Sept. 11



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ALNAP Annual Review 2001

Edited by Rachel Houghton with Kate Robertson
Humanitarian Action: Learning from Evaluation

Chapter 1: Compared with the application of evaluation to development cooperation (see Box 1.2 above), its application to humanitarian action has been slower. This was partly the result of initial resistance but also of technical, practical and methodological difficulties (discussed later). The first evaluations of humanitarian action weren't undertaken until the second half of the 1980s. On the evidence available, 1993 appears to have been the year in which the evaluation of humanitarian action took off (see Figure 1.2). Since then, however, a boom has been underway in the use of evaluation by the humanitarian system. Interestingly the sharp increase in the number of evaluations in 1993 appears to follow on from the 1991 funding increase (see Figure 1.1) with an approximately two-year time lag.

What does this boom represent and how long can it be expected to last? Is it bringing genuine improvements to the accountability and learning processes within the international humanitarian system? These questions are central to this Annual Review.

The boom undoubtedly represents a significant investment by the humanitarian system, and presents a considerable opportunity for critical reflection and learning in humanitarian operations. While information on the overall level of resources devoted to evaluation of humanitarian action is not readily available, evidence from a benchmarking study, being undertaken by the ICRC (4) at time of publication, is indicating that humanitarian agencies devote on average the equivalent of 0.5% of their humanitarian action expenditure to inspection, audit and evaluation activities.

However, if evaluation is to continue to receive its current levels of attention and resourcing, and be embraced by all - whether at policy or operational level - it needs to improve on the quality of the undertaking and its product to demonstrate clearly its contribution to improved performance.

From the outset, those involved in the formation of ALNAP (in 1997) recognised the actual and potential role of evaluation, as well as the need for a mechanism that would enable the systematic collection and sharing of evaluative reports to facilitate and improve interagency and collective learning. The ERD (5) has been a central ALNAP activity ever since, and the Annual Review takes the initiative one step further. Using the ERD as its primary source the Review provides a baseline analysis against which to track and report on future trends. (see Box 1.3).

For the full accountability and learning potential of evaluation to be realised, a more systematic exploitation of the mechanism will be required.

Added: 6/07/2002


Scholar Responds to Sept. 11

Lederach, John Paul.
The Challenge of Terror: A Traveling Essay

Let me conclude with simple ideas. To face the reality of well organized, decentralized, self-perpetuating sources of terror, we need to think differently about the challenges. If indeed this is a new war it will not be won with a traditional military plan. The key does not lie in finding and destroying territories, camps, and certainly not the civilian populations that supposedly house them. Paradoxically that will only feed the phenomenon and assure that it lives into a new generation. The key is to think about how a small virus in a system affects the whole and how to improve the immunity of the system. We should take extreme care not to provide the movements we deplore with gratuitous fuel for self-regeneration. Let us not fulfill their prophecy by providing them with martyrs and justifications. The power of their action is the simplicity with which they pursue the fight with global power. They have understood the power of the powerless. They have understood that melding and meshing with the enemy creates a base from within. They have not faced down the enemy with a bigger stick. They did the more powerful thing: They changed the game. They entered our lives, our homes and turned our own tools into our demise.

Added: 10/05/2001


Peacekeeping Lessons at the UN

Lakhdar Brahimi, et al
Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations: A Far-Reaching Report by an Independent Panel

Aug. 17, 2000
United Nations

Summary of Recommendations: The Panel supports the Secretariat’s effort to create a pilot Peace-building Unit within DPA, in cooperation with other integral United Nations elements, and suggests that regular budgetary support for this unit be revisited by the membership if the pilot programme works well. This programme should be evaluated in the context of guidance the Panel has provided in paragraph 46 above, and if considered the best available option for strengthening United Nations peace-building capacity it should be presented to the Secretary-General within the context of the Panel’s recommendation contained in paragraph 47 (d) above;

Added: 4/14/2003


Greenstock, H.E. Sir Jeremy, etal.
Refashioning the Dialogue: Regional Perspectives on the Brahimi Report on UN Peace Operations

Feb.-Mar. 2001
International Peace Academy, Center on International Cooperation, New York University

ABSTRACT: When the Government of the United Kingdom learned that UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan had asked Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi to convene a panel of experts to make recommendations to improve UN peace operations, we felt that this discussion was too important to be confined to the halls of the United Nations in New York. Once the panel’s Report was published, therefore, we asked the Center on International Cooperation (CIC) of New York University and the International Peace Academy (IPA) to convene discussions of the issues raised by the Report.

