Aerial view of bridge over braided river

How grants can deliver impact in complex and changing environments

In this third episode of the Granting the Future podcast, the UN’s Pradeep Kurukulasuriya discusses how to manage nearly US$5 billion worth of complex grant programs to achieve maximum impact.

Grant and relief fund programs operate in complex, dynamic ecosystems, with an ever-present risk of fraud, misallocation and waste. And nowhere is this truer than for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which annually oversees nearly US$5 billion worth of grant funding, across 140 countries, tackling urgent challenges in nature, climate, energy, chemicals and resources, with hundreds of active projects at any one time.

In this, our third episode of the series, host Tim Smith discusses how to address such complexity with Dr. Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Director and Executive Coordinator of Environmental Finance at the United Nations Development Programme, Maryam Hussain, EY International Fraud and Corruption Investigator, and Simon Inglis, Leader of the EY Grants and Relief Funding Management Team.

The UNDP manages the risks of fraud and corruption and tracks the impact of grant funding via a multilayered system, with several lines of defense and a clear escalation process. Agility of people and processes is vital to keep up with bad actors and monitor local and global trends. Each part of the process must be integrated, with shared data that gives grant administrators a single view of the truth — in close to real time.

The podcast is also available to listen to on SpotifyApple Podcasts, Amazon Music and Podbean.

Key takeaways: 

  • Remember that this is not about one person, but about systems and processes that are standardized and repeatable.
  • You need a very strong culture in place to ensure that risk management practices are robust and applied consistently.
  • Individuals across the system should be accountable for results in terms of fraud, waste and impact.
  • Transparency is essential, with a view of every transaction, across all stages and down to a granular level.

For your convenience, full text transcript of this podcast is also available. Read the transcript.


Maryam Hussain
EY Global Fraud & Corruption Investigator
Simon Inglis
Partner, Managed Services, Ernst & Young LLP


Episode 3

Duration 16m 15s

In this series

Series overview
(Event List - Manual)

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In this fourth episode Andrea Sampanis, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, shares how to harness technology to improve access to grant funding and measure impact.

Episode 4

19m 02s


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In this second episode of the Granting the Future podcast, Michael Cooper, UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, discusses how to achieve maximum impact in a complex granting environment.

Episode 2

14m 55s


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14m 58s


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