Exploring Peace Within the Humanitarian–Development–Peace Nexus (HDPN)

Publication language
Date published
01 Oct 2020
Research, reports and studies
Peacebuilding, Humanitarian-development-peace nexus

Crises, whether they manifest as conflicts, disasters or socio-economic shocks often cannot be solved by one set of actions alone. Humanitarian, development and peace actions all have a role to play in many of these crises: humanitarian response to save lives and protect people, development assistance to address multi-dimensional structural challenges, and peace action to ensure that countries can sustain peace, i.e. prevent the outbreak, escalation, continuation and recurrence of conflict. That is why in conflict-affected and protracted crisis contexts, ensuring coherence, complementarity, and collaboration across the humanitarian-development-peace Nexus is so important in order to realize rights, reduce needs, vulnerabilities and risks, and address drivers and underlying causes of conflict over the long-term. A sequential approach has shown not to be an adequate solution, and synchronous humanitarian, development and peace actions are generally considered more effective.

In the context of collective outcomes, the IASC has recently used the following to describe the link with the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus (HDPN) : "Humanitarian assistance, development cooperation and peacebuilding are not serial processes: they are all needed at the same time in order to reduce needs, risk and vulnerability. Collaboration can be achieved by working towards collective outcomes, over multiple years, based on the comparative advantage of a diverse range of actors. Collective outcomes have emerged as a strategic tool for humanitarians, development and peace actors to agree on a concrete and measurable result that they will jointly achieve in a country with the overall aim of reducing people’s needs, risks and vulnerability. This has also been recognized by OECD DAC members when they put out their recommendations.”

Collective outcomes are one entry point for collaboration and contributions to peace, and others exist. However, collaboration between humanitarian, development and peace actors must be context-specific and, particularly in situations of acute armed conflict, may not always be possible.