The bedrock principles of peacekeeping — consent of local parties, impartiality, and the use of force only in self-defense — remain an important part of peacekeeping. Nevertheless, impartiality should be seen in terms of the fair application of a mandate, not as an excuse for moral equivocation. In Africa in particular, there was strong support for more robust mandates for peacekeepers to deal with spoilers. The European meeting also emphasized the need for robust tactics, particularly in the early days of establishing a mission, before civilian personnel (other than humanitarian organizations) were on the ground. Training more regional staff (at least non-military staff) would help enable swift deployment of operations. African participants contemplated the need for better trained and equipped African regional or even continental peacekeeping forces in light of the reluctance of major powers to contribute troops to operations on the continent. There was some debate over whether this was feasible or whether — to mitigate the dominant role of regional hegemons and the lack of indigenous resources — it would be best to develop capacity and response jointly with the UN. The European meeting acknowledged a European role in building capacities in other regions.

...both North and South are worried about losing control of their agenda. In the South, the concern is that the development agenda will be sidetracked by implementation of the Brahimi Report. I think it is becoming clear, however, that development and conflict management are linked, and that more and more people recognize this. In the North, states worry that other security priorities may be sidetracked by a focus on peacekeeping. In this area, the Millennium Summit and its aftermath, particularly the focus on Africa, have made conflict management more clearly a developed-world priority within the whole concept of a more effective approach to development.

Added: 10/03/2001


Woodward, Susan
On War and Peace-Building: Unfinished Legacy of the 1990s

After Sept. 11 Archive
Social Science Research Council

Lessons Not Learned:A second lesson from those earlier cases is that the logic of war wins out every time over other concurrent policies, particularly diplomatic negotiations and humanitarian goals. The evolution from a military strike of revenge, demanded by an outraged public opinion in the United States, to a war against Osama bin Laden, then to a war against the Taliban, and therefore eventually to create an entirely new state and the security and economic bases of its survival is also a pattern we have seen before. Familiar also is the underestimation by the U.S. military of the enemy's will and ability to resist such that tactics, timing, and even goals have to be rapidly adjusted once the air war has begun. In the Balkans, the effort to combine three objectives simultaneously - a humanitarian operation, a war (dominated by air power and intelligence, in particular), and political negotiations - proved time and again that the logic of war comes to dominate all the other objectives. The war creates more refugees and internally displaced persons, makes aid workers hostages or forces them to flee the country entirely, and creates conflicts over communication and transportation routes between the military and humanitarian operations, which hinder both....

A third lesson regards economic strategy. A fatal flaw in all "post-conflict" economic policy is the prior need of a functioning government and functioning proper financial and legal institutions - to absorb the aid delivered, adopt the necessary policies, and implement those decisions.8 Such governments and administrations do not exist under conditions of war and severe war damage - human capital is the scarcest commodity after wartime, but the Afghan case may well be the worst - and the intense political conflicts and maneuvering that characterize the first post-war years leads necessarily to extensive delays in their creation. Recent revisions in economic strategy aimed at improving the record of post-conflict assistance give far more recognition than in the past to the importance of institutions to economic development. Nonetheless, experience thus far has not succeeded in creating the necessary employment, agricultural revival, and basic social services (education, health care, safe water and sewers, food distribution, roads, public safety) that are essential to sustaining the peace, rebuilding the state, protecting human rights, and returning refugees and the internally displaced population. That almost all economic activity in Afghanistan is done illegally - surreptitious, smuggled, or criminal - as a result of a decade of war will force this need of donors for sovereign counterparts and functioning (if devastated) economies into harsh focus very soon. Reconstruction programs assume, moreover, that a political agreement, which they insist must come first, will produce such a government. They can then proceed. In fact, the reverse, were it possible, is more likely to succeed - using a reconstruction program to generate incentives for political agreement and cooperation and thus for peace.9

