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Governments in crisis-affected countries

The governments of states experiencing humanitarian emergencies, and their partners at a local level, are a fundamental part of international, regional and national response. Yet their vital role and responsibility has long gone unrecognised by the international system. As disasters increase in scale and frequency, and states become more assertive and build their capacity, the role of national governments must be incorporated into thinking about emergency response, and overall performance of the international humanitarian system.

Building on two successful annual meetings (one looking at the role of governments in disasters  in 2010 and the other more recently at urban disasters in 2012), ALNAP has increased its engagement with National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMAs) and their links with ALNAP members. Since 2014, NDMAs can also be part of ALNAP as associate members.

In 2013 ALNAP handed over its work with National Disaster Management Authorities to the Disaster Response Dialogue, a platform bringing together governments and humanitarian organisations involved in international disaster response to improve trust and mutual cooperation. It is convened by the International Federation of Red cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Switzerland through its Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). 


Together with DRD, in March 2014 ALNAP released 'Learning from disaster', a study which explores how national disaster management authorities and other state actors learn and improve their humanitarian response activities with a view to identifying current practice, challenges that impeded learning and improvement and ways in which collaboration with others has assisted in overcoming these.

The figure opposite shows the three-stage process through which NDMAs learn according to the study.

'Learning from disaster' and its discussion starter are available for download on the column to the right.



Important resources

ALNAP meeting paper: The role of national governments in international humanitarian response

26th Annual Meeting, 16-17 November 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

How governments learn

Learning note from the ALNAP Annual Meeting on evidence and knowledge

National Post-tsunami Lessons Learned and Best Practices Workshop

Report, Colombo, Sri Lanka, 8-9 June 2005

International Dialogue on Strengthening Partnership in Disaster Response: bridging national and international support

Background paper 1: Building trust: challenges for national authorities and international aid agencies in working together in times of disasters

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