Volume 21, Number 4, Winter 2010
The Elephant in the Room: Collaboration and Competition among Relief Organizations during High-Profile Disasters
Italo Subbarao, Matthew K. Wynia, and Frederick M. Burkle, Jr.
The Journal of Clinical Ethics 21, no. 4 (Winter 2010): 328-334.
The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that assume the bulk of emergency care during large-scale disasters in the developing world must expend considerable time and resources to ensure donations to sustain their field operations. This long-standing dilemma for the humanitarian community can create a competitive environment that:
• Compromises the delivery and quality of services,
• Allows the effectiveness of operations to be compromised by a lack of cooperation and collaboration,
• Disrupts the timely and accurate coordination and analysis of outcome measures that are crucial to successful response in the future, and
• Undermines the long-term capacity of indigenous aid organizations.
This article addresses problems and potential solutions for improved coordination and long-term capacity-building of humanitarian aid.