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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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Alice Obrecht

New year, new you? What the WHS can learn from failed new year’s resolutions

By Alice Obrecht on 10 January.

It’s January, a time for new year’s resolutions and self-improvement regimens. Yet many of these resolutions are abandoned by February. For those that manage to succeed, what’s their secret? Apparently, one of the keys to a successful new year’s resolution (or ‘self-change’ as they are called by psychologists), is measurement: setting realistic and clear goals that can be tracked over time. The ability to monitor progress not only helps a self-changer understand whether the resolution is being achieved, but also acts as a source of motivation to continue.

Eight months ago, an unprecedented gathering of humanitarian actors laid out their own version of ‘self-change’ in the form of commitments at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. It will take some time before we know whether or not these commitments are being successfully achieved. But if we think that measurement is important for a successful commitment, then there is much work to be done to ensure that the Agenda for Humanity is a success. Currently, it’s unclear how commitments made under the Agenda for Humanity will be implemented, or how their impact on humanitarian action will be assessed.

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