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Humanitarian Policy Group Annual Report 2018–2019



The Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) Annual Report summarises our principal research and non-research work in 2018–2019, during which we concluded a two-year Integrated Programme (IP) of research on local humanitarian action. Our work explored concepts such as ‘local capacity’, ‘dignity’ and ‘complementarity’ to better inform how international and local organisations might work in mutually supporting ways.

Outside of the IP, HPG continued to interrogate humanitarian system reform through our evaluation of the third year of the Grand Bargain. We undertook a major study on migration from Darfur, analysing Sudan as a country of origin, documenting the journeys Sudanese make to Europe and the policy and aid environment they face once they arrive. We took our findings to the UK Parliament and the global media to focus government and public attention on a country that receives little attention, and an issue that requires more scrutiny.

We documented the tangible ways in which counter-terrorism legislation is impeding humanitarian operations in some of the world’s most severe crisis contexts and analysed how bank de-risking in particular is leading to the very behaviour it is trying to avoid – wasted aid money and supplies, corruption and reliance on unregulated channels – to get funds to aid organisations and people. We also turned our ideas for a reimagined humanitarian system into a publications series, a design tool and a podcast series to communicate these abstract ideas in more accessible formats.

We engaged with humanitarian practitioners through the Humanitarian Practice Network, and promoted academic debate within the sector through editorship of Disasters journal, and through our senior-level course on conflict and humanitarian response. 

As part of our extensive programme of communications and public affairs, we hosted 22 conferences, courses, roundtables and public events and our staff spoke at 67 external events in 17 countries, and we received global media coverage highlighting our ongoing research whilst raising awareness of under-reported emergencies.

A Rohingya refugee chops firewood for cooking in Kutupalong megacamp
Image credit:European Union ~ Image license:© European Union