Funding appeals for complex humanitarian emergencies (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1105)

This report examines the characteristics of the appeals and their coverage over time as the crises evolved

Abstract

Query

Based on a sample of high value protracted complex emergency humanitarian appeals and responses please provide information on: (i) the factors that contribute to the sums requested and the coverage of appeals; (ii) characteristics of how the appeal sums and their coverage changed over time as the crises evolved.

Key findings

It is possible to derive some key factors from the available literature:

  • Needs-based allocation: This is a core principle of humanitarian assistance. All funders use needs assessments in their original funding allocations, and many changes to funding are preceded by needs assessments.
  • Tipping points: Most protracted crises receive a steady and/or low level of funding but experience sudden increases in funding flows if a particular incident or need rapidly escalates the situation.
  • Geopolitical concerns: Different crises receive different amounts of funding depending on their strategic importance to donor countries.
  • Resilience: There is a general global shift towards more funding for resilience rather than emergency response in protracted crises. This can cause funding changes during a crisis, when opportunities to develop resilience become available.
  • Media and public interest: A high level of interest usually stimulates funding, but complex and protracted emergencies rarely draw the necessary public and media interest.
  • Sector priority: Certain sectors receive more funding as they are perceived as life-saving. Some are continually under-funded.
  • Absorptive capacity: Funders usually work with local implementing partners and these are only able to absorb and use a certain amount of funds.

Citation

Browne, E. Funding appeals for complex humanitarian emergencies (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1105). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2014) 9 pp.

Funding appeals for complex humanitarian emergencies (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1105)

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