Jessica Alexander
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service

Jessica Alexander is an Adjunct Professor at the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs, Fordham University and at Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University. Over the past 12 years, she has worked in various capacities in humanitarian response across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East for the United Nations and various NGOs. She has responded to crises in Rwanda, Darfur, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Myanmar, South Sudan, Pakistan, and the Horn of Africa. Professor Alexander is a Fulbright Scholar who received the award to research child soldiers in Sierra Leone in 2006. In addition, she has received a Master of Public Health and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, focusing her research on accountability in humanitarian action. She is the author of "Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid."

Semester Course
Spring 2014 PADM-GP.4217.001 NGO Accountability

This short course will explore the concept of accountability within humanitarian intervention. In particular it will look at the contemporary significance of accountability for humanitarian response – when and why it has become an important concept for humanitarian intervention, and specific events that have led to a shift from donors to recipients of aid as the agents of accountability. 
 
Key questions that will be explored include:  
- To whom are humanitarian agencies accountable? What are the competing accountabilities and how do these influence program decisions and agency performance?
- Why is accountability to beneficiaries important during a humanitarian response? Aside from ideological views, why should the humanitarian sector be concerned with accountability to beneficiaries? What are its end goals?
- What does an effective accountability mechanism look like? How do agencies implement it?
- Do these work? In what contexts? How is their effectiveness being measured? By whom?
- Who are the main actors in this space? An examination of HAP, ALNAP, Listen First, ECB project, current NGO frameworks used in the field.


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