Image by Ollivier Girard/European Union
  • Blog
  • 11 April 2019

Building greater coherence across development, crisis and peace sectors

This blog sets out the agenda for DI’s webinar series on crisis and development financing

Written by Sarah Dalrymple

Senior Policy & Engagement Advisor/Crisis & Humanitarian Co-Lead (Maternity leave)

Current trends indicate that the link between poverty, vulnerability and crises is likely to strengthen in the future. By 2030, a larger proportion of the world’s poor are set to reside in fragile and protracted crisis contexts. Crises are becoming increasingly protracted and complex in nature, with humanitarian assistance often going to the same crisis year-on-year, and this trend has led to increasing consensus among policy-makers on the need for longer-term development responses in crisis contexts, and more joined-up approaches to strengthen effectiveness. Greater coherence between development, crisis and peace agendas is needed to enable progress towards the common goal to ‘leave no one behind’. This is particularly so for protracted crisis contexts, where short-term humanitarian and longer-term development responses more commonly overlap.

At the international level there is commitment to strengthen joined-up approaches (of which programming and financing, together with joint analysis and planning, are critical components). An array of international commitments for achieving greater coherence and ‘collective outcomes’ have emerged, including the ‘New Way of Working’ and Grand Bargain, Agenda 2030 and the Development Assistance Committee recommendation on the ‘humanitarian-development-peace nexus’.

But the real challenge remains delivery. While there have been efforts at the country level to action these commitments (such as the delivery of the New Way of Working at the country level and of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Task Team on the Humanitarian Development Nexus), and at the international level to establish new multi-year global funds and financing mechanisms that work at the interface of crisis and development response (e.g. the World Bank’s Global Concessional Financing Framework, Financing Action Mechanism and the scale-up of IDA 18), evidence on their effectiveness and impact is patchy, and approaches are not yet systematised.

To move the discussion forward and to strengthen joined-up approaches to financing across development and crisis sectors, DI is organising a series of webinars to bring together both sets of actors into the same forum and identify more concrete ways to overcome barriers and strengthen coherence in financing approaches.

The first webinar, What do development finance trends mean for crisis financing actors?, provided actors working in fragile and crisis contexts with the opportunity to hear from development and crisis finance experts and explore the possibilities for joint working towards financing for collective outcomes.

There are several pressing and unresolved questions regarding the practical application of coherent financing that will be posed as central themes of the webinar series:

Development actors engaging at different stages of crises

There is agreement that longer-term responses are increasingly important in protracted crises, but at what phase of the crisis is the engagement of development actors most effective and based on what data/indicators? How should development finance complement humanitarian assistance in a protracted crisis? Should development actors continue to engage in crisis contexts working coherently with crisis actors, given an assumption that sustained development engagement is critical for preventing the embedding of protracted crises?

Planning and delivering development assistance in fragile and protracted crises

With a greater proportion of the world’s poorest people set to reside in fragile and protracted crisis countries by 2030, development actors are presumably going to be under increased pressure to target resources to complex crisis contexts and work coherently with crisis actors – what does this mean for the way development actors plan and deliver assistance?

The impact of global funding mechanisms working at the interface between crisis and development response

New global funding mechanisms are emerging, aimed at strengthening financing across the development–crisis nexus, such as the Global Concessional Financing Facility and new World Bank Famine Action Mechanism, but what is the potential for them becoming transformational, more widely applied and scaled up? What is the impact of these instruments to date on crisis-affected people? Evidence has so far been limited.

Changing the way crises are funded

There is increased support among donors to prioritise ‘development where possible and humanitarian assistance only when necessary’ (as outlined in DFID’s protracted crisis discussion paper and the OECD’s 2018 States of Fragility report) but in the current context – where most crises are protracted and receive humanitarian assistance year-on-year – what does this mean for the way crisis response is funded, and what needs to shift?

These overarching questions will provide a frame for the webinar discussions, but we are keen to ensure that the conversation is as inclusive as possible. We welcome the submission of additional questions for consideration in the webinars by experts across crisis and development sectors. Please send your questions to [email protected].

The first webinar can be watched online here, and slides packs downloaded.

The second webinar 'Financing trends in crisis-affected contexts: Launch of the 2019 Global Humanitarian Assistance report' can be watched online here, and slide packs downloaded.

Photo credit: © 2018 European Union (photo by Ollivier Girard)