Humanitarian Action

GPPi contributes research and advice on humanitarian action from a governance perspective. We support organizations in their quest to maintain the focus on people amidst expanding bureaucratic demands. We ask what it takes to adapt to insecurity while maintaining a principled approach. We accompany reform processes based on a sober analysis of their political economy. We try to understand the roles and interests of different actors involved in the humanitarian sector. Through various methods, we facilitate learning to help organizations improve on what they do and how they do it.

Evaluation report

Evaluation of WFP Policies on Humanitarian Principles and Access in Humanitarian Contexts

This report assesses how the World Food Programme applies the humanitarian principles and negotiates access, and offers recommendations for improvement.

By Julia Steets, Alexander Gaus, Claudia Meier, Janika Spannagel, Mark Bui, Adele Harmer, Abby Stoddard
Project report

Harmonizing Reporting Pilot: Final Review

In 2017, GPPi developed a new template to streamline donor reporting in the humanitarian sector. After piloting it for two years, we found that it is an important building block for achieving the Grand Bargain commitment to simplify and harmonize reporting requirements.


Full Accountability to Affected People Cannot Possibly Be Bad – Or Can It?

It would demand a fundamental shift in the way the humanitarian sector functions, with important unintended effects: less power for humanitarian agencies and donors, changes in the humanitarian actor landscape, and effects on local power dynamics.



Assessing Needs Assessments

Together with the INSPIRE Consortium, we developed a methodology for gauging the quality and use of joint, multi-sectoral humanitarian needs assessments. 


Evaluating the Humanitarian System’s Response to the Drought in Ethiopia

We are assessing the humanitarian system’s response to a slow-onset, recurrent disaster as well as the extent to which the results met the initial objectives and needs of affected populations.


Evaluating UNHCR’s Engagement in Humanitarian-Development Cooperation

We are taking stock of UNHCR’s level of cooperation with development actors, assessing the effects of this cooperation, and supporting UNHCR in refining its strategy and operational approach.


Harmonizing Donor Reporting

Complicated reporting requirements are not just an administrative burden – they often eat up time and energy that would be better spent on the humanitarian response itself. We developed a new template to simplify narrative reporting. Then donors, UN agencies and NGOs tested it for two years, with encouraging results.


Oheneba Boateng

Fritz Thyssen Fellow

Julian Lehmann

Project Manager

Janika Spannagel

Research Fellow

Andrea Binder

Non-Resident Fellow

Susanna Krüger

Non-Resident Fellow

Elias Sagmeister

Non-Resident Fellow

Alexander Gaus

Project Manager

Claudia Meier

Associate Director

Julia Steets


András Derzsi-Horváth

Non-Resident Fellow

Urban Reichhold

Non-Resident Fellow

Nicole van Rooijen

Non-Resident Fellow

Funding & Contact

Our funders and clients include: the Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the European Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the German Federal Foreign Office (AA), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), Phineo, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the World Food Programme (WFP).

For more information, please contact Julia Steets.