REACH 2015 Activity Report
In recent years, humanitarian actors have come under growing strain to provide an adequate response to populations affected by crisis. On the one hand, the frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters has increased, while conflict-related crises are becoming more protracted and characterised by shrinking humanitarian space and access. On the other, the rise in humanitarian need has not been accompanied by a corresponding increase in available resources, putting additional pressure on humanitarian actors. In this context, it is paramount for humanitarian action to be effective in its targeting and delivery mechanisms, requiring above all a capacity to develop a thorough and timely common understanding of crisis-affected populations. Despite a number of efforts made in this direction in the framework of the humanitarian reform and the transformative agenda, the timely availability of quality evidence to inform joint humanitarian planning and action remains a challenge.
REACH was created in 2010 as an independent initiative of IMPACT, ACTED and UNOSAT, with the aim of enhancing the availability of timely and quality information on crisis-affected populations, and to promote the effective use of evidence by humanitarian actors. In its first phase of development, between 2010 and 2014, REACH progressively acquired credibility through the design of innovative technical tools and the successful implementation of a number of assessments that enabled evidence-based planning and response by humanitarian actors, first in Kyrgyzstan, then in Libya, and by 2015 in 18 countries. This gradual growth was based on partnerships established primarily at country level with a variety of humanitarian stakeholders, and through a first global partnership with the Shelter Cluster.
By 2015, REACH has grown to become a leading international humanitarian assessment and information management initiative, repeatedly contributing to addressing humanitarian information gaps and to promoting evidence-based, and thereby more effective, humanitarian responses. In the course of 2015 REACH was able to consolidate the tools and products built over the years, while in parallel strengthening a number of flagship programs, notably on displacement and assessing hard-to-reach areas, and reinforcing and expanding its global and county level partnerships.
Going forward, we believe that REACH can play a catalytic role in promoting a systematic application of evidence-based planning by humanitarian actors, by further developing its actions, its global and country level partnerships and its advocacy at the policy level. In the context of the upcoming World Humanitarian Summit in May 2016, REACH intends to contribute to the evolution of a humanitarian architecture which not only is aware of the importance of evidence, but also has the capacity to effectively collect and use it in a systematic, predictable and shared manner.
Through this yearly report, we are happy to share some of REACH’s achievements and lessons learnt for 2015. We would also like to warmly thank all our staff members and our partners for their engagement and support over the past years. We look forward to your continued collaboration with REACH.