As 2018 begins, the challenges of humanitarian crises are momentous. Overcoming them will require creativity. But there are reasons for optimism.
- More locally-led and contextual responses – The chorus of voices advocating the value of and need for locally-led humanitarian response is growing, and local, national and regional actors are increasing in strength and profile.
- The role of data, technology and evidence – Humanitarian agencies are deploying technology to improve aid delivery and using data to improve our analysis of humanitarian crises. A recent US Institute of Peace report for example points to the transformative potential of renewable energy technologies allowing humanitarian actors to use solar energy instead of diesel fuel.
- Reforming humanitarianism – Creative new models and approaches are appearing, many drawing inspiration from outside the humanitarian sector. An upcoming report from the Humanitarian Policy Group will detail a series of alternatives: from a networked approach allowing aid recipients and providers – whether international, local or individual – to interact directly based on collaboration rather than control, to a cooperative, social economy model that uses humanitarian supply chains to generate economic opportunities for communities in crisis situations.
[Overseas Development Institute]