Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Accountability

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Guidelines for Gender-based Violence Interventions in Humanitarian Settings[1] were published in 2005 to establish standards across all areas of humanitarian response related to preventing and responding to gender-based violence, particularly sexual violence in the early stages of an emergency. The immediate impetus behind the Guidelines stemmed in large part from the failure of humanitarian agencies to institute basic protection against sexual violence in Darfur, with the longer-term goal of establishing essential steps all humanitarian actors could take in their areas of operation to reduce the risk of exposure to GBV. Following publication, the Guidelines were…
Over the past two years, there has been persistent and increasing opposition to the Sphere and Ombudsman projects, and by extension to field-based or general codes of conduct, including the People-in-Aid code. This opposition has come primarily from French NGOs associated with the Groupe Urgence- Réhabilitation-Développement (Groupe URD). The initial objection to Sphere – that ‘to every complex problem there is a simple solution, and it is a bad one’ – has led to an advice to the French government not to co-fund the Ombudsman project; and has resulted in the creation of a ‘Platform for Quality’ and consideration of…
Results of RRN Members’ Questionnaire In the June Newsletter, we flagged up the very positive nature of the response to the RRN members’ Questionnaire, mailed in February this year. We also promised a fuller analysis of those responses and an indication of future directions for the RRN. A complete report is available on request from the RRN, including more detailed statistical analysis. The following is an edited version outlining the principal conclusions drawn from that data. We have not attempted to respond to each point raised in turn, but to report key findings. A number of initiatives are planned for…
RRN Questionnaire Thank you for responding With the RRN in its third year of operation and in anticipation of new funding sources for our second three year phase (Phase II) beginning in October 1996, the RRN team felt it was an appropriate moment to gauge members’ views of the RRN, in terms of publication content, style and how well we reach our primary objectives. We will be undertaking a more thorough analysis of members’ responses over the summer and will report more fully in the September/October issue of the Newsletter. To date, we have received nearly 50 completed forms from…
This section offers members the opportunity to comment on previous Network publications and Newsletters. Relevant comments will usually be communicated to the authors and will be taken into account by the editors in future mailings. Comments received since the last mailing came from World Vision Canada, Frank Riely at Tulane University and from one of our ‘southern’ NGO members in Burkina Faso. Linda Tripp, Vice President of International and Government Relations at World Vision Canada, wrote to let us know that she would be sending Network Paper 5, Advancing Preventive Diplomacy in a Post-Cold War Era: Suggested Roles for Government…
Over the last decade, there has been an increased focus on corruption in emergency assistance. In recent studies, food aid has been identified as one of the most vulnerable sectors, along with cash programming and post-disaster reconstruction.[1] In the 2011 drought response in Kenya, Transparency International Kenya (TI Kenya) launched a study examining the integrity, transparency and accountability of food assistance.[2] The main question explored was the extent to which different types of food assistance instruments (in-kind aid, cash and vouchers) posed different risks, and the standards different assistance actors applied to ensure the integrity of these mechanisms, including the…
Extracts from a letter by Koenraad Van Brabant, OXFAM Sri Lanka ‘I find the [Relief and Rehabilitation Network] Newsletter an excellent initiative. With an increase in “emergencies”, often of a political nature, there is an urgent demand for learning from experience and for reflecting on how to deal with these. There are other fora for theoretical reflection, and I welcome a Newsletter which can find and keep a balance between inputs from reflection and from field practice.’ ‘[Articles] such as those on the campaign to ban mines or on the relief-development continuum are very valuable. However, to what degree can…
The Origins of the RRN The idea of establishing this Network was formed over two years ago. Initial results of research at ODI on the changing role of NGOs in relief and rehabilitation operations (see Publications) and a review of the readership structure of Disasters (published quarterly by ODI in conjunction with Blackwells publishers) indicated the need for a mechanism facilitating the exchange of professional information and experience between relief workers from different agencies. Our perception was, and continues to be, that despite the enhanced role of international and local NGOs in the provision of relief and rehabilitation assistance, the exchange…
While welfare, such as free humanitarian aid, is arguably the sign of a civilised society, it is sometimes accused of ‘creating dependency’, undermining sustainable selfsufficiency and demeaning its recipients. The idea that dependency is a bad thing and that free assistance de facto creates dependency not only has long roots in the history of humanitarianism, but also is nourished by the strongly held feelings of those who believe that relief too should be in some way sustainable, linked maybe with a desire to move towards more developmental approaches. Humanitarian agencies tend to look at the situations of people affected by…
Sexual exploitation and abuse by humanitarian workers and peacekeepers represents a catastrophic failure of protection. It brings harm to the very people the UN, NGOs and international organisations are mandated to protect and jeopardises the reputation of these organisations. It also violates universally recognised international legal norms and standards. Although not a new phenomenon, sexual exploitation and abuse was brought to the forefront of public attention in 2002 following allegations of widespread abuse of refugee and internally displaced women and children by humanitarian workers and peacekeepers in West Africa. Since then, the international community has taken action to address the…
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