Audio from “Humanitarian Aid Accountability: Expectations and Realities in Haiti”

We are happy to bring you the audio from our September 9, 2013 panel, “Humanitarian Aid Accountability: Expectations and Realities in Haiti.” Please feel free to link to this page and disseminate the discussion widely- it is an important one, for both Haiti and broader issues of humanitarian aid. Focus on Haiti was proud to facilitate. Continue reading

The Invisible Walls of Aid

By Scott Freeman, Visiting Scholar

In order to prepare students for the aid industry, graduate and undergraduate institutions have designed degrees and concentrations in international development. Focusing on thinking critically about policy and procedure, students are ostensibly prepared so that previous errors will not be repeated again. But once one is ‘in’ the industry, is knowledge about ‘good policy’ enough?

Conducting research on international development aid most often involves examining a project or initiative, looking at both the implementer and recipient perspective, and using data to critically analyze the situation. Without going into a large literature review, suffice it to say this trail has been walked more than once.

A number of authors (Fechter and Hindman 2011, Lewis 2011), have followed aid workers themselves in an attempt to understand their realities, rather than basing criticism only on the bookends of written proposals and completed projects.

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