Humanitarian Agenda 2015: The State of the Humanitarian Enterprise describes the challenges faced by humanitarian actors striving to maintain fidelity to their ideals in a globalized world. The report highlights persisting tensions in the relationship between “outsiders” and local communities, encroachments of political agendas – particularly as a result of the war on terror – and the deteriorating security climate for humanitarian workers on the ground. Humanitarian action, the authors argue, needs to be more in sync with the aspirations of the people it aims to help and more open to non-western humanitarian coping strategies and traditions. Talking “principally to the like-minded, shunning different or dissenting voices” ultimately undermines humanitarian principles and causes “misunderstanding, false expectations, and delusions of grandeur.”
The report builds on 12 case studies of local perceptions of the work of humanitarian agencies, conducted in as many countries. The country studies and final report are based on interviews with more than 2,000 recipients of humanitarian aid, as well as aid agency, donor and government staff.