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Key trends & challenges facing the humanitarian system

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Key trends & challenges facing the humanitarian system

  1. 1. Montreux XI Key Trends and Challenges facing the Humanitarian System Presentation by John Mitchell, Director ALNAP
  2. 2. Typology of Response: 4 Models <ul><li>Model 1 : </li></ul><ul><li>States with existing or emerging social contract </li></ul><ul><li>Limited role for international agencies: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>China- Sichuan earthquake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>USA- Hurricane Katrina </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Chile- earthquake 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Australia- floods 2010 </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Typology of response <ul><li>Model 2: </li></ul><ul><li>States with a growing capacity to respond </li></ul><ul><li>Request international agencies to supplement local capacities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pakistan earthquake 2005 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>India- Bihar floods </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mozambique- floods 2008 </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Typology of response <ul><li>Model 3: </li></ul><ul><li>States with limited capacity to respond and protect their citizens </li></ul><ul><li>request international agencies to supplement their efforts resulting in a fully fledged international response: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bangladesh- Cyclone Sidr </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Haiti- earthquake </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Typology of response <ul><li>Model 4: </li></ul><ul><li>States without resilient social contract and providing very limited assistance (and protection) for their citizens in times of disasters </li></ul><ul><li>International system provides a combination of direct delivery of aid combined with diplomacy and advocacy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Myanmar Cyclone Nargis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sudan </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Somalia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Zimbabwe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(source: Ramalingam, B.) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Aid to fragile states Source: Development Initiatives GHA
  7. 7. A snapshot of current system-wide performance <ul><li>Growth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Funding up in all sectors (still perceived as insufficient?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased delivery of materials and services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More agencies and aid workers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Improvement? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Timeliness </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coordination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Needs assessment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upward accountability </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Progress is incremental and generally slow </li></ul>
  8. 8. 5 Key Challenges <ul><ul><li>Preparedness and Risk Reduction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partnership and working together </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountability to recipients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Innovation </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Key Challenge 1: Be better prepared and reduce risk <ul><li>National governments increasingly effective on DRR </li></ul><ul><li>International System’s focus mainly on specific inputs, sector or community </li></ul><ul><li>Limited impact – vulnerability reduced but due to other interventions rather than directly from DRR projects </li></ul><ul><li>DRR requires working in a holistic way across a range of sectors </li></ul>
  10. 10. Key Challenge 2: Be better partners and coalition players <ul><li>Coordination - lack of incentives to coordinate </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Me first’ attitude amongst agencies </li></ul><ul><li>When things go wrong: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>duplication of activities; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>competition for local staff and resources; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>inappropriate substitution for government services; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>undermining of local structures </li></ul></ul>Hypothesis: Aid works best through effective collective action
  11. 11. Key Challenge 3: Better leadership <ul><li>Humanitarian operational leadership requires: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>networking and relational skills; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>working in complexity with limited information; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>values and sectoral experience </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Model of ‘strong leader’ and ‘follower’ replaced by model of distributed leadership? </li></ul><ul><li>Requires sector to look at assumptions: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>about what leadership is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>about attitude to risk </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Key Challenge 4: Be more accountable to recipients <ul><li>Upward accountability </li></ul><ul><li>System-wide accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability to affected populations </li></ul>
  13. 13. Key Challenge 5: Be more innovative <ul><li>System tends to operate within the same mental and practical models: real improvements require changes in mindset and organisational culture </li></ul><ul><li>Recent innovations include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>community-based feeding therapy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cash-based programming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of mobile phones </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Future trends - Urbanisation <ul><li>World tipping into being more urban than rural </li></ul>
  15. 15. Future trends – Natural Disasters <ul><li>Very likely increase in heat waves, floods and droughts (with associated disease morbidity and mortality) </li></ul><ul><li>Likely increase in tropical cyclone intensity and frequency </li></ul><ul><li>Asian and African mega deltas particularly at risk </li></ul>
  16. 16. Future trends – Livelihood Security <ul><li>Changes in water availability – </li></ul><ul><li>“ hundreds of millions of people to </li></ul><ul><li>exposed water stress” </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in cereal productivity – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IPCC says Africa likely to be “adversely </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>affect[ed]” </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Future trends and models of response
  18. 18. What this means for the international humanitarian system <ul><li>Three options: </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Business as usual’ </li></ul><ul><li>Improve ability to respond to model 4 ‘providers of last resort’ </li></ul><ul><li>Improve ability to respond to models 2, 3, 4 ‘humanitarian partners’ </li></ul>
  19. 19. The role of the State in emergency response <ul><li>1990’s: rise of NGOs </li></ul><ul><li>Tension between sovereign role of state and fundamental humanitarian principles </li></ul><ul><li>BUT - recognition that dialogue and some form of cooperation need to begin in earnest </li></ul>EU relief budget
  20. 20. Findings from 26 th ALNAP Meeting <ul><li>NDMAs and regional bodies playing increasingly prominent role in both DRR & emergency response </li></ul><ul><li>This activity not being picked up: danger of a dislocated system </li></ul><ul><li>Tensions revealed between different stakeholders: need to build trust </li></ul>
  21. 21. Meeting findings <ul><li>Seeing a move away from traditional model of international humanitarian assistance towards a new model of humanitarian cooperation </li></ul><ul><li>NDMAs want to create guiding principles for collaboration between governments and international humanitarian actors </li></ul>
  22. 22. Summary <ul><li>Four current response models </li></ul><ul><li>Future trends running counter to current paradigms </li></ul><ul><li>5 key challenges: preparedness; partnerships and coalitions; leadership; accountability and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Towards a new model of humanitarian cooperation </li></ul>
  23. 23. Key action points <ul><li>Move towards a comprehensive framework for DRR and humanitarian response. </li></ul><ul><li>Rethink the concept of risk in relation to supporting leadership and innovation </li></ul><ul><li>Rethink the traditional model of humanitarian response so that the affected population and governments are ‘insiders’ </li></ul><ul><li>Build collaborative structures and processes required for these structures </li></ul>

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