26 February 2018

New article examines the techno-bureaucratic practices within the humanitarian sector

Better management and new technological solutions are increasingly portrayed as the way to improve refugee protection and enhance the accountability of humanitarian actors. But how does techno-bureaucratic practices shape conceptions of international refugee protection?

The international refugee regime is being shaking at its core
A deep political struggle over the future of international refugee protection is shaking the international refugee regime to its core. Especially what it means to be accountable to the letter and spirit of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

Within the humanitarian sector, tighter management approaches, the increased legibility of displaced populations and more effective aid delivery are understood to improve protection, whilst also enhancing the accountability of humanitarian actors tasked with providing such protection.

Focusing on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) use of results-based management, biometrics and cash-based interventions (CBIs), the authors argue that more attention must be given to the ways in which techno-bureaucratic practices, independently, chronologically, and in combination, have shaped the understanding of international refugee protection, and the promise of accountability.

Download and read here: "UNHCR and the pursuit of international protection: accountability through technology?".