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.
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.
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.