Added: 4/14/2003


The Work of TR Young

Young, TR.
Conflict Methodology

Transforming Sociology Series (No. 003) Red Feather Institute 1973

ABSTRACT: This paper will serve as a starting point from which to understand the epistemological advantages accruing from a conflict methodology. In the pursuit of insight, understanding, validity and other ways of "knowing", these advantages include additional dimensions of meaning, additional levels of awareness, additional sources of data, as well as dimensions of dedication lost to the "impartial" researcher. Conflict methodology, as an epistemological tool, restores moral responsibility to the research act; no longer can the social scientist claim neutrality in the knowledge process; s/he is part of the process by which society is created and recreated and must accept both the good and evil for which s/he is in part responsible.

Among the conditions requiring the techniques of conflict methodology in contemporary society; East and West, one may cite the recent growth and development of the large, complex organization as the central arena in which life is experienced and behavior constrained. There is also the systematic evasion of reciprocity typically found in mass society. There is as well, the emerging superiority of the military as the dominant institution across societies; there is the vast increase in the technology of data control largely dedicated to exploitative ends. We urgently require a repertoire of conflict methodologies by which to counter these developments and to promote those conditions of social organization which promise a better chance to survive and which promise to force large scale establishments to serve human ends rather than continue the use of human genius and human skill to serve corporate ends.



The Work of Brian Martin

Whistleblowing and Nonviolence
(Jan. 1999) Peace and Change 24.3

Whistleblowers have a lot to learn from nonviolent activists, such as how to build support, organize campaigns and carry out actions. On the other hand, there are a few things that nonviolent activists can learn from the experiences of whistleblowers. One important lesson is that action is necessary inside organizations as well as outside



Gene Sharp's Theory of Power: Review Essay
Journal of Peace Research (26.2) 1989: pp. 213-22

ABSTRACT: Gene Sharp, the world's leading writer on non-violent action, uses a theory of power based on a division between rulers and subjects and on the withdrawing of consent as the main avenue for effecting political change. From the point of view of structural approaches to the analysis of society, Sharp's picture leaves out much of the complexity of political life, such as the structures of capitalism, patriarchy and bureaucracy which do not fit well with the ruler-subject picture. As a set of conceptual tool for social activists, however, Sharp's theory of power is far superior to structural approaches.



COMMENTARY gm: Brian Martin gives a thoughtful account of what it is like to study nonviolence in an academic setting, particularly for scholars who are sympathetic with Marxist traditions of structural analysis, otherwise known as critical theory. Martin writes about the talented activist whose ideas will be consistent with sophisticated academic analysis, but who arrives through other paths. Although Martin does not say it, we could go on to observe that the talented activist is not necessarily interested in assessing her ideas against the background of academic literature.

From the academic side of the divide, it appears that the ideas of talented activists very often are not viewed as theoretically interesting. I recall once speaking about King's challenge to Marxism. Afterward, I was told that the audience had been grumbling: where is the theory? Since that day, I have wondered about the criteria of legitimation that constitute critical theory as an academic discipline. Perhaps the short answer is that the study of nonviolence, while it may have close affinities to critical theory, is not quite the same enterprise. Nonviolence, as an academic discipline, is obliged to study the ideas of talented activists in a manner that breaks our usual habits of theoretical assessment.

Martin doesn't quite say it this way, but if one is committed to the eleventh thesis on Feuerbach, philosophy lives most vibrantly where ideas are most directly in struggle for social change, and this is not necessarily the place where ideas are developed in rigorous dialogue with a particular academic discipline, even when the tradition is radical as critical theory. By these lights, the work of scholarship may be directed toward the ideas of activists, while resisting a prejudicial pressure to translate their terms into another treatise on Hegel. Surely, the ideas of activists will resonate with truths in many forms, and Hegel is full of truth. So we may expect to produce many more treatises on Hegel inspired by activist ideas. But the discipline of nonviolence calls for a rupture of academic habits of theorizing such that the temptation to reach for Hegel is interrogated with critical suspicion, the better to linger with the activist's ideas and learn more fruitfully from them.

