1) The modern humanitarian movement has been gaining
great influence over the
past three decades.
2) In France, research on humanitarian aid in armed
conflicts is incomplete and disorganized in comparison to that
from our Anglo-Saxon colleagues (especially the Refugee Studies
Centre in Oxford, the Humanitarian and War Project in the US or
the Centre for Development Research in Copenhagen).
3) The NGOs working in or about conflict situations have become
real political actors on the global diplomacy scene: lobbies which
have contributed to the establishment of an International Criminal
Court or the signature of a treaty banning the use of landmines.
4) The humanitarian movement has reached a stage that allows outside
criticisms without harming the cause.
5) The evaluation of humanitarian programs is made internally,
creating a transparency issue. Many NGOs are, along with their
financial backers, judges of the quality of their own actions.
Following an accountancy logic, the audits of financial backers
focus more on the use of the funds than on the impact of international
aid on the receiving populations.
6) The different private structures composing the humanitarian
movement are far more difficult to seize and study than the institutional
actors of aid, namely states and intergovernmental organizations.
Les diverses composantes associatives du mouvement humanitaire
sont beaucoup plus difficiles à saisir et à étudier
que les acteurs classiques de l'aide au développement,
à savoir les Etats et les organisations intergouvernementales.
7) It is therefore necessary
to set up a database on NGOs.