Taking Humanitarian Accountability to the Next Level

Taking Humanitarian Accountability to the Next Level
4 April 2019, 6.00pm - 8.00pm
The Senate Room, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Seminar Series: Humanitarian Accountability in Displacement Contexts

A series of seminars examining humanitarian accountability in displacement contexts, hosted by the Refugee Law Initiative at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. The series provides a forum for discussion open to academics, practitioners and those with an interest in humanitarian and forced displacement issues.

Taking Humanitarian Accountability to the Next Level


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 that has been launched a year earlier.  An assumed lack of accountability was further catapulted in public attention with the events publicised in February 2018 about sex parties and other forms of sexual abuse in the sector.

This lecture will elaborate 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.

After this, the lecture will explore what is required to bring accountability to the next level. One of the question to address is whether a humanitarian ombudsman is needed to advance accountability. 


Dorothea Hilhorst is professor of Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) 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 (2016); and The Real World of NGOs: Discourse, Diversity and Development. (2003). 

Email: hilhorst@iss.nl Twitter: @hilhorst_thea


Refugee Law Initiative
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