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Cracks in the machine: is the humanitarian system fit for purpose? (Peter Walker, Tufts)
 

Cracks in the machine: is the humanitarian system fit for purpose? (Peter Walker, Tufts)

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  • It can tie in incorrect models, which have momentum and are difficult to challenge
  • At the core of humanitarian action is a belief that it should be needs-driven, and only needs-driven. The challenge is that to be impartial one has to have a good understanding of what the needs are. Another challenge is that to prioritize assistance requires one to have a good understanding of the needs across a whole population, and thus the ability to identify the most urgent cases.
  • In this we increasingly need to be driven by evidence. Evidence that creats and verifies models upon which we base our interventions. Evidence to adjust those models to context. Evidence to monitor and adjust our programming.
  • SO, lets do a reality check.
  • We asked why data was not gathered, analyzed and used.
  • We asked why data was not gathered, analyzed and used.
  • Abnormal > NormalAnecdote > EvidenceInterventionist > EmpoweringObjective driven > Goal driven

Cracks in the machine: is the humanitarian system fit for purpose? (Peter Walker, Tufts) Cracks in the machine: is the humanitarian system fit for purpose? (Peter Walker, Tufts) Presentation Transcript

  • Humanitarian System 1
  • Six deadly glitches in the system1. Starting models2. Does evidence matter3. Compliance4. State avoiding5. Emergency6. Market seduction 2
  • 1: Poor starting modelsAfghanistan is post Taliban non-conflictDarfur is Islamic Arab raiders V Non Islamic Settled villagers 3
  • 2: Does evidence matter? Data Analysis Impartiality Response “Without data and analysis there is no impartiality” 4
  • Evidence Fit to ContextProvenmodel Evidence Driven Feedback Monitoring
  • Sex and Age1. Collecting & using data is good! But ….2. Virtually no collection in Phase I & II3. Education & Shelter do better4. When collected , little used5. Where used, demonstrable difference 6
  • Why?• Evidence doesn’t matter• Donors and cluster leaders not interested• Don’t believe it is possible• Collecting evidence makes us accountable 7
  • Does Needs Assessment matter?We have always done it this way Needs Assessment Disaster Programming Political calculus Cash flow needs 8
  • What you Measure is What you GetInput Process Output Outcome Impact 9
  • Why don’t you collect?• “We report against deliverables. Our HQ and donors only want to hear success.”• “Donors and cluster leaders are not interested”• “Collecting evidence makes us accountable and open to risk.” 10
  • 3: Quality & Compliance• Standards & Systems • Flexibility, Context
  • Counter-Bureaucracy Risk & Quality Compliance“The demands of [compliance] are now so intrusive that they havedistorted, misdirected, and disfigured USAID‘s development practice tosuch a degree that it is compromising U.S. national security objectives 12and challenging established principles of good development practice.”
  • 4:Not all states are bad Relief Dev’Host State Host State Avoiding Enhancing 13
  • Managing risk and response is normal• National Disaster Response Law• New partnerships• Citizen expectations• Quality assurance expectations 14
  • 5: Emergency? Column1 10% 20% >8 years 4-8 years 70% <4 years 15Source: Development Initiatives 2011
  • Chronic crisis 1990, 2010Sudan Ethiopia Somalia Angola Mozambique 16
  • 6 Show me the money• Gov Pakistan. 1.5 million people via Visa• Horn of Africa 600,000 via cash through Hawala 17
  • Normal Abnormal Evidence AnecdoteRisk transfer Interventionist Agile Powerful 18