04 November 2014

The Pippa Middleton of development advice

The latest edition of the Core Humanitarian Standards looks a lot like the kind of advice one would find in Pippa Midleton's book. That is not a good thing. Sandrine Tiller, Humanitarian Advisor for MSF UK and Arjan Hehenkamp, MSF Director discuss the problems in a recent blog post.

The opening paragraphs are too good not to share.
When Pippa Middleton’s published her book on entertaining friends and family, it contained gems like: “Make a checklist—it’s otherwise too easy to forget essentials, and it’s useful to have when you arrive home to make sure nothing is missing” and “A really late start warrants brunch, in lieu of lunch.” This kind of painfully obvious advice was mercilessly lampooned on the internet as being plain common sense, sold to a gullible and unquestioning public.[1]

It was Pippa’s advice that came to mind when we read the latest incarnation of the Core Humanitarian Standards. With classics like: “Communities and people affected by crisis receive coordinated, complementary assistance” and “Staff are treated fairly and equitably, and are supported to do their job effectively,” it makes us wonder, with all the major crises happening around the world, is this all we can commit to?
Read their full analysis here.