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Session 11. From Humanitarian Aid to Human Rights Based Community Development

A Definition * B Background * C Tools and Excercises * D Stakeholder Excercises

 Aim of the session

Given the long-term nature of so many refugee situations, the aim of the session is to ensure that projects and programs respond to the developmental need of refugee communities, not only the immediate humanitarian response.

Suggested timing for sessions

One hour to present the material, and one hour to do the exercises in a training session.  If used in the field with refugee communities, it will take a full day.

Some PowerPoints to use when running this session.

A. Humanitarian and Development Aid – Useful Definitions

Humanitarian aid is distinct from development aid, which seeks to address underlying socioeconomic factors. Humanitarian aid is a rapid intervention designed to save lives, alleviate hardship, and get disaster victims back on their feet.

Development aid is designed to help people to access human rights for individuals, families and communities, to transit out of poverty and build sustainable futures. (Composite)

B. Background Reading on Humanitarian and Development Aid

Abstract from The humanitarian-development nexus: humanitarian principles, practice, and pragmatics

The humanitarian–development nexus is increasingly being cast as the solution to humanitarian concerns, new and protracted crises, and to manage complex war-to-peace transitions. Despite widely endorsed amongst policymakers, this nexus presents some challenges to those implementing it. Humanitarian action and development assistance represent two distinct discursive and institutional segments of the international system that are hard to juxtapose. Humanitarianism’s apolitical and imminent needs-based approaches building on established humanitarian principles are fundamentally different from the more long-term, political, rights-based approaches of development. As they rub shoulders, as intentionally instigated by the nexus, they affect and challenge each other. These challenges are more acute to the humanitarian domain given the constitutive status of the humanitarian principles, which, when challenged, may cause changes to the humanitarian space and a mission-cum-ethics creep. This article explores the formation and effects of the humanitarian–development nexus as rendered both at the top, amongst policymakers, and from the bottom. The latter explores the discursive transition from conflict to reconstruction in Northern Uganda. Humanitarian organisations’ different response to the transition demonstrate more pragmatic approaches to the humanitarian principles and thus how the nexus itself is also formed bottom up and further exacerbates the mission creep.

J.H.S. Lie 2020 The humanitarian-development nexus: humanitarian principles, practice, and pragmatics Journal of International Humanitarian Action Volume 5, Article number: 18 (2020) https://jhumanitarianaction.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s41018-020-00086-0

C. Tool to assess the statis of a proposal or existing program

Ci Some key principles of a rights-based developmental approach

Is the proposed modelIf not, what needs to change?How will you achieve this?
Grounded in international human rights laws?  
Transformative – does it  support more equal partnerships with communities?  
Participatory – does it involve affected communities in identifying their needs and priorities?  
Emancipatory – does it increase community power in claim their  rights and accountability from development agencies?  
Self-aware – does it challenge agencies to recognise and address structural power inequalities and not just focus on the individual or personal problems?  

Cii A tool to assess projects at a practical level  

5 - Gender Equality
Does itIf not, what needs to change?How will you achieve this?
Support the agency and active participation of communities?  
Provide people with knowledge about their rights and support them to claim their rights?  
Support people to analyse the challenges they face and to be active participants in finding solutions?  
Support people to advocate for action by duty bearers?    
Recognise that women’s rights are central?  
Recognise the need to change practices, attitudes and behaviors as well as policies?    

D. Exercises to gain insights from community groups and service provider networks

Ideally the refugee-led organisation should be actively involved in these discussion as part of the approach.