Nonviolence versus capitalism.
London: War Resisters' International: 2001. ISBN: 0903517-19-1.

ABSTRACT: Conventional approaches to problems of capitalism, including state socialism and social democracy, rely ultimately on violence via the exercise of state power. Nonviolent action provides a principled yet pragmatic method for challenging capitalism in a self-consistent fashion, yet most nonviolence theorists since Gandhi have not given capitalism sustained attention.

In the past several years there has been a tremendous upsurge of interest in economic alternatives and in challenges to corporate globalisation. Many activists use nonviolent action for principled or pragmatic reasons. Nonviolence Versus Capitalism provides both an analysis of capitalism and a way of assessing campaigns that is consistent with nonviolent challenges.

First there is an overview of nonviolence as a method of social action. Then capitalism is analysed from a nonviolence point of view. Nonviolent alternatives to capitalism are outlined: sarvodaya, anarchism, voluntaryism and demarchy. Then strategy is examined, with a check list for activists proposed on the basis of the analysis. Quite a number of campaigns are assessed using the check list: workers' struggles, sabotage, environmental campaigns, social defence, global campaigns and economic alternatives.



"Ch.1 : Introduction"

COMMENTARY gm: Compatibility is Martin's project--compatibility beteen ideas of activists and ideas of specialized, critical theorists. For critical theory, the category of capitalism is treated like Du Bois treated the category of race prejudice. Du Bois defined the problem of the century as the problem of the color line. Critical theorists would define the problem of social change as the problem of capitalism. For the critical theorist, social change that does not challenge capitalism is no social change at all.

For critical theory, capitalism poses a special challenge, because capitalism is famously deceptive. Some of its power-forms appear in desirable guise. We get the softest toilet paper, the best jobs, and the quietest neighborhoods. But what about threatened forests, frenetic insecurities, and American-Beauty syle alienations? In our lust for capitalism, Side A, we hardly think about the B side, or, we assume that Side B is the downside we get if we want a world of comfort, affluence, and security.

Martin reinvigorates the problem of compatibility. Nonviolence and its activism might yet study and transform the capitalism of critical theory. With the advent of globalization protests, opportunity seems ripe for critical theorists to make an offering to activists. This is Martin's moment.

American nonviolence is rarely purist. Even in the case of King, state police were never told to disarm; they were merely encouraged to make new uses of their power. The abolitionist Frederick Douglass recruited soldiers for the Union Army, and I do not doubt that King would have done the same. For these reasons, I would quibble somewhat with Martin's cleanly drawn disjunction between nonviolence and state power.

If anarchists are more consistent in their opposition to state power, anarchists are not necessarily nonviolent. The nonviolent witch Starhawk (see historical index) was dismayed by anarchist behavior in Genoa, yet she apparently argued for anarchist-nonviolence solidarity as the police went hunting anarchists in the streets. Pacifists paid a price in blood for their solidarity with anarchists in Genoa. Pacifist activism, with its staged and studied nonviolent actions, ultimately respects some role for state police. For anarchists, the power of violence is too much to concede unilaterally to state forces. The tension between King and Black Power is analogous to the tension between nonviolence and anarchism, perhaps.

Technology for nonviolent struggle.
London: War Resisters' International, 2001. ISBN: 0903517-18-3.

ABSTRACT: Organised nonviolent struggle, using methods such as strikes, boycotts and noncooperation, is a possible alternative to military methods. However, compared to military funding, there has been hardly any financial and organisational support for nonviolent struggle. Putting a priority on nonviolent struggle would lead to significant differences in technological development and scientific method. Research and development relevant to a number of areas--especially communication and survival--are assessed in terms of their relevance to nonviolent struggle. The findings are used to suggest how science and technology used for the purposes of war and repression can be converted most effectively to serve the purposes of nonviolent struggle.



"Prologue: The Vision of Aldous Huxley"

COMMENTARY gm: A generous bow to Aldous Huxley's 1946 book, Science, Liberty and Peace, which argues for nonviolent developments in science and technology. Oil and nuclear power are two examples that Huxley offers when he argues that some forms of science and technology can be destructive. Martin wants to extend Huxley's vision and emulate a reader-friendly style.

Brian Martin Replies Aug. 18, 2001:

Hi Greg,

Thanks for your initiative in commenting on my publications.

I'm very much in tune with your emphasis on relevance of ideas to activists. This is covered in chapter 8 of my book Information Liberation [see link below].

Like many others, I perceive two strands within anarchism, one subscribing to nonviolence and the other accepting (usually reluctantly) some role for violence. Tolstoy and Gandhi fit within the former camp, as do many current activists in War Resisters' International and elsewhere.

Best wishes,


Information liberation: Challenging the corruptions of information power.
London: Freedom Press, 1998. ISBN: 0-900384-93-X. Full etext in html and pdf.



Tamera Manifesto

Dieter Duhm
Tamera Manifesto for a Global Peace Culture

written on the occasion of the founding of the Institute for Global Peace-work (IGP), January 1999: tamera.org

Section 9.: We can no longer meet worldwide violence through counter-violence; the era of violent revolutions is over. First of all they are pointless in the face of the real balance of power; secondly, they never achieve the humane goal, for violence - including counter-violence - always produces fear and new violence. This is a psychological principle, which up to now has not been disproved by any revolution. For global peace work we therefore need a basically different concept. One central point in this new concept is that of global field creation through selective intervention, in short: the principle of fields.

In order to relieve the body of an illness one does not need to treat all its organs and cells individually. It suffices to introduce new information that acts as an impetus in the direction of healing, such as a medicine or a few acupuncture needles that are introduced at the right places. If the energy lines and energy centers of the body are impacted through this intervention, then the body takes care of the rest of the work by itself. This principle can be applied to the earth as an organism: It suffices to input a concentrated impulse of peace at chosen "acupuncture points" or energy centers, in order to stimulate the earth as a whole. (Although I speak here of a theoretical principle, concrete peace work in emergency areas of the world is absolutely necessary. This work is a substantial part of the ”youth school for global learning”, founded in Tamera - see section 11). The reason for this way of functioning lies in the fact that the earth and its biosphere constitute a unified organism, a unified life body and a unified body of information. This can be seen for example in the genetic code, whose basic mathematical structure is the same for all living beings - for plants, animals and humans. All beings therefore follow the same basic information of life. The mathematical similarity found in parallel universal formulas such as the genetic code and the old Chinese I Ching attest to the similarity in the informational structure of both the molecular and mental-spiritual areas. Teilhard de Chardin called this informational body of the biosphere the "noosphere". If we introduce new information, compatible with the overall system, into the noosphere, the effect is the same as the effect of a medication introduced into the total system of our body. All beings are a part of the noosphere, and therefore -- at least latently -- this information that is introduced affects them all. It is through this information that a new "field" is born. Every individual action can create a new field, if it is based on new information. When Reinhold Messner climbed Mount Everest without oxygen he created new field-generating information. From then on it was also possible for others to climb Mount Everest without oxygen. There are many similar examples in the areas of sports and technology. The principle of "morphogenetic field creation" is present everywhere in evolution, for it is a direct consequence of the holographic functional logic of the global body of life, in which all beings are interconnected. If one succeeds in creating encompassing new information for the creation of a culture without fear and violence in a few new cultural centers on earth, then this information will not only affect these special places, but it will affect the entire noosphere of the earth. The result will be that, within a short period of time, other such models emerge at other places on earth.

We have been prepared for these kinds of possibilities not only through the study of medicine and biological systems, but also through the models used in chaos research. Small changes, introduced at minute points on earth, can lead to enormous overall effects due to the mathematical principle of self-amplification. The combination of such resonance and multiplication effects allows us to develop a political theory with a new logical structure. The system works "of itself" if its mechanism is given a new impulse in the right way.

Therefore, one of the most urgent tasks of global peace work is the development of such power points for concrete peace information. The more encompassing the new information is, the more areas of life are encompassed by it, the more complex it is, and the more deeply it addresses the basic connections of our mental-spiritual and biological existence, the more it becomes universally applicable and the more powerful is its global field effect. Here we can understand the beautiful words by Victor Hugo: "Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come."

Added: 2/14/2002


Sept. 11
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