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International NGOs and the Role of Network Centrality in Humanitarian Aid Operations: A Case Study of Coordination During the 2000 Mozambique Floods

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In February 2000, Mozambique suffered its worst flooding in almost 50 years: 699 people died and hundreds of thousands were displaced. Over 49 countries and 30 international non-governmental organisations provided humanitarian assistance. Coordination of disaster assistance is critical for effective humanitarian aid operations, but limited attention has been directed toward evaluating the system-wide structure of inter-organisational coordination during humanitarian operations.

Network analysis methods were used to examine the structure of inter-organisational relations among 65 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) involved in the flood operations in Mozambique. Centrality scores were used to estimate NGO-specific potential for aid coordination and tested against NGO beneficiary numbers. The average number of relief- and recovery-period beneficiaries was significantly greater for NGOs with high relative to low centrality scores (p<0.05). This report addresses the significance of these findings in the context of the Mozambican 2000 floods and the type of data required to evaluate system-wide coordination.
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Keywords: Mozambique; disaster relief; floods; inter-organisational coordination; social network analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Calgary 2: University of North Carolina 3: Université de Montréal

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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