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Global Forum Briefing Paper 6: Good humanitarian action makes the best possible use of resources

Global Forum Briefing Paper 6


About this resource

Resource type:Research, reports and studies
Keywords:Development & humanitarian aid, Organisational , Organisational Learning and Change, System-wide performance
Author(s):Knox-Clarke, P. and Obrecht, A., with Warner, A.
Date published:2015


This paper looks at the obstacles to humanitarian action making the best possible use of resources and provides recommendations synthesised from submitted proposition papers. It is one of the briefing papers prepared for the Global Forum taking place in New York on 4-5 June 2015.


Making the best use of resources ultimately means more needs being met and more lives saved through efficient and cost-effective approaches. Efficiency has long been a priority in the humanitarian system, but has risen in importance as part of the broader discussion around aid effectiveness. Public scrutiny of aid budgets and concerns around cuts to aid spending have increased the need for donors to ensure funds are spent as efficiently as possible. However, the desire to make the best possible use of resources is driven by more than just a concern for public accountability of humanitarian funding. As needs continue to rise against levels of financing, humanitarian actors will need to make the most they can of limited resources. For these reasons, more effort has been made to articulate what ‘value for money’ means in a humanitarian context, how best to measure it, and how to use it to guide decisions regarding resource allocation.

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