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[…]

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,[…]

Better development, improved lives

World Bank presidents are a lucky lot. I am always impressed how their diligent staff pick-up their half-formed ideas and work them up into something really robust. I hope they know that heads of other international bureaucracies are not so fortunate. In any event, the Bank is in the grip of just such a convulsion of creative energy after the new president Jim Kim announced that citizen engagement was the name of his game. In[…]

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[…]

Nick van Praag, Director of Keystone’s Ground Truth program argues that the best way to gauge whether humanitarian programs are making a difference is to ask the intended beneficiaries

Nick van Praag, Director of Keystone’s Ground Truth program argues that the best way to gauge whether humanitarian programs are making a difference is to ask the intended beneficiaries Writing on the Feedbacak Labs blog, Nick discusses The forum on humanitarian standards, which was held in Geneva with support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). He suggests that the big question is whether these supply-side initiatives, by distilling best practices and determining whether aid organizations are capable of acting[…]