Humanitarian needs have grown, the number of displaced people worldwide is higher than ever before, the effects of climate change are increasingly being felt and conflicts are lasting longer.
In the past, when the humanitarian system has been in crisis, unable to adequately respond to needs, there has been an evolution in terms of programmatic approach and the appearance of new humanitarian actors.
We are on the threshold of a major shift. It is both a challenge for traditional actors and an opportunity for humanitarian leaders to create a more inclusive and effective humanitarian ecosystem that better reflects those within it and those it serves.
Today's world is plagued by long and complex conflicts, widespread involuntary migration, violent natural disasters, and rising inequality. The next 15 years will likely see humanitarian needs grow further and INGOs and other aid actors will play a vital role in alleviating human suffering, promoting peace and development, and driving human progress globally. This report warns of what is to come, whilst providing practical solutions to those organisations that are ready to rise to the challenge. Mike Penrose, Executive Director, UNICEF UK
This report has developed a compelling analytic framework for humanitarian organizations to use in their strategic planning for the years ahead. Vincenzo Bollettino Director, Resilient Communities Program, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
Action Against Hunger is committed to a world without hunger, a goal we cannot achieve without a thorough understanding of the shifting humanitarian environment and our place in it. The IARAN is a central part of Action Against Hunger's commitment to factor strategic foresight into our work. The Future of Aid report presents us with paths forward to explore how innovation in our ways of working can support us in achieving our mission more effectively. Véronique Andrieux, Executive Director, Action Contre la Faim
In a time of rapid and far-reaching global change, the need for a global vision and a long-term approach has never been more evident. The following report produced by the IARAN provides valuable input to help address this essential challenge through to 2030 Pascal Boniface, Director of IRIS, Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques
Populations are growing larger (especially in Sub-Saharan Africa), older, more urban, wealthier. Climate change will be threat multiplier – putting pressure on resources in already environmentally fragile parts of the world. Inequality in access to services, in wealth, in vulnerability and, across rural and urban divide is likely to continue worsening. Protracted state fragility will be concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.
It is in these countries that the least progress towards human development will be made. Humanitarian needs will continue to grow, crises will be increasingly politicized and rising protectionism will mean that states will prefer to respond without external assistance. The slow shift towards the global south with intensify within humanitarian organisations as resources, values, knowledge, and eventually power shift to developing countries.
New actors will continue to challenge traditional humanitarian principles and actors with their advocacy and their ways of working.
A critical component of this analysis is the construction of a set of global scenarios that represent four distinct possible futures in which humanitarian interventions may take place in 2030. These are designed to explore the way in which political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental trends and uncertainties will affect how and where humanitarian actors operate, and who those actors will be.
The scenarios have been constructed by identifying the key uncertainties that could be critical to shaping the future of humanitarian action and using them to frame the possible futures outlined below. These uncertainties include:
Building from the analysis of the changing dynamics in the humanitarian ecosystem and the context in which it will operate, a series of organizational profiles that present five different approaches to the structure, mandate, competencies, and business models of future INGOs are explored. There will not be a one-size-fits-all model that is most appropriate or effective but rather many potential structures, creating a diverse spectrum of INGOs with different rationales for their place in the evolving system. Which organizational profile is best suited for the future depends on each INGO’s culture, mandate, and ambition. Organizational profiles are designed to highlight how INGOs can amplify their impact through excellence and adaptability and leverage their requisite skills and resources to catalyze humanitarian action. A new way of working necessitates that INGOs challenge the competitive incentive structure in which they operate to build a more collaborative response. A change in organizational profile would result in a complete change in structure, as each requires markedly different resources and expertise to be effective.
The INGO structure is built on a system of franchised national NGOs and private partners, coordinated by regional management.
The INGO structure is a conduit for gathering and managing public, private funds and revenues.
The INGO structures are built on four levels of network complexity (Local, National, Regional and Global) which can be modulated in terms of where resources flow according to the geo-risk and hazard mapping.
INGO support services (human resources, logistics, financial management etc.) are privatized. Policy, lobbying, advocacy, stakeholder empowerment are managed in consortia.
INGOs provide a valuable source of expertise on a demand driven basis to advise on program design, support advocacy and empower new humanitarian actors.
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Photo contributions from Sergey Neamoscou, Unsplash and NASA.
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