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What we do

Research & reflect

Our research is rigorous, accessible and relevant – bridging the gap between academia and practice.

Australia, Photography by Greta Carroll

Our Approach

We believe independent, practitioner-led research supports more effective humanitarian action. Change and progress in the sector lie in asking and answering the difficult questions.

We know humanitarian actors in Asia and the Pacific have much to offer the global discourse, which is why we partner with regional experts and organisations across the sector to elevate their thinking and connect it to the global conversation. We are committed to reimagining the boundaries, purpose, relevance and usefulness of research in the sector.

Our recent work

Understanding how the global pandemic is impacting on humanitarian aid has shaped much of our recent research. We have focused on the opportunities for local leadership in Myanmar and explored recent humanitarian responses in the region like Cyclone Harold.

We also have ongoing research on how the humanitarian sector can better support efforts to address climate change.  Our research includes our flagship Humanitarian Horizon Research Program, and also research for partners and independent think pieces, like our recent publication on what to consider when responding to a massive emergency during COVID-19.

Responsive research

We are uniquely placed to bridge the gap between academia and practice, and we draw on both areas in our research. Committed to research that is continuously informed by practitioner needs and priorities, it is our goal to ensure our work is accessible, applicable and relevant.

Quality and rigor

As an organisation, we are committed to ethical research practices. We adhere to the ACFID Principles and Guidelines for Ethical Research and Evaluations, and specific country-level ethical research requirements. Our team is trained in ethical research approaches both academically and at the sector-level, and are expert members of the Research for Development Impact Network. Our methodologies are rigorous, producing high-quality research that is guided, and reviewed by experts and our peers across the sector.

 

Working in partnership

Elevating, and drawing on local research expertise is vital. The contextual knowledge, and guidance on approaches and ethics provided by our local research partnership are critical. Working with local partners and researchers to facilitate local ownership of outputs means local researchers are actively involved at all stages, from design through to dissemination and communication.

Profiled project

Accountability to affected people: stuck in the weeds. Boat on water partially in reeds.

 

Name: Accountability to Affected People: Stuck in the Weeds

Authors: Kate Sutton (Humanitarian Advisory Group) and Meg Sattler (Ground Truth Solutions)

We would be hard pressed to find a topic more pervasive in global humanitarian speak than accountability to affected people (AAP), its unofficial motto ‘putting people at the centre’ the catch-cry of almost every humanitarian reform process, discussion and publication.

This practice paper provides a summary of the evaluations and reviews that have concluded that AAP is not having its intended impact. It goes on to provide possible explanations for this failure with a focus on the blockages between policy, practice and outcome, proposing that as a sector we are stuck in the weeds of AAP implementation without building in opportunities to consider the bigger picture of impact – and the changes in approach required. The paper concludes by proposing six ways to think about improved outcome-focused AAP. These are intended to support conversations and progress thinking that can support humanitarian leaders in finding a path out of the weeds.