Review of the engagement of NGOs with the humanitarian reform process: Synthesis report


This report analyses the current state of global humanitarian reform efforts from an NGO perspective by synthesising a series of mapping studies carried out between November 2008 and February 2009 that looked at humanitarian reform in five different countries: Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Lessons from other contexts are also brought in to strengthen the analysis and provide an overview of humanitarian reform.

Many of the findings of the mapping studies are not new to those who have been following the UN-led humanitarian reform. They do, however, provide field-based evidence to support previously expressed views and emphasise the areas where improvements must be made. This report is intended both to provide a constructive, evidence-based critique of the state of reform and to set out clear recommendations and ways forward in finding solutions to the weaknesses and challenges inherent in the humanitarian community. Many of these challenges existed well before the reforms, and they still confront us today.

The research was commissioned by a consortium formed by six NGOs – ActionAid, CAFOD, CARE, International Rescue Committee, Oxfam and Save the Children – together with the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) as part of the three-year NGOs and Humanitarian Reform Project, funded by DfID. The project aims to strengthen local, national and international humanitarian NGO voices in influencing policy debates and field processes related to the humanitarian reform and to propose solutions so that humanitarian response can better meet the needs of affected populations. This report represents a baseline for the project.


52 pp. 8-page Executive summary also attached.

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