NGOs and Disaster Response—Who are These Guys and What Do They Want Anyway? Melinda Hofstetter Center for Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance Tulane University, Washington D.C. www.cdmha.org
The CDMHA • is a joint program of: • Tulane University • and the • University of South Florida in partnership with • United States Southern Command
Mission of the CDMHA • Facilitate civil-military operations and cooperation • Develop and implement education and training programs in disaster and crisis management • Facilitate collaborative education, training, research and information and communication services between disaster response and humanitarian assistance agencies (e.g. the military, NGOs, PVOs, etc.)
Objectives • Make sense of the NGO universe so that you will find it easier to work with them • Standards of Conduct • Discuss NGO concerns about working with the military and why • How NGOs fit into the disaster relief equation • The civil and military relationship
NGOs and PVOs “An extraordinarily complex system which makes medieval Europe look centralized and ordered by comparison.” John Paul Lederach, director of the Mennonite Central Committee and the Conflict Analysis and Transformation Program of the eastern Mennonite University
Definitions • No distinction between NGOs and PVOs • Does not include professional associations, businesses, and foundations
Who Are They? Working Definition: • Non-profit organizations or associations of private citizens with any common interest • The common interest, for our purposes, is international humanitarian assistance activities (development and relief) • May be international or local
Characteristics • NGOs vary greatly • Organizational structure is similar to businesses • Non-rigid hierarchy; significant flexibility and authority at the field level • International NGOs often team up with local NGOs
What do They Do? • Operational vs Advocacy • Grassroots, long-term projects, development work • Willing to work in high risk areas; not constrained by sovereignty • Emphasis on sustainability • Full integration with local population • Good positioning for disaster response
Who Pays Them? • Funding Sources • Private Donations (citizens and foundations) • International Organizations (UN) • National Governments • Importance of Media
Core Values • Neutrality • Aid will not be used to further a particular political or religious standpoint. • Impartiality • Aid is given regardless of race, creed, or nationality. • Aid is based on need alone. • Independence • Aid agencies shall not act as instruments of government foreign policy.
INCREASED THREAT TO AID WORKERS • Increased Range of Conflict since Cold War • Civil Wars • Ethnic conflicts and genocide • Complex crises • Identified as symbols of western values • Increased banditry and crime • Ignorance, indifference and indiscriminate violence
Core Values • Should offer access and protection from attack; not always true anymore • Core values will impact NGO willingness to work with the military. • Even perception of value violation will be avoided. • PERCEPTION IS REALITY!
Who Monitors These Guys? • Little External Monitoring • Self-Control: NGO Standards • Red Cross Code of Conduct • InterAction PVO Standards • Sphere Minimum Standards in Disaster Response
Seize the High Ground! THE KEY TERRAIN is the six inches between the other guy’s ears
NGOs Independent Decentralized Authority On-The-Job Training Few Field Manuals Long-term Perspective NGO and Military Cultures: Differences Military • Highly Disciplined • Hierarchical Command • Extensive Branch Training • Doctrinal Pubs • “End-State” Approach
Clear separation of missions and operations POW monitoring Medical aid Single neutral agenda Overlapping humanitarian missions Chaotic complex environments Neutrality concerns Security concerns NGOs AND THE MILITARY Today Tradition Humanitarian aid to soldiers and sailors Complex inconsistent “partnership”
NGO and Military Cultures: Similarities • Motivation: Adrenaline Junkies and Idealists • Desire to See the World • Separation from Family and Friends
Both are mission driven. Both are synergistic. They shouldn’t be antagonistic. But attitudes can cause them to be so. It’s the PERCEPTION!!! LTC M.M. Smith, USA
Humanitarian Emergencies • International assistance required • Donors rely more on NGOs, because of their access to the populations in need • And again, their access is dependent on their neutrality • Most humanitarian emergencies do NOT involve the military • The need for civ-mil cooperation may be the exception rather than the rule
Review of Emergency Response Emergency Responders Affected Country’s Government National Bilateral donors: OFDA, ECHO UN Agencies: OCHA, UNHCR, WFP, WHO, UNDP Religious Organizations NGOs Military Forces (on rare occasions)
The Fog of Disaster Relief UN Agencies UNICEF WFP UNDP NGO NGO ICRC UNHCR Donor NGO Donor NGO USG NGO NGO Affected Country/ Government RedCross NGO Other Governments
Do They Coordinate? • US Embassy Country Team • Other USG Agencies (OFDA "DART") • UN Coordination Entities [UNHCR, WFP, UNDP, UNICEF, OCHA, Special Humanitarian Coordinator] • NGO-Only Coordination Bodies/Field-level coordination meetings • Host Government Ministries / Authorities • Civil-Military Cooperation or Operation Centers
NGO Role in Disaster Response NGOs, as implementing partners of donor organizations, are the legs on which disaster response stands.
NGO Fears About Working With the Military • Perceived Violation of Core Values • Kosovo • Chechnya • Military Domination of Humanitarian Response • Appropriate Military Role: Refer to Humanitarian Community
Common Mistakes • Assuming Control of Humanitarian Response • Intelligence / Information Exchange
NGO INFORMATION • Best source of refugee information • First hand observation and knowledge • Situational/non-threat focus • Direct access to local leaders and factions Sensitive to association with government/military agencies!
AREAS OF EXPERTISE • Local Situation • Environment • Health and Medical Issues • Religion • Clan/tribe relationships & hierarchy • Dialects • Psychological Profiles • Personality Profiles • Local Organization • Effects of Local Weather and Terrain on Equipment and Personnel
Civ-Mil Services Typically Requested by NGOs • Security Services • Landmine Locations • Security Briefings • Convoy Support • Guidance on Local Security • Technical Assistance • Access to Remote Areas, Ports, and Airfields • Logistics Assistance
Avoiding the Common Mistakesin Humanitarian Response Intelligence/information exchange Sustainability Proportionality Target populations “Warlord photo ops”
INDIRECT CONTACT • Functional military counterparts • State Department/other agencies • Other third parties • “Virtual contact”- the internet • Civil Affairs and Intelligence Learn about them before you deploy!
DIRECT CONTACT • Basics • De-mystify information sharing • Be honest and open • Build rapport • Discretion • What and Why • Cooperative • Non-intrusive • Give and Take
NGOs and IOs UN Relief Agencies Command Coordination Coordination at JTF Level CINC HACC CJTF Agencies at Strat. Theater Level CMOC HOC OFDA / DART Regional CMOC(s)
Military: U.S. + ? NGO IO PVO UN Agencies CMOC US Gov’t Agencies ICRC HN/Local Populace
USG DOD UN/IOs Host Nations NGOs Religion Business Zone of Collaboration/Coordination
Alphabet Soup CMCC CMOC CIMIC HACC HOC OSOCC HAC CMAC
Cooperation: “Unity of Effort” IO/NGO Activities Military Efforts
Overview of Intervention Political / Military Response Complex Emergency International Community Humanitarian Space Humanitarian Response
Perception is Reality
GET SMART! The smarter you are, the smarter you are to your commander.