Shaw, M. (2010) Making humanitarian action accountable : a case study of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership Certification and Thailand Burma Bordle Consortium

Title: Making humanitarian action accountable : a case study of Humanitarian Accountability Partnership Certification and Thailand Burma Bordle Consortium
Author: Mac Albert Shaw
Year: 2010
Keywords: Humanity, Humanitarian assistance, Thailand -- Burma, Case studies, Thailand Burma Bordle Consortium
Thai thesis available here.
Abstract: The development and aid sector has undergone a general professionalization, which lately has paved the way for a number of quality and accountability mechanisms. These are intended to provide evidence of impact and to demonstrate that NGOs support their intended beneficiaries in a justifiable manner. One of the recent initiatives is the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP). It is a self-regulatory NGO-initiative which has a primary focus on certifying member organisations against benchmarked standards for humanitarian action and has lately come to be known as the loudest champion of beneficiary voices. This research critically assesses the HAP certification scheme through a case study of the Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) who dismissed a suggestion to become HAP-certification on the grounds that it would have no clearly demonstrable benefits. The analysis looks into how the TBBC staff members practice and perceive their current accountability initiatives, the motives for TBBC to dismiss HAP certification at this time, and finally what challenges and opportunities TBBC face in relation to seeking HAP certification. The research shows that HAP certification could strengthen TBBC’s legitimacy globally without being at the cost of their local legitimacy. However, if HAP becomes successful enough to become a pre-requisite of funding, it would put pressure on TBBC to re-organize and take on the certification process at a pace that would undermine local accountability. Currently TBBC staff members are divided towards the organisation’s strategic line. Therefore a deeper discussion at all levels of the organisation of what HAP certification might mean for TBBC, would be beneficial to internalise and streamline the strategic position and hereby increase internal legitimacy.

Contact MAIDS-Chula for more information and full thesis at maidschula@gmail.com

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