Not only affected by the trends and events that occur within the world in which it operates, the humanitarian system is equally affected by those developments and trends that take place inside the organizations and networks comprising the system. In this paper, John Borton describes these internal dynamics – including the conflation of “humanitarian” and “development”, shrinking humanitarian space, and issues of accountability – and creates a picture of future humanitarian response in light of these changes.
This paper was commissioned under the auspices of the Humanitarian Horizons project, a joint initiative of the Feinstein International Center of Tufts University and the Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College London. Launched in October 2008, the project builds on HFP’s analyses of changing dimensions of future crisis drivers, and makes more practical the exploratory futures research conducted under the Feinstein Center’s 2004 Ambiguity and Change project.
This project was funded by a consortium of NGOs, including Catholic Relief Services, the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, World Vision Australia, World Vision Canada, and World Vision International.