A Framework for Measuring Effectiveness in Humanitarian Response
Vincenzo Bollettino and Birthe Anders
destroyed, diverted, or programs have to be scaled down to minimise risk to personnel. However, whether in complex emergencies or in response to natural disasters, militaries often play an important role in humanitarian relief efforts, sometimes by providing search and rescue and airlift capabilities or by restoring damaged infrastructure. Indeed, in most of today’s crises, humanitarian organisations operate in the same environment as a range of military and non-state armed actors.
Coordination is often easier in natural disaster settings than in conflict, as there is a
This article will investigate the process of confronting death in cases of the
disappeared of the last military dictatorship in Argentina. Based on the exhumation and
identification of the body of a disappeared person, the article will reflect on how the
persons social situation can be reconfigured, causing structural changes within the family
and other groups. This will be followed by a discussion of the reflections generated by
the anthropologist during his or her interview process, as well as an investigation into
the authors own experiences in the field. This intimate relationship between the
anthropologist and death, through the inevitable contact that takes place among the
bodies, causes resonances in the context both of exhumations and of identifications in the
anthropologists wider fieldwork.
) and its allies. Recent research conducted by the Peace Research Institute Oslo and The Lancet –American University of Beirut (AUB) Commission on Syria suggests targeting of healthcare can now be considered an emerging tactic in conflict ( Druce et al. , 2019 ), and that Syria is a prime example of what has been called the ‘weaponisation of health care’ ( Fouad et al. , 2017 ).
While the GoS and Russia have maintained that all military efforts in the Syrian context were against combating parties ( Hill and Triebert, 2019 ), there is a suggestion that the
, and how? Remotely or on site? At the very
least, we had to decipher the diverging political and military agendas, and then
adapt, persist or sometimes just give up. In this article, I will present the full
range of methods used to acquire knowledge and obtain information as well as the
various networks used to carry out this venture. I will also show how
Médecins Sans Frontières’ operations became a balancing act,
punctuated by episodes of adapting to the various
and that only presents mixed results in the so-called civil–military coordination in humanitarian responses. The challenge for humanitarian agencies to work effectively and according to their missions and principles while cohabitating the same spaces (geographical and others) as military and non-state armed actors has been a headache for decades. Contexts of violent conflict are usually examples of all that can go wrong when civil–military coordination is not prioritised. But those are not the only contexts where humanitarian agencies struggle to find and protect
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian
ten articles of
the first convention have grown to 559 articles in the version currently in force.
In other words, they are now a matter for civilian and military legal experts, who
have material open to varied and contradictory readings.
Let us go back to IHL’s origins, which can give us an idea of how difficult it
was to apply IHL long before what are now described as its more serious and frequent
contemporary violations. Humanitarian law is part of a long
The Politics of ‘Proximity’ and Performing Humanitarianism in Eastern DRC
’ on the side.
To accomplish this, local staff draw from their diverse experience and backgrounds. Some have friends and family in political networks or have political histories themselves – experience in the political wings of armed groups or local government. Others have military pasts: thousands of Congolese youth have been going in and out of armed groups for several decades. NGOs and armed groups are key employers in the region: some humanitarians have histories in rebel groups, some rebels have histories as humanitarians. In addition, it is striking how many
identifies the threats to American national interests ( ibid .:
25–6): 1) Russia and China, the two great ‘revisionist powers’; 2) North
Korea and Iran, two ‘rogue states’ that undermine geopolitical equilibrium in
Northeast Asia and the Middle East; 3) ‘Jihadist terrorist groups’ and
international criminal organisations that propagate violence and traffic drugs and arms.
The document offers an extensive list of actions to be undertaken by the US to achieve
strategic objectives and confront rivals, from controlling borders to increasing military
applause of numerous
humanitarian NGOs, it led a multinational military task force into Somalia, with the stated aim
of protecting relief operations. These humanitarian wars, and others that followed during the
1990s, were waged not only to respond to a perceived evil but also to define good and evil and
the limits of acceptable behaviour ( Fiori, 2018 ).
Other Western governments also now looked to humanitarian agencies as allies in the liberal
transformation of the developing world. During the Cold War, humanitarian NGOs had generally
as far as Colin Powell when he told an assembly of relief
NGOs that they were a ‘tremendous force multiplier’ for the US military, but even
in the Donald Trump administration that sense of things is by no means wholly absent.
But if the view from Washington, Brussels, etc. may not have changed that
much, the view of Washington, Brussels, etc., most certainly has.
For all its bad faith, its selective implementation and, in the battle spaces of the Long War,
its instrumentalisation in the service of military strategy, development aid from the