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Responding to changing needs?

Research reports

Written by John Mitchell

The paper first sets humanitarian assistance challenges in a wider context of global trends and issues. 

Part 2 reviews the broader contexts in which humanitarian action takes place. It presents an overview of the changing global landscape and how this is in different ways challenging, constraining and stretching the humanitarian system.

Part 3 switches from the focus on context and needs to look at recent trends in humanitarian response. As well as examining the financial allocation, scope and distribution of aid, it looks across the wider network of actors now involved in humanitarian efforts and explores what this means for the current humanitarian assistance modus operandi. It also reviews key trends and patterns in effectiveness and reform efforts.

Part 4 presents an illustrative overview of the evolving nature of such needs by introducing four differentiated models of the interface between the international community, host governments and affected populations that are apparent when looking across the crises of the past 10 years. It reviews some of the lessons from and challenges arising in the international humanitarian sector response to each model. Using existing data, it illustrates some of the key trends in official donor financing across these different models.

Part 5 concludes the paper by summarising the key challenges for consideration by participants at the Montreux XIII Conference.

The overall purpose of the paper is to inform and support productive and actionoriented dialogue and discussions at the Montreux XIII Conference. It is also hoped that the meeting will be able to contribute to and inform discussions leading up to the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016.

Ben Ramilingam and John Mitchell