Article 01 June 2014

The Metrics and Ethics of Protecting Civilians

by Andrea Binder, Urban Reichhold               Global Responsibility to Protect, 6 (2)

This article asks how success is defined and measured for humanitarian action and military interventions aimed at protecting civilians from violence and harm in situations of armed conflict. It starts by illustrating how humanitarian and military protection actors differ in their ability or willingness to mobilize coercive force to achieve their common goal of protecting civilians. As a second step, it classifies different types of protection activities implemented by these actors. A distinction is made between actions designed to mitigate protection threats and actions that aim at eliminating the underlying causes of violence against civilians.

This classification is important for two reasons. First, it serves to narrow down the problem of complementarity and contradiction between military and humanitarian approaches to protection. Second, it helps to highlight methodological, ethical and epistemological barriers to demonstrating success for specific types of protection interventions. The article concludes by exploring how normative considerations may guide protection policy and practice in the absence of conclusive empirical evidence on what works in protecting civilians.

To read the rest of this piece, you can download the pre-print versionundefined of the article or visit Global Responsibility to Protectundefined to access the print article.

Commentary 24 October 2017

The Micro-Politics of Territorial Control in Iraq

by Erica Gaston, András Derzsi-Horváth
War on The Rocks

Commentary 18 October 2017

Perception of NGOs in Afghanistan Isn’t Great. Here's How to Make It Better.

by Elias Sagmeister

Report 19 June 2017

Independent Grand Bargain Report

by Julia Steets, András Derzsi-Horváth, Lotte Ruppert

Policy Paper 16 June 2017

Cash Coordination in Humanitarian Contexts

by Julia Steets, Lotte Ruppert

Report 01 February 2017

Harmonizing Donor Reporting

by Erica Gaston