On the mysteries of humanitarian decision­-making: getting from World Humanitarian Summit commitments to #BetterAid

D'Onofrio, A.
Date published
18 May 2016
Leadership and Decisionmaking
World Humanitarian Summit, International Rescue Committee, CHS Alliance

In the final days before the World Humanitarian Summit (http://www.worldhumanitariansummit.org/), a significant chunk of the aid industry is focused on submitting commitments, influencing communiqués, haggling for speaking slots and chasing hotel rooms. The aid circus is finally coming to Istanbul, after a long and winding road.

In 2015, somewhere along this route, the CHS Alliance published its Humanitarian Accountability Report, a great collection of articles about improved accountability and effectiveness in aid: On the Road to Istanbul – How can the World Humanitarian Summit make humanitarian response more effective? (https://www.chsalliance.org/har). In this blog I want to dig into a couple of ideas around decision­making that surfaced in that publication and have been nagging away at me ever since, informing my work at the International Rescue Committee (http://www.rescue.org/) (IRC) around building more client­responsive aid practices (https://medium.com/@Alyoscia/night­plane­to­juba­customer­satisfaction­in­the­aid­business­ f4f20fc59ce6#.vyv7ri79) and a broader engagement with efforts to improve aid in other ways. These include generating and using evidence around what works, using better monitoring data, analysing local power dynamics and applying this knowledge in design and implementation, etc.