The Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics at Trent University

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

MASS defense today!

The Sustainability Studies Graduate Program is pleased to announce the following M.A. thesis defense:

Emily McCullogh, "The Value of Personal Relationships in Relation to the Success of Aid Programs: Experiences of Aid Workers in Post-Earthquake Haiti"

Thursday, August 16, 2012
10:00 a.m.
Blackburn Hall Room 126, Trent University
All are welcome; seating is limited.

Supervisor: Professor Kathryn Norlock
Committee: Professor Ray Dart
External Examiner: Professor Walter Perchal (York University)
Chair: Professor Asaf Zohar


            This thesis addresses the branch of sustainability that is concerned with the care provided to human beings in disaster situations and the success of programs designed to address their needs. First, it argues that the individual experiences of aid workers in this context are valuable and should be considered when evaluating the effectiveness of post-disaster aid work. There is growing recognition of the importance of the quality of care in these environments and one approach to expanding our knowledge in this area is to seriously consider the individual experiences of aid workers that have had direct contact and interaction with aid recipients in post-disaster environments. Second it argues that communication and collaboration with the community are measures that contribute to the success of programs in that context. The participants in this study articulate the importance of personal relationships with aid recipients in the success of program design and implementation. Relationships that are positive and supportive enable a higher degree of communication and collaboration with the community, which results in higher success rates as well as an increase in the probability that the program will be successful without the support of aid workers. Overall quality of care is a category of concern.

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