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14 Jan 2019 description

Cash transfer programmes have become a standard component of humanitarian responses. This research explores how to optimise them from a user perspective, based on a better understanding of recipients’ preferences, expectations, and satisfaction levels at various points of interaction with individual cash programmes and delivery mechanisms. This report is based on evidence collected in Kenya and Iraq. Please refer to the separate country case studies for more information: cashjourneys.net

06 Jan 2019 description

Barnaby Willitts-King, Lydia Poole and John Bryant

This paper explores the hypothesis that the resources for crisis response that the humanitarian system knows about and tracks constitute the ‘tip of the iceberg’: in other words, only a sliver of a much larger and potentially more significant mass of resources that it does not see, know about or ‘count’. The purpose of exploring this question is to understand the scale, nature and use of these other resources, as a way of improving the prioritisation of resources and the allocation of international funds.

06 Jun 2018 description

HPG Commissioned Report

Victoria Metcalfe-Hough and Lydia Poole with Sarah Bailey and Julie Belanger

June 2018

Executive summary

06 Feb 2018 description

By Larissa Fast, Senior Research Fellow at the Humanitarian Policy Group/Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London and a former Fulbright-Schuman scholar

LONDON, Feb 6 2018 (IPS) - As 2018 begins, the challenges of humanitarian crises are momentous. Humanitarians are responding to large-scale emergencies in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

24 Oct 2017 description

Executive summary

This HPG Report explores the lives and livelihoods of refugees living in protracted displacement. There is a need to better understand the livelihoods of refugees, particularly in the current geopolitical context: over 65 million people are displaced (more than 21m of whom are refugees); more than 75% of all displaced people live outside camps; and displacement is increasingly protracted, meaning that, far from accessing a durable solution in a timely manner, forced displacement is often a reality for multiple generations.

25 Sep 2016 description

Key messages

  • Rich countries are violating international norms on refugee protection and asylum, both in spirit and in practice, causing an erosion of refugee protection worldwide that risks overturning the international refugee regime.

  • Restrictive refugee policies in contexts such as Australia and Europe are creating ‘ripple effects’, fostering negative developments in lower-income countries such as Indonesia, Kenya and Jordan.

12 Apr 2016 description

The humanitarian sector is suffering a crisis of legitimacy.

Despite a decade of system-wide reforms, the sector is failing to adapt to meet the needs of people in crises. As humanitarian emergencies become more frequent, more complex and last longer, the need for radical change is ever growing.

11 Feb 2016 description

This policy brief presents the implications of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy for the people they strive to assist, Sweden’s own humanitarian policy and operations, and more broadly the whole humanitarian community. It provides recommendations on how a feminist informed humanitarian policy should be implemented to intersect with other foreign policy areas and broader humanitarian, development and security action at the national and international level.

The specific recommendations it includes are related to ensuring:

21 Oct 2015 description

Working and discussion papersMarc DuBois and Caitlin Wake, with Scarlett Sturridge and Christina Bennett

Though often described as unprecedented, the Ebola response reflects long-standing strengths and weaknesses with how aid works. Aid organisations proved dedicated and resourceful but also ill-prepared and insufficiently engaged with local communities.

Although well-used to danger, aid organisations struggled to overcome their fear of the virus and determine how to protect their staff in such an uncertain environment.

01 Oct 2015 description

There are nearly 60 million refugees and displaced people in the world. Most have been displaced for years.

But myths and misconceptions remain about the length of displacement, where people are displaced from and how best to help them survive.

Here are 10 things to know about refugees and displacement. These graphics are based on findings from ‘Protracted displacement: uncertain paths to self-reliance in exile’, available at www.odi.org/hpg/protracted-displacement.

01 Oct 2015 description

Drawing an exact picture of the global state of protracted displacement is an approximate and incomplete exercise. Each situation of protracted displacement is its own unique and complex system and the data available does not allow for the dimensions and characteristics to be understood.

24 Sep 2015 description

Ilmi Granoff, Jason Eis, Will McFarland and Chris Hoy, Charlene Watson, Gaia de Battista, Cor Marijs, Amina Khan and Natasha Grist

Eradicating extreme poverty is achievable by 2030, through growth and reductions in inequality. However, unless global emissions peak by around 2030 and fall to near zero by 2100, catastrophic climate change could draw up to 720 million people back into extreme poverty.

12 Mar 2015 description

In humanitarian settings, aid agencies often assist populations by transferring resources, usually using cash, vouchers or in-kind aid, such as food rations, shelter materials, seeds and tools and kits of household items. The use of cash or vouchers to replace in-kind aid is most pronounced in food assistance programming, but it is increasingly being considered for emergency shelter, education and many other kinds of programming.

05 Mar 2015 description

For years, British humanitarian NGOs have criticised counter-terrorism laws for undermining their aid operations, and British Muslim NGOs have argued that they have been disproportionately affected by such laws. Banks have placed restrictions on the services they offer to various UK NGOs working in conflicts like Syria and Gaza while other NGOs have been hard hit by allegations of links to terrorism. All of this has affected the work of humanitarian organisations seeking to provide aid in high-risk conflict zones.

05 Sep 2014 description


Eleanor Davey and Eva Svoboda

31 Jul 2014 description

What armed groups like Al-Shabaab and the Taliban think of aid agencies can mean the difference between gaining access to areas under their control to provide aid people in need – or being expelled from their territory.

Based on research and interviews with members of the Taliban and Al-Shabaab, this HPG policy brief explores how these armed groups perceive aid agencies and the implications on humanitarian response in those areas.

Key messages:

21 Jul 2014 description

The private sector has long been a major contributor to humanitarian action. At the community level, businesses frequently use their materials and resources to aid people affected by crises. As local markets recover and supply chains are repaired, crisis-affected people are once again able to access basic goods and, in some cases, resume livelihoods.

30 Apr 2014 description

Increased engagement by the military in humanitarian crises, often led by the push for stabilisation, has been controversial, particularly for humanitarians. Fearing that their aid activities could be made to serve political and military goals – not humanitarian goals – many agencies have been cautious about embarking on civil-military coordination.

24 Apr 2014 description

Insurgents and other armed groups are often seen as inherently predatory and hostile to aid workers, attacking staff, extorting money and looting goods and equipment, denying access and expelling aid organisations from areas under their control. Yet in-depth analysis of armed groups has been largely neglected in the literature on humanitarian principles and aid worker security, and aid agencies often lack the information they need to successfully engage with these actors to gain access to populations under their control.