Making humanitarian relief networks more effective: operational coordination, trust and sense making

Making humanitarian relief networks more effective: operational coordination, trust and sense making Effective coordination of humanitarian assistance activities remains elusive. This paper briefly addresses some of the reasons for what is widely perceived as a coordination dilemma in humanitarian affairs and argues for a new conceptualisation of the issue. Rather than continue to request that more authority be vested in a single organisation to secure coordination through top‐down control, it contends that it may be timely to consider whether relief agencies involved in an emergency should be reconceived as social networks and efforts made to achieve changes in their organizational cultures that encourage operational coordination across institutional lines. Since such labours imply the need to trust, this article explores what forms of trust might be employed to promote improved coordination among relief institutions and how those relationships could themselves be conceptualised. Finally, while acknowledging that coordination is not costless, it suggests that its effective pursuit may be advantageous even in scenarios where aid organisations balk at cooperating to secure it. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Disasters Wiley

Making humanitarian relief networks more effective: operational coordination, trust and sense making

Disasters, Volume 29 (4) – Dec 1, 2005

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2005 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0361-3666
eISSN
1467-7717
DOI
10.1111/j.0361-3666.2005.00296.x
pmid
16277644
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Effective coordination of humanitarian assistance activities remains elusive. This paper briefly addresses some of the reasons for what is widely perceived as a coordination dilemma in humanitarian affairs and argues for a new conceptualisation of the issue. Rather than continue to request that more authority be vested in a single organisation to secure coordination through top‐down control, it contends that it may be timely to consider whether relief agencies involved in an emergency should be reconceived as social networks and efforts made to achieve changes in their organizational cultures that encourage operational coordination across institutional lines. Since such labours imply the need to trust, this article explores what forms of trust might be employed to promote improved coordination among relief institutions and how those relationships could themselves be conceptualised. Finally, while acknowledging that coordination is not costless, it suggests that its effective pursuit may be advantageous even in scenarios where aid organisations balk at cooperating to secure it.

Journal

DisastersWiley

Published: Dec 1, 2005

References

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