Do humanitarian helplines help?

The place of telephone helplines in the humanitarian accountability toolbox goes back to the first HAP standard in 2007. At the time, HAP called on organizations to make sure affected people could make complaints in a safe, accessible and effective manner. Because of their track record in mental health programs, helplines seemed like a good bet – and that view continues to hold true for many organizations wanting to apply the new Core Humanitarian Standard[…]

Multi-Purposing World Humanitarian Day

This was originally posted on the Ground Truth Solutions website. When, in 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated August 19 as World Humanitarian Day, the aim was to honor humanitarian personnel and those who have lost their lives working for humanitarian causes. As we recognize their service and sacrifice this year, let us also use the occasion to reflect on the contribution of the people whose plight inspires aid workers to do what they[…]

Making the most of the World Humanitarian Summit

Alex Jacobs at Plan International is working hard to make the World Humanitarian Summit a great leap forward in terms of accountability to affected people and community engagement. In this piece he outlines the challenges in landing this agenda as well as drawing attention to what is already showing promise on the ground, including Ground Truth Solutions‘ work in Nepal and Sierra Leone.  

Emergencies are not a good time to reinvent the accountability wheel

Something worth pushing in preparations for next year’s World Humanitarian Summit is a shift from the current ad hoc approach to designing accountability systems in emergencies to a standard whole-of-program model that spells out what needs to be done and provides a robust delivery vehicle. Providing this kind of support at the overarching program level complements the work of individual agencies and sectoral clusters as they get their act together on accountability to affected people,[…]

Fred Cuny: master and maverick of disaster

There are few people who cast as long a shadow over humanitarian relief as Fred Cuny, a larger than life Texan who served in practically every humanitarian operation from Biafra in 1967 until his kidnapping and murder in Chechnya in 1995 when he was just 51. A couple of weeks ago I took part in an event at American University in Washington DC that looked at the legacy and relevance of this erstwhile master of[…]

Haiti’s potential train wreck

Haiti’s railway lines, which were laid in the 19th century, fell into disrepair long ago. But there is growing evidence of another kind of train wreck waiting to happen. This one has nothing to do with rolling stock; it’s about the fate of the tens of thousands of Haitian citizens desperate to get back on their feet after years of living in temporary camps in and around the capital of Port au Prince. Ground Truth[…]