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close this bookDisaster Management Ethics - Trainer's Guide - 1st Edition (Disaster Management Training Programme, 104 p.)
close this folderTOPIC 2: Providing humanitarian assistance to displaced populations and refugees
View the document(introduction...)
View the document21. Introduction
View the document22. Three types of ethical dilemmas
View the document23. Ethical issues
View the document24. More ethical issues
View the document25. Ethical Issue #1
View the document26. Ethical Issue #2
View the document27. Ethical Issue #3
View the document28. Ethical Issue #4
View the document29. Ethical Issue #5
View the document30. Ethical Issue #6
View the document31. Ethical Issue #7
View the document32. Ethical Issue #8
View the document33. Ethical Issue #9
View the document34. Ethical Issue #10
View the document35. Summary

29. Ethical Issue #5


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Labeling and counting beneficiaries

Donor accountability often requires the categorization of beneficiary target groups (refugees, displaced persons, returnees, vulnerable, male/female, children, elderly, etc.). Review the ethical issues involved with this action and ask participants to identify ways they can be addressed.

This is full of ethical dilemmas:

· Labeling generalizes needs and may lead to inappropriate assistance and stereotypes.

· It can intrude on privacy and evoke painful memories.

· It may involve expenditure of resources that could have been provided directly to the beneficiaries.

· Providing different assistance programs to neighboring populations with similar needs, but different labels can cause confusion and resentment.

· Labeling needy people in a way that excludes them from needed assistance is clearly unethical and requires imaginative solutions.

· Census and registration systems usually reduce freedom of movement and home, as well as infringe upon personal rights

· When done sufficiently rigorously to control "cheats", some methods often exclude deserving beneficiaries from assistance schedules

· Administrative benefits gained from accurate counting are often lost through damage to relationships with beneficiaries and local host population authorities

· Replacing local systems of distribution and accountability with policed and centrally managed ones can sometimes reduce the fidelity of distribution systems