Accountability in humanitarian action is a hot topic. The 2016 World Humanitarian Summit called for more vigorous accountability, with reference to the Core Humanitarian Standard, which was launched a year earlier. And an assumed lack of accountability was further catapulted into the public’s attention with the stories published in February 2018 about sex parties and other forms of sexual abuse in areas of the sector.

This lecture, part of the ‘Humanitarian accountability in displacement contexts’ series hosted by the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI), will elaborate on the history and meaning of accountability in humanitarian aid. With reference to a study in Myanmar, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, it will discuss the current state of affairs and explore what is required to bring accountability to the next level.

One of the questions that will be addressed is whether a humanitarian ombudsman is needed to advance accountability.

The speaker, Dorothea Hilhorst is professor of humanitarian aid and reconstruction at the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam. Her research concerns aid-society relations in humanitarian crises and recovery, with research programmes in a large variety of crisis-affected settings. Books include People, Aid and Institutions in Socio-Economic Recovery. Facing Fragilities; and The Real World of NGOs: Discourse, Diversity and Development.

Date: 4 April, 6–8pm
Who: Refugee Law Initiative
Where: The Senate Room, first floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

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