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Session Information

Date : 30th May 2013

Accountability in Humanitarian Interventions” has always been a major issue for the humanitarian actors. Since 1996, when the Joint Evaluation of the International Response to the Genocide in Rwanda was published, a number of initiatives have been developed to improve both the way humanitarian agencies operate, and their accountability. But what is accountability? And why is it important? Who are we accountable to, and for what purpose? And more importantly, how can we ensure accountability in the midst of a humanitarian emergency? This session of Disaster Clinic will have fundamental discussion on Accountability in Humanitarian Interventions to conceptualise and explore answers for the above mentioned questions.


Date : 01st April 2020

Increasing awareness about the rising trend in the incidences of disastrous natural hazards and the costs of recoveries from disasters prompted the humanitarian system to modify its approaches and strategies for managing disaster (ISDR 2005). “The traditional view of disasters held that they were temporary interruptions of a linear development process that was leading to ever-improving standards of living”. “The task of humanitarian aid, therefore, was to patch things up so that the process of development could start up again. Emergency relief would be followed by rehabilitation, leading in turn to renewed development work (Twigg, J. 2004).” Although, the humanitarian system conventionally has been concerned solely with responding crisis and providing assistance to reduce distresses of the affected people and bringing back social functioning on the development trajectory, to ensure that the responses are effective, efficient and timely, it always included some preparedness activities. However, human and economic costs of disasters continue to rise. Compared to 1970s, the number of people affected in the 1990s was nearly three times greater and the economic losses were nearly five times higher in real terms (Twigg, J. 2004). Eventually, there has been “international acknowledgement that efforts to reduce disaster risks must be systematically integrated into policies, plans and programmes for sustainable development and poverty reduction, and supported through bilateral, regional and international cooperation, including partnerships”( ISDR, 2005).


Date : 02nd March 2023

There has been a growing recognition that “disasters are both a cause and a product of failed development” (UNP 2004). Disaster risks are inherent in the environment and geographic conditions. It emanates from the vulnerabilities created through life style and the development process. Also the development practitioners have noted that “With every disaster, there is a significant impact on various sectors of development like agriculture, housing, health, education and infrastructure. This results in a serious social and economic setback to the development and particularly the poverty reduction priorities of the developing countries, and poses a threat for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)... On the other hand, the process of development, and the kind of development choices made in many countries, sometimes creates disaster risk” (Rego, L. & Roy, A. S. 2007).


Date : 02nd February 2023

There has been a major conceptual shift in managing disasters. Disasters are no longer perceived as interruptions to development or poverty reduction goals that require reactive services to save life, reduce distresses of the affected people and restore development gains. The current models of disaster management focus on “collective efforts to reduce the number and effects of natural and man-made disasters”. It underpins the notion that “disaster risk arises when hazards interact with physical, social, economic and environmental vulnerabilities and that sustainable development, poverty reduction, good governance and disaster risk reduction are mutually supportive objectives.


Date : 02nd January 2013

Disaster is commonly perceived as an event such cyclone, storm surge, flood, land slide or earthquake that causes great damage to and loss of life and property. The damage caused by these events is often huge and varies with the intensity of the event, geographical location and the socio-economic structure of the community. Disaster management professionals define it as the consequence of such events.  The ISDR Secretariat presents the basic definition of disaster “A serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.”