The humanitarian sector faces an unprecedented number of crises globally. The growing operational and financial deficit in the capacity of governments and humanitarian organizations to respond has led to calls for changes in the way such crises are understood and managed. This involves a strong focus on cooperation and partnerships with the private sector. A large part of the allure is the notion that private-public partnerships will make humanitarian response faster by entrenching market-oriented rationalities, thus enhancing effectiveness.
This is also how the private sector presents itself:
One should never underestimate the power of private companies who offer aid. Companies are almost always focused on efficiency, good negotiation, building their reputation (their brand) and getting things done on time and on budget (Narfeldt 2007).
Here, I will try to complicate this narrative by pointing out some conundrums in the vigorous humanitarian embrace of the private sector.
Read the entire text at the blog of ATHA, where it was posted 18 Feb 2015.