Accountability

FMR 8
August 2000

Trying to find a short title on which to hang the feature section of this issue has not been easy. Respect, accountability, evaluation, ethics and responsibility are all themes interwoven in the varied range of articles published in this feature. In the end we opted for ‘Accountability’. This issue also includes a mini feature on India and the Guiding Principles, plus articles on refugees and the media in Australia and training for police in Uganda.

Contents

Jeff Crisp

In the conclusion to The Quality of Mercy, his classic 1984 analysis of the Cambodian refugee crisis, William Shawcross observed that "evaluations of humanitarian aid are not easy."(1)

Tania Kaiser

Donors, UN and other international organizations and NGOs are increasingly interested in using participatory and beneficiary-based methodologies in their evaluation processes.

Jonathan Goodhand

This article focuses on the ethical challenges arising from research in areas of conflict.

Jennifer Hyndman and Malathi de Alwis

This article argues that capacity building has been used uncritically by humanitarian staff in international NGOs and UN agencies throughout much of the 1990s. The authors contend that capacity building holds out both promise and problems in the context of humanitarian policy and practice.

Simon Harris

This article summarises the objectives, methodology and outcomes of Oxfam GB and SCF (UK)’s Listening to the Displaced research series undertaken in the conflict-affected areas of northern Sri Lanka. It also highlights the lessons learned, probable future directions and wider application of the Listening concept.

General articles

Marc Vincent

The term ‘internally displaced persons’ has become prominent in the humanitarian community. Debate about terminology has been heightened by the recent assertion of the US Ambassador to the UN, that the term ‘IDP’ is “odious terminology” and that the only distinctions between refugees and IDPs are bureaucratic and legal.(1)

Pamela Reynell

Police officers are often the first point of contact for asylum seekers; frequently, however, they receive little or no training in refugee issues. In various countries in East Africa, organizations are attempting to address this problem.

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