, deploys, this often means limited to no handover and whole new IT systems and databases, meaning that continuity of information and relationships can be difficult to achieve and information on allies, adversaries and contractors goes missing. In other institutions, such as the World Bank, staff turnover can also pose a problem – especially if new staff are hired after their predecessor had departed, making meaningful handover impossible. As one interviewee told us, it is also common to store key information and relationship history in emails, which are not easily transferable or explainable, and which can exacerbate the effects of staff turnover. These issues, while they can seem subordinate to overall strategy and even staffing priorities, can undermine anti-corruption efforts substantially.
- Ensure that handover periods are built into personnel recruitment policies
- Prioritise creation and maintenance of easily accessible databases rather than storing information in personalised email accounts and personal computer drives.
- As much as possible, reduce rotation of personnel and support initiatives aiming at providing continuity.
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Staff continuity: Afghanistan
In Afghanistan, members of the Polish contingent individually decided to extend their deployments (to up to 18 months) in order to ensure that one person oversees bidding, implementation and monitoring for one particular project, gaining knowledge and relationships helping them assess particular situations and individuals.View external case study