A review of evidence of humanitarian cash transfer programming in urban areas

Gabrielle Smith & Lili Mohiddin

The scale of urbanisation, the nature of urban crises and urban vulnerability are the focus of a growing body of literature, as is the efficiency and effectiveness of cash transfer programming (CTP) – however, much experience of CTP to date has come from rural areas. This raises the question of what cash transfer programming can contribute to urban emergency response and ...» more

Protracted displacement: uncertain paths to self-reliance in exile

Nicholas Crawford, John Cosgrave, Simone Haysom & Nadine Walicki

This report maps the global state of protracted displacement, examining patterns and trends in numbers, geographic spread and funding. It notes that at the end of 2014, half of all refugees had been in exile for over ten years. Displacement is increasingly an urban and dispersed phenomenon, with settled camps becoming the exception. Seven countries – Syria, Iran, Pakistan, ...» more

Humanitarian trends and challenges for the Pacific region

Katie Peters & Mirianna Budimir

What are the current and post 2015 humanitarian challenges and trends for the Pacific region? The paper provides an overview of the challenges facing Pacific Island countries and territories (PICTs). Humanitarian action in the Pacific region is predominantly in response to natural disasters, but the region has also witnessed several conflicts over the past decade, and many ...» more

Migration and refugee governance in the Mediterranean: Europe and international organisations at a crossroads

Sarah Wolff

Can international organisations (IOs) be a catalyst for change if Europe is unable to agree on a solution to the current Syrian refugee crisis and broader issues of the deadly migration into the region? The paper argues that the current crisis is not only a European but a transregional governance crisis and shows how IOs have been instrumental in framing an alternative debate ...» more

Disaster risk financing and insurance in the Pacific

The Pacific region has low insurance penetration compared with other parts of the world. General (non-life) insurance penetration for Pacific countries ranged between 0.5% (Indonesia) and 2.5% (Samoa) in 2012. The mean penetration rate for Pacific countries for which data could be obtained was 1.6%, which is considerably less than the rate in Australia (2.2%), half the rate of ...» more

National humanitarian response

National governments have the primary responsibility for leading and coordinating humanitarian response in their countries. Where they have the capacity, state-led responses have been evaluated to be more effective than responses led by others. However, international actors often fail to work effectively with national authorities. The cases studies analysed in this review ...» more

Restrictions on humanitarian access

Humanitarian access is a challenge in many armed conflicts, both in areas controlled by state and non-state actors. While there is some general guidance on strategies to address such access constraints, there is very little publicly documented evidence on how humanitarian organisations have overcome specific instances of governments and de facto authorities’ attempts to ...» more

World disasters report 2015: Focus on local actors, the key to humanitarian effectiveness.

World Disasters Report

The importance of local actors to humanitarian action is increasingly recognised. However, they struggle to attract the funding and support they need. This report calls for more support for the role of local actors, without transferring the whole responsibility of responding to large scale disasters to them. Key Findings Local actors often have access to population ...» more

Building resilience in Nepal through public-private partnerships

World Economic Forum

The extent and complexity of the natural risks Nepal faces mean that a multi-stakeholder approach to resilience is vital. How can we build on, and leverage, the capabilities and capacities for resilience in the public and private sectors, as well as civil society?  This use case assesses how buildings and key parts of the economy, such as tourism, can be made more resilient, ...» more

Humanitarian broadcasting in emergencies: A synthesis of evaluation findings

BBC Media Action

What does and does not work in using communication to help people respond to and recover from disaster? This research report aims to address the lack of systematic learning around humanitarian broadcasting in emergencies using insights from BBC Media Action’s own monitoring and evaluations of four specific case studies. It finds that mass communication programming is effective ...» more

Normative frameworks’ role in addressing gender-based violence in disaster settings

Mireille Le-Ngoc

How do national and international legal frameworks address gender-based violence (GBV) in disaster settings? It highlights that while violence against women should be prevented and addressed according to numerous international instruments, the aftermath of disasters often increases women’s vulnerability to GBV. Recommendations include greater participation by women in ...» more

Doing cash differently: how cash transfers can transform humanitarian aid

High Level Panel on Humanitarian Cash Transfers

The nature of humanitarian crises is changing. More people are in need and for longer. This report shows why giving aid directly in the form of cash is often a highly effective way to reduce suffering and to make limited humanitarian aid budgets go further. The report calls for shifts in how cash transfers are taken forward in order to take advantage of their full potential and ...» more

All under one roof: Disability-inclusive shelter and settlements in emergencies


This technical guide aims to bridge the gap between good intentions and practical implementation for disability-inclusive shelter and settlement support in emergencies. Although the primary audience is staff and volunteers from across the IFRC Movement, this guide looks to transform the way humanitarian organisations approach inclusion and accessibility in their shelter and ...» more

Refugee innovation: Humanitarian innovation that starts with communities

Alexander Betts; Louise Bloom; and Nina Weaver

How can people’s own creativity and ideas be supported rather than undermined by expensive ‘top-down’ innovations brought in from the developed world? This paper highlights how people engage in creative problem-solving in the most challenging environments and calls for a more people-centred approach to humanitarian innovation. Case studies illustrate how people’s creativity and ...» more

10 common principles for multi-purpose cash-based assistance to respond to humanitarian needs

European Commission

This paper outlines 10 principles for multi-purpose cash-based assistance to respond to humanitarian needs. The principles apply to humanitarian assistance as a whole, but take food assistance as the starting point. This is due to the scale of food assistance in humanitarian contexts, the perception by beneficiaries of food assistance as a means to meet other basic needs, and ...» more

Influencing laws and guidelines on humanitarian assistance

International humanitarian law (IHL) and international disaster response laws, rules and principles (IDRL) set out rules and guidance on how to access affected populations, and how to deliver humanitarian assistance, during armed conflicts and disasters. This includes guidance on customs clearance and the taxation of relief, among other areas. IDRL is a fragmented collection of ...» more

Business engagement in humanitarian response and disaster risk management

Wade Hoxtell, Maximilian Norz, Kristina Teicke

Companies, as commercial providers of products and services, have always played a significant role in the humanitarian system, in particular local companies in communities affected by crises. Humanitarian organizations regularly subcontract such firms in a commercial, for-profit manner to implement a vast array of humanitarian services, such as construction, logistics and ...» more

Acceptance strategies in conflict

Acceptance is a risk management strategy based on reducing threats to aid workers by reducing the motivation of others to harm them. The thinking is that if aid work is viewed positively, it will generate goodwill towards aid workers and allow them to work safely. Degrees of acceptance can vary, ranging from a high level…» more