Addressing the Humanitarian-Development Nexus in the Horn of Africa: Perceptions and Attitudes on the New Way of Working (NWoW) and the Education sector in the Horn of Africa
Protracted crises resulting from prolonged conflict, recurring drought and natural hazards, as well as cycles of displacement characterize several parts of the Horn of Africa (HoA). The scale of crises, stretched resources and the need to support communities to step out of the cycles of dependence on humanitarian assistance have resulted in several initiatives, including the resilience agenda aimed at enabling a transition into recovery and development.
The New Way of Working (NWoW) is among such initiatives aimed at addressing the existing separation between humanitarian and development interventions in protracted crises. This report is aimed at informing the NWoW reform process currently underway by contextualizing its application, identifying progress and challenges in the HoA specifically in pilot NWoW countries - Ethiopia and Somalia. It further evaluates the applicability of the NWoW in the education sector, emphasizing a need to link short and long-term education interventions, and build on education best practices in the region.
The report is informed by a broad literature review, as well a series of interviews conducted with a cross - section of humanitarian, development, donor, and government representatives from the HoA. These were aimed at gauging stakeholder perceptions and attitudes towards the NWoW as well as current practice and application of some of its core principles in the region and within the education sector. The purpose of this report is to bridge the knowledge gap in providing practical examples of how the NWoW process can best be implemented in specific contexts and within a specific sector, creating a better understanding amongst all stakeholders.
Perceptions and attitudes towards a new way of working in the HoA are mixed, presenting both endorsement for and reservations on its success in the region. On one hand, actors view the reform process positively, agreeing that the initiative creates the impetus to strengthen coordination and coherence. However, reservations exist on its effectiveness in the absence of a tandem shift in financing models, leadership and coordination and steps to address existing concerns around risk management and principled engagement.
This research finds that the majority of actors in the region see education as the ideal sector for the application of the NWoW framework. The long-term need for continued learning and development of children in protracted crises is best delivered where there is a link in short and long-term planning and financing as well as better coordinated engagement between actors involved in delivering education interventions. Despite the critical need, education remains among the least prioritized and funded sectors in responses to protracted crises in the HoA.
The extent to which the roll out is effective will depend on how much it is accepted and relevant in a given context. To this end, this report puts forward several recommendations, including the need to ground efforts to enhance ownership of system-wide shifts and to address concerns around humanitarian and development actors’ roles and mandates. In order to apply the NWoW framework to education, the sector must be prioritized and resourced, and measures taken to enhance achievement of quality learning outcomes for children in protracted crises.