For the record - Accusations against UNDP in relation to the 2015 UNDP Entrepreneurship Award

Mar 29, 2017

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has recently been made aware of allegations by Yalemtesfa Taye Kebede, concerning the 2015 UNDP Entrepreneurship Award.

The Award had seven categories. Yalemtesfa Taye Kebede competed in the Young Male and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) categories, and was unsuccessful in both.

UNDP has zero tolerance for any wrongdoing in its programmes and projects and is fully committed to the highest standards of transparency and accountability. Nevertheless, UNDP conducted a review of the 2015 entrepreneurship competition procedures and found no evidence or sign of any wrongdoing.  

According to the competition procedure, UNDP provided the judges, all of whom were not UNDP staff, with copies of the competing submissions in only their particular category.

The focus of the allegations, UNDP Ethiopia goodwill ambassador for entrepreneurship Bethelihem Tilahun, was one of three judges who reviewed entries for the Young Female category. In her role as goodwill ambassador, she also provided the prize for the winner in this category.

Bethelihem Tilahun was therefore not at any point provided by UNDP with entries for the Young Male and SME categories in which Yalemtesfa participated. Nor did Bethelihem Tilahun’s position as Goodwill Ambassador provide her with any special access to the entries or any privileges separate from those of any and all other judges involved in the competition.

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