VOICE Report: NGO's Perspectives on the EU's Humanitarian - Development - Peace Nexus

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With this report, VOICE has sought to identify the current challenges and opportunities of working in a nexus approach from the humanitarian NGO perspective and to support NGOs to engage with the EU on the nexus approach. Already back in 1994, it was recognised that NGOs were able to link relief and development activities, particularly when they worked with local communities and organisations. Some of the obstacles identified at the time included the different mind-sets of humanitarian and development actors, as well as the "different procedures, budgets and organisational cultures of relief and development" within donor agencies. Twenty-five years on, with the urgent need to better address people's needs in protracted crises, this report documents the current enablers and barriers to working in a nexus approach in different contexts. Through a number of case studies, the evidence base from NGOs' own work demonstrates the nexus' advantages, particularly with regard to retaining a people-centred approach and implementing community resilience.

Most previous attempts generally have focused on linking humanitarian and development work. While some progress was made with each past attempt, some of the fundamental differences between humanitarian response and development - particularly in terms of ways of working, funding approaches, and structures - are persistent challenges.

This report, however, also identifies that there are limits to a nexus approach for humanitarian NGOs, particularly in the case of a triple nexus approach, e.g. if it endangers the humanitarian principles. With increasing efforts to bring together the different elements of the nexus toolbox, there is also a need to ensure that needs-based life-saving assistance does not become subsumed to broader political - or even security - agendas.