Nødhjælp – idealer og praksis: En sociologisk og erhvervsøkonomisk tilgang

Martin Kjærbo Nielsen & Signe Kjærbo Nielsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of this master’s thesis is to find out how the main players within the humanitarian sector, affect humanitarian aid and performance. In order to do this, the main actors communication have been analyzed to determine how “good aid” is differently defined. This is done from a sociological point of view. Furthermore, the sector’s performance has been analyzed, to find possible gaps and points of improvements. This is done from an economical point of view. The findings of this thesis includes, that the main actors practice “good aid” very differently in contrast to how they define “good aid”. The humanitarian organizations receive financial support from donors, but the aid is not without restrictions. The donors often require the organizations to make visible aid in a specific disaster area, in order to boost their CSR image. The donors prefer to support disasters strongly exposed in the media. This enhances the influence of the media as an actor. The donor’s and media’s increased power in the field dominates the humanitarian organizations who thereby compromise their own ideals of humanitarian aid, given as neutral and impartial aid. The organizations consequently have limited funds for other areas in need and to investments in the sector. The performance of the sector is affected by these restrictions. The lack of investments in the sector due to donor restrictions, have a negative effect on performance, since backroom activities are not prioritized when it comes to funds. In addition to this, the organizations do not exploit the full potential of their strategic opportunities. This is visualized in the modified version of Chopra & Meindl’s model, where People are considered as a new value-adding driver to the sector. Furthermore, two strategies have been added to the supply chain structure, which is “local sourcing” and “standardization”. The new People drivers function is to visualize the need of collaboration throughout the sector, since people are a high valued asset to the humanitarian organizations. The thesis concludes, that there are several problematic issues in considering the humanitarian field and the aid given, ear marked donations and the lack of investments to improve performance being two of the most prominent.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages124