What evidence, lessons and best practice have emerged from previous humanitarian responses in middle income countries (MICS) that may be of particular relevance to ongoing responses across MENA?
In 2015, driven by the conflict in Syria, the largest amount of displaced people are now found in middle income countries. The humanitarian system has mainly focused on responding to disasters in low income countries, while middle income countries present a number of different challenges for humanitarian response. This rapid literature review looks at evidence, lessons and best practice that have emerged from previous humanitarian responses in middle income countries that may be of particular relevance to ongoing responses to the Syrian refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Humanitarian responses in middle income countries have included responding to natural disasters, refugee crises, conflict, and internally displaced persons.
The literature uncovered by this rapid review indicates that there is very little evidence available about the way in which humanitarian response is carried out in middle income countries in comparison to low income contexts (or an amalgamation of the two). Where there have been evaluations of humanitarian response in middle income countries, they have not really focused on transferable lessons or best practice for similar situations. The majority of available literature is grey literature from humanitarian organisations, some of it focusing on the humanitarian sector more generally, and some focusing on specific responses. A number of independent evaluations were carried out but many evaluations are internal. Some of the literature focuses on emerging lessons from the current response to the Syrian refugee crisis. The literature considered in this review was largely gender-blind. Evidence, best practice and lessons emerging from the available literature for humanitarian response in middle income countries is presented.
Rohwerder, B. Humanitarian response in middle-income countries (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report 1362). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2016) 16 pp.