Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 2
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Manilla Arroyo, Diana 2014. Blurred lines: accountability and responsibility in post-earthquake Haiti. Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Vol. 30, Issue. 2, p. 110.

    Weng, Yi-Hao Chiou, Hung-Yi Tu, Chi-Cheng Liao, Say-Tsung Bhembe, Patience Thulile Yang, Chun-Yuh and Chiu, Ya-Wen 2015. Survey of patient perceptions towards short-term mobile medical aid for those living in a medically underserved area of Swaziland. BMC Health Services Research, Vol. 15, Issue. 1,


Requirements for Independent Community-Based Quality Assessment and Accountability Practices in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief Activities

  • Thomas D. Kirsch (a1) (a2), Paul Perrin (a1), Frederick M. Burkle (a3), William Canny (a4), Susan Purdin (a5), William Lin (a6) and Lauren Sauer (a2)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 13 June 2012

During responses to disasters, the credibility of humanitarian agencies can be threatened by perceptions of poor quality of the responses. Many initiatives have been introduced over the last two decades to help address these issues and enhance the overall quality of humanitarian response, often with limited success. There remain important gaps and deficiencies in quality assurance efforts, including potential conflicts of interest. While many definitions for quality exist, a common component is that meeting the needs of the “beneficiary” or “client” is the ultimate determinant of quality. This paper examines the current status of assessment and accountability practices in the humanitarian response community, identifies gaps, and recommends timely, concise, and population-based assessments to elicit the perspective of quality performance and accountability to the affected populations. Direct and independent surveys of the disaster-affected population will help to redirect ongoing aid efforts, and generate more effective and comparable methods for assessing the quality of humanitarian practices and assistance activities.

Kirsch TD, Perrin P, Burkle FM Jr, Canny W, Purdin S, Lin W, Sauer L. Requirements for independent community-based quality assessment and accountability practices in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief activities. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(3):1-6.

Corresponding author
Corresponding Author: Thomas D. Kirsch, MD, MPH 5801 Smith Avenue Davis Bldg., Suite 3220 Baltimore, MD 21209 USA E-mail
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

1.LM Franco , DR Silimperi , TV van Zanten , . Sustaining Quality of Healthcare: Institutionalization of Quality Assurance. Bethesda, MD: Center for Human Services; 2002. Accessed May 15, 2012.

4.SM Campbell , MO Roland , SA Buetow . Defining quality of care. Soc Sci Med. 2000;51(11):1611-1625.

26.P Walker , S Purdin . Birthing Sphere. Disasters. 2004;28(2):100-111.

27.A Griekspoor , S Collins . Raising standards in emergency relief: how useful are Sphere minimum standards for humanitarian assistance? BMJ. 2001;323(7315):740-742.

28.C Dufour , V Geoffrey , H Maury , F Grünewald . Rights, standards and quality in a complex humanitarian space: Is Sphere the right tool? Disasters. 2004;28(2):124-141.

29.J Tong . Questionable accountability: MSF and Sphere in 2003. Disasters. 2004;28(2):176-189.

30.D Hilhorst . Being good at doing good? Quality and accountability of humanitarian NGOs. Disasters. 2002;26(3):193-212.

31.L Aharony , S Strasser . Patient satisfaction: What we know about and what we still need to explore. Med Care Rev. 1993;50(1):49-79.

32.J Campbell . How consumers/survivors are evaluating the quality of psychiatric care. Eval Rev. 1997;21(3):357-363.

33.L Hansson , T Björkman , I Berglund . What is important in psychiatric inpatient care? Quality of care from the patient's perspective. Qual Assur Health Care. 1993;5(1):41-47.

34.E Rutta , H Williams , A Mwansasu , . Refugee perceptions of the quality of healthcare: findings from a participatory assessment in Ngara, Tanzania. Disasters. 2005;29(4):291-309.

37.P Walker , K Hein , C Russ , . A blueprint for professionalizing humanitarian assistance. Health Aff (Milwood). 2010;29(12):2223-2230.

38.FM Burkle Jr. Future humanitarian crises: challenges for practice, policy, and public health. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2010;25(3):191-199.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *