Fit for purpose: the role of modern professionalism in evolving the humanitarian endeavor
31-12-2011 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 884, by Peter Walker, Catherine Russ
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According to the authors, modern systems of scrutiny and accountability put pressure on the humanitarian system to become more professional and on aid workers to consider the establishment of a formal profession of humanitarian aid.
The humanitarian enterprise has grown in size and complexity over the past generation. Modern systems of scrutiny and accountability demand a higher level of accountability than ever before, both to programme beneficiaries and to donors. This, we believe, puts pressure on the system to become more professional and on aid workers to consider the establishment of a formal profession of humanitarian aid. This article reports on research carried out to test this hypothesis and on an approach that is presently being used to establish the necessary components of a professional system.
Peter Walker is director of the Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, Medford, USA, and member of the Editorial Board of the International Review of the Red Cross. Catherine Russ is learning advisor of Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA), London, UK.