|Disaster Management Ethics (Department of Humanitarian Affairs/United Nations Disaster Relief Office - United Nations Development Programme , 1997, 70 p.)|
|TOPIC 1 Military intervention in disaster relief: cooperative relationships and implications for long-term rehabilitation and development|
On the basis of the discussion of sustainable transformation and the identified ethical dilemmas, policy makers and disaster management teams may consider the following recommendations.
Process matters as much as outcome.
1. Disaster management and humanitarian assistance should be linked with conflict resolution activities, particularly where the principal cause of the disaster is protracted conflict. Assumptions that disaster management is independent of the conflict in either the cause or effect should be avoided. Disaster planning should include conflict resolution expertise in all stages.
2. The need and outcome of military intervention for humanitarian purposes should be evaluated in terms of its impact on longer-term transformation of the conflict rather than on its short-term capacity to effect disaster and relief goals.
3. Counterparts should be approached as resources rather than recipients. Long-term transformation can be sustained only through local infrastructure. This recommendation reflects several key programmatic principles:
- Relationship building and networking, particularly at middle range levels, are more important to long-term transformation than the outcome of immediate program goals, especially in terms of conflict resolution processes.
- Process matters as much as outcome. Involving and empowering middle range and key local level counterparts in the design and implementation of any intervention is crucial for establishing and maintaining local resources. This may be counter to the focus aimed at top levels of leadership as decision makers.
- Operational relationships across the line of conflict should be fostered, creating cross-line teams for program consultation. Solid relationships built over time are the key to long term transformation. Such relationships may help to solve problems arising from international military intervention.
4. Disaster and humanitarian objectives should be promoted as the primary objectives rather than the military/security objectives Military intervention must be understood as a limited response, taken at extraordinary expense. If military intervention is undertaken, it should fit into an integrated disaster/conflict paradigm and not vice versa. Where this paradigm is not integrated, disaster management and humanitarian assistance are subservient to the military frame of reference and decision making process. At the point of military intervention, a coordinating team should be established that includes leaders in disaster management, humanitarian assistance, conflict resolution, cross-line counterparts and military leaders.