03 February 2012

GPPi participates in webcast by Harvard’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research

GPPi Associate Director Julia Steets was a guest panelist in a webcast by Harvard’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research. The program, which took place 2 February 2012 and was titled Humanitarian Reform: Progress to Date and Recurring Challenges, aimed to provide a facilitated discussion between experts and practitioners.

While greater synchronicity between humanitarian actors may be essential to improvement, the reform process thus far has been met with mixed results. To date, according to many observers, humanitarian assistance clusters tend to be more process than action oriented and largely exclude national and local actors. Much work still needs to be done to improve inter-cluster coordination, and the direct funding of clusters rather than bilateral support has caused delays in operations. The cluster approach is not without positive developments. There have been improvements in the coverage of certain areas and better identification of gaps and duplication in assistance. However, in light of the observed international response to major disasters in recent years, it is evident that the criticism that spurred the humanitarian reform process still has real traction.

By examining this challenge to humanitarian reform, the Webcast sought to answer the following questions:

  1. What are the main challenges to humanitarian reform?
  2. Has the progress made by the reform process thus far been an overall benefit to humanitarian action?
  3. How has enhanced coordination and the cluster approach affected the strategic planning and independence of humanitarian agencies?

For more information about the webcast, visit the website of Harvard’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research.

For other related information, please contact Julia Steets.

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