International NGO legitimacy

Challenges and responses

Authored by: Maryam Zarnegar Deloffre , Hans Peter Schmitz

Routledge Handbook of NGOs and International Relations

Print publication date:  April  2019
Online publication date:  April  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138285507
eBook ISBN: 9781315268927
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315268927-42

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Abstract

In 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, killing an estimated 220,000 people, injuring even more, and rendering 1.5 million people homeless. The American Red Cross raised nearly US$500 million for its humanitarian response to this earthquake, but subsequently faced public criticism about the use of these funds. Journalists were unable to substantiate the organization’s claims to have helped 4.5 million people and built hundreds of homes, and criticized the program’s high administrative costs, the deployment of inexperienced staff, and the lack of consultation with Haitians on projects (Sullivan 2015). In early 2018, revelations that Oxfam’s country director and several male employees exploited Haitians for sex as the organization was supporting survivors of the earthquake in 2011 stunned the aid world. The scandal exposed an organizational culture that put concerns about brand and donations ahead of being fully transparent about allegations of sexual misconduct (Edwards 2018).

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