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Can there be a quality response?

What makes a high-quality disaster response? Look at how changes in humanitarian work over the past 20 years influenced Pakistan 2010 flood relief.

Our first starting point is that the humanitarian response must meet the needs of the disaster-affected.

The starting point is the alignment of the humanitarian agency’s policies to humanitarian principles and standards that underpin effective response. In situations where a humanitarian agency aims to meet the standards to which it previously committed, but operational contexts do not permit, nothing can realistically be done. For instance, if space for shelter for an individual family as stipulated within the Sphere standards cannot be met, and only a limited space has been allocated by the government under whose jurisdiction you are operating, then little can be done.

The only way forward might be to request more land allocation from the state. Do the best you can within the constraints. This is just one of the many complexities, which the dynamic nature of disasters can bring.

Your task

Watch the video, think back over what you’ve learned the past two weeks, and answer the following questions:
  • Can there be a quality response?
  • Has your thinking and perceptions changed since you joined the course?
Share your thoughts in the comments area.
To help you with this, there is a reading list available to download from the bottom of this step, which lists all of the further reading, references and links within the short course.
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Humanitarian Action, Response and Relief

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FutureLearn - Learning For Life

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