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Reversing the telescope: evaluating NGO peer regulation initiatives

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This article investigates perceptions of the extent to which non-governmental organization (NGO) peer regulation initiatives have been effective in enhancing accountability in the humanitarian sector. It is based upon semi-structured interviews with individuals with responsibility for accountability policy from leading NGOs and focuses on two of the best-known initiatives: Humanitarian Accountability Partnership and Sphere. It finds that the initiatives have prompted positive changes in practice, but there are significant concerns about their deleterious impacts. Participants describe a host of challenges, including the tendency of peer regulation to become excessively bureaucratic and labour intensive. They cast some doubt on the potential of the initiatives to assist NGOs to be more accountable to affected communities. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-56
JournalJournal of International Development
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2016


  • Crack 2014_Reversing the Telescope_Journal of International Development

    Rights statement: This is the accepted version of the following article: Reversing the telescope: evaluating NGO peer regulation initiatives, Crack, A. 1 Jun 2014 In : Journal of International Development., which has been published in final form at

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 524 KB, PDF document

    Licence: CC BY-SA

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