The majority of humanitarian operations around the world are protracted, with humanitarian appeals lasting for 7 years on average. Humanitarian emergencies can no longer be viewed as short-term events, as they are often manifestations of structural and complex socio-economic developments. In addressing these situations, the linkages between humanitarian and development plans and operations are often weak or absent. For example, humanitarian planning cycles are typically annual and do not easily fit with longer-term development planning processes. The World Humanitarian Summit emphasised the need to bridge the gap between humanitarian relief and development. With this in mind, the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) generated the “New Way of Working” (NWoW) which aims to address the Humanitarian-Development Nexus. But, concretely, what is the “New Way of Working”? Is it just a new label or is it a game changer that will bridge the divide and ensure that humanitarian and development action are mutually reinforcing? A summary of the discussion is available online.
But, concretely, what is the “New Way of Working”? Is it just a new label or is it a game changer that will bridge the divide and ensure that humanitarian and development action are mutually reinforcing? A summary of the discussion is available online (Part 1 and Part 2). Practical steps to implement the New Way of Working at the field level include:
- Supporting joint analysis of needs, vulnerabilities, and risks, and of capacities to address them by strengthening coordination between the Humanitarian Country Team and the United Nations Country Team. Humanitarian and development actors should share their information and analyses to arrive at a shared understanding of the situation that needs to be addressed.
- Promoting joint-up programming. Humanitarian and development actions should be complementary in order to achieve collective outcomes, avoid gaps in programming, and minimise duplication.
- Aligning of planning cycles. Efforts to make HRPs multi-year instead of annual gives a unique opportunity to understand the coherence between the HRP and the UNDAF and to put forward a more sustainable solution for affected communities’ problems.
- Requesting human resources and political support from headquarters when necessary.
- Partnering with national actors to respond to humanitarian needs to strengthen national leadership and ownership.