Talk:Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief

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Hi - Good points. I wrote the section you've reverted (Alex Jacobs here from Mango) - and I'm glad to have a debate about it.

I am fairly sure that the Hilhorst paper you referenced makes these points - e.g. p. 364 on 'the value of the code in regulating aid', she makes the point that 'the code is not regulatory' - that it does not provide 'standards' that can be used for accountability.

Other references might include the experience to use the code as a tool for evaluation by the UK's DEC for the Gujarat Earthquake response (2001) and Southern Africa Food Crisis (2003) - both of which I was involved in. Summaries available:,905/index.html - the full documents are also in the public domain.

The key points about the way the principles are stated and the lack of guidance on reconciliation between conflicting principles also flow directly from the code itself.

Given the attention being given to accountability in NGO work, I'd fully support the comment that it might be worth having a section on criticism or perhaps 'limits & misinterpretations' of the Code. It's so often referred to as a set of standards, it would be great to scotch that.

Then of course naturally that leads into other initiatives to enhance accountability & develop more workable standards. I don't know if this is covered elsewhere in Wikipedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:42, August 24, 2007 (UTC)


I have reverted:

The code is often mis-described as a set of 'standards'. In fact, the code sets out key principles to guide behaviour in humanitarian response. The code does not provide any way of reconciling contradictions between the principles. Nor is it possible to assess performance in an objective way against the ten principles.
There is currently a lively debate about standards and accountability in humanitarian work. For example the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership - International (HAP-I) is currently developing key standards.

It would be a good idea to have a criticism section but would need references. Besides HAP-I could discuss other initiatives as well, i.e. Sphere Project.--Joel Mc 06:28, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

New Edit[edit]

I have incorporated most of the suggestions and have reorganized it a little. There is more work to be done on Limits and interpretations. --Joel Mc 13:36, 8 September 2007 (UTC)