Friday, January 12, 2007

Reuters AlertNet - Accountability: a report card

Reuters AlertNet - Accountability: a report card: "he story of humanitarian accountability is not yet one of success. After more than a decade of debate about performance, standards and giving beneficiaries a say, accountability problems continue to plague international disaster responses. A sector-wide study by the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition, published in July 2006, concluded that poor accountability to affected populations was a significant problem in the response to the Indian Ocean tsunami, and the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, Bill Clinton, has launched an 'intensive review' into accountability to beneficiaries. According to Save the Children, aid workers are still trading food aid for sex with young girls in Liberia – several years after this unacceptable practice was originally discovered. Displaced people in Darfur have told the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) that they feel undervalued by NGOs, know little about what these organisations are trying to achieve, and – therefore – do not cooperate with them. A survey of 320 informed individuals, conducted by HAP in March 2006, showed a majority view that relief agencies were unaccountable to intended beneficiaries. Some 81% of respondents said the quality of accountability to beneficiaries was 'low' or 'medium' – while 82% said that accountability to official donors was 'high'."

Monday, January 08, 2007 | News | Charity revamps disaster operation | News | Charity revamps disaster operation: "Cross’ abilities as they have never been tested before, and critics said the charity didn’t measure up.

But one strength seemed intact for the 126-year-old charity: its ability to raise money.

Donors gave the Red Cross about $2.14 billion in the months after hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma struck the Gulf Coast. The agency spent about $1.9 billion of it on disaster victims, Laura Howe, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross’ Washington, D.C., office, said Friday."