Some interesting responses from the humanitarian sector to the widespread media criticism of their Haitian efforts. This — from the `Active Learning Network in Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action’ (otherwise known as ALNAP) — and this — from Andrea Binder at the Global Public Policy Institute — are among the most interesting of the pieces to have dropped into my inbox this week.
Many humanitarian professionals are frustrated at what they perceive to overly negative media coverage — and no doubt this is justified to a degree. But interestingly, there seems to be a universal recognition among humanitarians that humanitarian aid isn’t sufficiently connected to the people it aims to help. And ultimately, this brings us back to the argument I made earlier in the week. If you want to build towards a successful reconstruction — and prevent future “natural” disasters — you can’t separate humanitarianism from politics and power.