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Local perspectives on humanitarian aid in Sri Lanka after the tsunami.

Published:
1 June 2008
Region:
Asia-Pacific
Topics:

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Local perspectives on humanitarian aid in Sri Lanka after the tsunami.

This paper highlights the link between acceptance (and thus aid worker security) and appropriate, needs-based programmes, premised on strong community engagement. Whilst acknowledging the complexity of “community engagement” and assessing the perceived needs of often diverse actors within communities, it suggests that the “top-down” approach to aid, where programmes are NGO- or donor-“imposed”, can often exacerbate pre-existing community tensions or inadvertently create new ones. This can cause frustration with INGOs to build and result in poor community support and security incidents. This paper thus implicitly asserts that good humanitarian security is not simply an issue of strong “technical policies” or regularly updated SOPs and guidelines, but also fundamentally about, and indeed reliant upon, good programming.

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