Researchers at the Feinstein International Center have embarked on a major two-year research project on Humanitarian Action and Politics. This project builds upon and expands on the earlier research on The Humanitarian Agenda 2015 — Principles, Power and Perceptions (HA2015) which involved 13 country case studies of local perceptions of humanitarian action and a synthesis report.
Our new research is in two separate but related phases. Phase I is policy-oriented: building on the HA2015 case studies and subsequent field work, it looks at the challenges faced by humanitarian actors in recent crises – Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Darfur, Somalia, and Pakistan – and at the policy and operational implications for UN agencies, NGOs, and donors. The briefing papers we are issuing look at the policy implications of recent crises and capture widespread feeling that, despite obvious differences in the countries studied, developments in the humanitarian-political relationship are challenging the fundamentals of humanitarian action. These papers are intended to stimulate debate among practitioners and policy-makers. The papers will be further revised and expanded later in 2010. Phase II will take a more historical approach and analyze in depth a number of long-running crises, as well as some crosscutting themes, with a view to gaining a better understanding of lessons relevant to the humanitarian present through a retrospective analysis of the past.
Briefing papers on Darfur, Somalia and Pakistan will be issued later this summer.