Norwegian Refugee Council - Comments

7) The institutional learning

-NRC is generally recognised as very reliable and has developed a strong research capacity. The organisation regularly updates an online database on displaced populations throughout the world (http://www.internal-displacement.org/). It also analyses crisis situations on an ad hoc basis and shows a certain lucidity as to the harmful effects of humanitarian aid in times of war. Thus an internal policy paper of 2001 clarifies the criteria for discontinuing activities: needs are satisfied locally; the access to displaced persons isn’t possible; the safety of humanitarian workers can’ be adequately ensured; NRC programmes don’t help towards improving the situation; they aren’t properly financed and staffed.
-NRC has evaluated some of its programmes but, as far as we know, it did not publish its results and did not fully investigate its operations. Directed by Bjørn Ivar Kruke, for instance, a team from the University of Stavanger analysed the organisation’s response to the Asiatic tsunami of December 2004 by interviewing the staff only, and not the beneficiaries of assistance. A real external, global and independent evaluation of NRC’s work remains to be done.