Our recommendations for reading, listening, and watching.
What leaders of international NGOs think about the challenges they face and the future of the aid and development sector
Max Baiden and Melanie Book of Save the Children, together with the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, interviewed 50 CEOs of the largest humanitarian INGOs about the challenges and future prospects of their organisations in 2030. The result is a document that summarises some of the biggest humanitarian trends: The CEOs estimate that the formal humanitarian system as it exists today will remain in place in 2030, but with greater involvement of local actors, which will also lead to a downsizing of many INGOs. Digitalisation, climate change, and risks associated with localisation pose major challenges for them. However, they remain largely dependent on the strategies and approaches of their donors and rarely become active themselves.
Harnessing informal social safety nets for resilience and development
In this study, Merry Fitzpatrick, Hassan-Alattar Satti, Sarra Beheiry, and Elizabeth Stites look at humanitarian aid in the context of established systems of mutual support and shine a light on the importance of knowing the social network of people in need in order to provide efficient and effective support.
Ten efforts to decolonize aid
In this article, The New Humanitarian’s CEO Heba Aly discusses 10 practical ways to decolonise aid. These include funding progressive intermediaries, dispersing leadership models, applying decolonisation frameworks and the Racial Equity Index, shifting conversations and practices within traditional donor institutions, changing narratives, and reimagining the INGO identity.
Bracing for global impact
Adva Salvinger from devex asks for the global implications of overruling Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 US Supreme Court decision granting a constitutional right to abortion. According to the experts she interviewed, this overruling will lead to empowering anti-choice groups and hurting local efforts around expanding sexual and reproductive health, limiting funding, exacerbating stigma, and ultimately an increase in maternal deaths.
Why humanitarians should stop hiding behind impartiality
An interesting article by Joshua Graze in The New Humanitarian on the reignited debate on the relevance of humanitarian principles. He uses the example of South Sudan to show how the principle of impartiality may have become a driver of conflict in the country and argues for deprioritising it and placing it in the political context of the humanitarian crisis at hand.
Reimagining data and power
The Data Value Project's white paper is based on conversations with more than 300 different people worldwide and analyses the tension between data and power. The focus is on 'Agency, Accountability, and Action' in order to change the balance of power in favour of those affected.
Digital Dialogue: Hacking for good?
A very inspiring webinar on 'Hacking for Good' with practical examples, explained in a simple and understandable way by international experts (Alex Strimbeanu, Bright Gameli Mawudor, Marek Tuszynsk). The diversity and examples invite you to think along and continue spinning.
Planning from the future
A bit older, but very, very good: Why history matters to address current humanitarian challenges, incisively written and forward-thinking. From the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG), the Feinstein International Centre, and King's College London.
A history of the humanitarian system: Western origins and foundations
An important basic work on humanitarian action and its history, opposing the ignorance of history. All humanitarians should read it to better understand themselves, their work, and their counterparts. Even shorter, but also by Eleanor Davey, is this four-pager.