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John Mitchell

A Thought for World Humanitarian Day

By John Mitchell on 16 August.

We humanitarians are a self-critical bunch. Independent evaluations, research studies, conferences and popular books on humanitarianism tend to focus on a bewildering array of failures, problems, challenges and frustrations. On the one hand this is a good thing as it shows we are open to changing and improving but, on the other hand, it can create a pervasive feeling of gloom and doom.

And as World Humanitarian Day 2017 approaches, it appears the demands for humanitarian assistance are greater now than in living memory. We are working in a particularly unstable world characterised by an escalation of conflict-related crises and mounting numbers and flows of displaced people, asylum seekers and refugees. And the challenge of meeting the needs of these people is heightened due to alarming decline in respect and adherence to international humanitarian law.

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Sophia Swithern

Humanitarian financing: where’s the system shift?

By Sophia Swithern on 21 June.

It’s been a busy year for humanitarian financing. In the midst of so many commitments, discussions, assessments, recommendations and appeals it can be hard to tell what’s really changed.

Despite international humanitarian assistance reaching yet another record high of US$27.3 billion in 2016, we now know that funding grew far less than in previous years.

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Neil Dillon

What does the UK election campaign mean for aid evaluation?

By Neil Dillon on 2 June.

Ahead of the United Kingdom's general election, the three major parties have now pledged to maintain at least 0.7% of gross national income on overseas aid. But in a world where anti-aid sentiment is growing every day, it wouldn’t be wise for the aid community to start counting its chickens yet.

As recent as April this year, the Government was rumoured to be divided on whether or not to retain the spending commitment. Some would argue that this reflects public opinion; a poll from late last year found that 57% of participants wanted to scrap the 0.7% target, whilst only 24% backed it. Similarly, the 2017 Aurora Humanitarian Index has shown an overall decline in support for humanitarian action globally.

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Philip Smith

Connecting the dots...

By Philip Smith on 9 May.

ALNAP's 31 Annual Meeting Visual Notes


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Roxani Krystalli

4 lessons learned from synthesising humanitarian evidence

By Roxani Krystalli on 25 April.

Many humanitarians find it hard to gather evidence of what we know and how we know it. For example, what is the impact of different mental health and psychosocial support interventions on populations affected by humanitarian crises? What do we know about the impact of protection interventions on unaccompanied and separated minors during humanitarian emergencies?

The Humanitarian Evidence Program has synthesised the available research to answer questions like these. As a partnership between Oxfam and Feinstein International Center at Tufts University, we have just published eight systematic reviews of the evidence in key areas of the humanitarian field, with the ultimate goal of improving humanitarian policy and practice.

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