Humanitarian Security in the Light of Financial Independence: Why funding structures are also a matter of security management

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Marketization of the humanitarian system and the financial independence is thought to have an impact on humanitarian organisations’ behavior. With an increased insecurity for aid-workers and thus investment in aid-worker security management, research on this matter is pressing. This thesis seeks to examine the characteristics of the relationship between humanitarian organisations’ financial (in)dependency, and their use of acceptance as a security strategy. Acceptance is a security strategy preferred by humanitarian organisations. I pose the research question: How does humanitarian organisations’ level of financial independence contribute to their application of acceptance as a security strategy in South Sudan? The thesis answers this through a qualitative case study of three different layers of humanitarian organisations’ (MSF and ICRC; INGOs; L/NNGOs) in South Sudan, guided by acceptance as the analytical framework. The study finds that the level of financial (in)dependence can contribute to all components of the acceptance strategy in various ways. Higher level of financial independence provides flexibility and operational independence, and lower level of financial independence impedes flexibility and increases compliance with donor interests. This has consequences for all components of acceptance in some ways, but particularly for principles and mission and programming.

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