Data and knowledge to inform aid decisions has improved greatly in the last 20 years. In all models of planning, programming and change the cyclical process requires information and data to provide the evidence for the next iteration of action. Recent global conversations on issues such as effectiveness of humanitarian action, child survival, value for money and many others, indicate the need for more attention to operational research and evidence generation on actually What Works on the ground.
The war on terror, specifically its impact on perceptions of risk and relationships between humanitarian action and security and political agendas. ccess for humanitarian actors has fundamentally changed how humanitarian actors operate. Their objectives, and the interpretation of humanitarian principals across a disparate humanitarian community has been fundamentally altered. Distance management of programmes has led to an increased role for local organizations in a contracting model of aid delivery and this has become the predominant approach for donors, UN and International NGOs.
Typically service delivery system strengthening is considered to be a long term development agenda and humanitarian aid rhetoric focuses on delivering a package of support designed to meet immediate basic needs. Households living permanently with fragility or on the edge of crisis cannot wait until the crisis is over to access social services that are essential for their families’ wellbeing.
The constant tension between humanitarian and development aid frequently revolves around the aid delivery model. Humanitarian organisations work within a delivery system aimed to deliver life-saving aid quickly usually with only very limited attention to longer term objectives of transformative capacity Development organisations favour working within more bureaucratic and formal systems and emphasise government led processes based on the assumption that government will and can take responsibility for the welfare of its own citizens.