'Triggers' to scale up assistance in advance of shocks (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report)

Abstract

Query

Please identify the approaches that have been used to try to define the ‘triggers’ that should be used to scale up humanitarian and other forms of assistance in advance of new shocks in contexts of chronic crisis or vulnerability. Where possible, identify the theoretical underpinnings of the trigger approaches, the indicators proposed to serve as triggers, and the operational experience of such an approach.

Key findings

There is no specific body of literature that looks at trigger approaches. Instead, there is a growing literature, specifically NGO and donor reports, that advocates triggers for action as part of an early warning and response system for humanitarian assistance. Triggers based on humanitarian need can include particular triggers for different levels of crisis. The literature also notes that both 'entry' and 'exit' triggers are important to ensure the programme starts and finishes according to need, not funding or political considerations. 'Soft' triggers can be used to start a consideration process for response, and 'hard' triggers can be used to begin an automatic intervention. The report provides examples of trigger frameworks and indicators.

Citation

Rao, S. ‘Triggers’ to scale up assistance in advance of shocks (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report). Governance and Social Development Resource Centre, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK (2012) 10 pp.

‘Triggers’ to scale up assistance in advance of shocks (GSDRC Helpdesk Research Report)

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