As part of the Sociology Department Seminar series Monika Krause is coming to speak on 27th January 3-5pm in Wentworth College W/243.
She will be presenting on her research published in The Good Project:
The Good Project: Humanitarian Relief and the Fragmentation of Reason
Since the late 1980s humanitarianism - the immediate relief of suffering in the name of respect for human dignity - has come to dominate Western responses to social problems in the poorer parts of the world. Whether it is a sudden disaster, like the recent earthquake in Haiti, or a long-running crisis, like the conflict in Darfur, we look to NGOs like the Red Cross, Doctors without Borders, CARE, and Save the Children to help the suffering. Based on in-depth interviews with managers in the headquarters of the largest Western relief NGOs, The Good Project describes the mundane routines and practical constraints that determine who gets help and who does not. It argues that managers in aid agencies try to produce good projects and that the pursuit of the ‘good project’ shapes the way they allocate resources and the kinds of services they provide. Agencies emphasize the added value of their skills relatively independently of the needs or preferences of the beneficiaries. Quantifiable results for chosen beneficiaries are maximized relatively independently of any effects on the affected population as a whole. Organizations help those that are easy to help; those who are hardest to help often receive no assistance at all.