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Advancing nexus in the MENA region breaking the silos: Research and documentation of the state of Humanitarian Development-Peace (HDP) nexus in the MENA region (July 2022)



Triple Nexus or HDP Nexus is the intersection of humanitarian, development, and peace activities in humanitarian work. The concept of the intersection rather than sequential relationship of international aid for humanitarian emergencies, development work and peace building were first articulated during the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Turkey. By 2019, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC), formulated a set of recommendations that further clarified the scope of the HDP nexus and was binding on all OECD members that voted in its favour.

This research aims to better understand the current stage of the operationalization of the HDP NEXUS approach in the selected MENA region countries of Iraq, Syria, Syria cross-border from Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, and Libya. It documents policy changes and situational changes that reflect the NEXUS approach. It also makes good practices and good examples accessible to various actors to help them develop guiding tools and strategic thinking around inclusion of NEXUS approaches in strategies, programs, etc

Using a combination of desk study, perception surveys and key informant interviews, the research was able to identify some critical strengths, opportunities, and challenges in each of the target countries and in the region, some of which had also global implications. It was found that even though some significant progress has been made in implementing some components of the HDP nexus approach, the DAC recommendations have still not been fully met, with varying degrees of achievements in different countries of the region.

The research indicated that in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, HDP nexus has taken some significant strides to shape aid delivery on the ground. However, the operational level and effectiveness of HDP nexus varies significantly from one country to another. Despite the countrylevel differences, regional trends are apparent. Humanitarian actors across MENA face issues related to ambiguity on HDP Nexus definition, the lack of integration and institutionalization of Nexus, unsystematic or rare collaboration with government actors and other key humanitarian and development actors, and an insufficient amount of quality and flexible funding.

In spite of these challenges, some progress has been made by individual organisations in some countries to integrate HDP nexus programming into their work through projects, communication, and an uptake in policy dialogue. Jordan, and, to some extent, the occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) have demonstrated progress in ensuring that HDP nexus is in place and somewhat effectively operationalized. Other countries such as Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq, Syria/Turkey-based cross-border Syria operations have undertaken some significant steps but are still in early stages in embracing NEXUS approaches. They still face a. different range of structural challenges that impact their ability to deliver on global commitments around HDP Nexus.

The research concluded that all 8 targeted countries in the MENA region require clear workplans to integrating the HDP nexus into the aid delivery network within their communities. Additionally, the research shows that there is a need for a multi-stakeholder approach and to clarify the exact roles for those various actors who need to integrate HDP NEXUS in the country plans, including Donors, Government, Humanitarian NGOs, Development NGOs, Coordination Bodies, UN System, local and national actors, etc. While Nexus operationalization must adhere to the internationally made commitments, it should be contextualised and in the best interest of the targeted population. It is vital to further strengthen accountability and trust with affected communities, and to provide the required support to the local and national actors who have demonstrated a significant number of positive practices on the HDP nexus.