Jellybean 069 Oliver May versus the world

Fraud and Counter-Fraud. NGO’s like Oxfam are now a huge part of the international healthcare system. When you look at the environments these organisations work in, from Oxford to South Sudan, there are corruption issues everywhere. Corruption! We need a cop, a super cop, a stylish sleuth, a sort of crime-buster for NGO’s. It’s @OliverBMay of @2ndMarshmallow

Have you have ever had a dream of going and working for Médecins Sans Frontières or something similar? I did. I was idealistic. It was all heroic images, making a difference, not in it for the money and the moral high ground.

I went off and did a Masters of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Then I did a Post Grad Cert in Disaster Management and Refugee Health. When I studied it I also saw the other side of the story; the colonial flavour to it all, questions about efficacy, undermining local capacity, a possible lack of standards/the Sphere Project, money badly spent and the fraud.

The fraud. Oh God the fraud. There is an impression that there are back handers and bribes going down everywhere to get anywhere. But is that correct? Is it that bad? Can nothing be done? I don’t know. So I asked a man who does. It’s Oliver May, formerly Counter-Fraud Czar for some very big Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) and author of a book on the whole crazy circus.

We got talking and next thing you know it’s all Machiavelli, bribes, nepotism, corruption and this was recorded before the Donald became the President of a country in North America.

Oli knows enough about all this to go and write a book. So he did.

Fighting Fraud and Corruption in the Humanitarian and Global Development Sector”. A snappy title indeed but it does tell you what it is all about…

That’s the book, you can find it any where serious or go to Routledge the publishers.

Or visit SecondMarshmallow.org which is interesting not only because of the rather excellent name but also because its a slick blog with well written content.

Oli is a real live criminal investigator starting out in the police service and ending up in a highly specialised area. One that is relevant to persons interested in working for NGO’s, persons that might donate directly (or indirectly through Governments) to NGO’s and indeed anyone that may be affected by the work of NGO’s. Which, if you think about it, covers almost all of us.

So I ask him about what it’s really like on the inside of all this business. I mean there has to be a film script or two in there? I asked if it’s like the “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” movie? He dodges that one rather well. (Strictly speaking I asked him about the “Whisky Foxtrot Tango” Movie. But thats the Jellybean Format for you. Totally live, uncut, unscripted and in the case of this interviewer uncouth. WTF does WFT stand for anyway?)

Whats also interesting is the whole; “what was it like writing a big grown up book?” question. Oli has a few tips on that one too. Some productivity hacks for writers. The name he wanted to share with you is “Nicholas Carlson

And there it is; a Jellybean about a charming super sleuth investigating evil bastards screwing up NGO’s that you might want to work for with obscure references to the Hobbit, Tina Fey, Yahoo and Virchester. What’s not to like?

And that discount code; FLR40.


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Dr Doug Lynch MA MBBS MPHTM. Critical Carer. Pathological Polymath. Medical Journeyman. Idealist. Feminist. Father. Friend. Melbourne | @TheTopEnd | JellyBeans | Enquiring Minds |

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