Image by AMISOM Photo / Ilyas Ahmed
  • Report
  • 1 April 2021

Development actors at the nexus: Lessons from crises in Bangladesh, Cameroon and Somalia: Chapter 7



More joined-up, coherent programming among humanitarian, development and peace actors requires understanding of how experts in different specialisms operate, the language and systems they use, and the challenges they face when working in crisis contexts. This report represents an initial effort to scope out how development actors approach and operate in protracted humanitarian crises as a way to identify both the differences and the areas of synergy, and increase understanding among HDP actors. To take the agenda forward, there is a clear need to build a common conceptual understanding among all actors and to develop specific guidance at the operational and programmatic levels. The findings from the three case studies highlight three core areas where further research and discussion among HDP actors could help to translate the ‘triple nexus’ into guidance that can be put into practice at the country level.

  1. HDP actors need to jointly develop programming models that bring together the perspectives of each discipline into a coherent approach. There are certain natural areas of synergy or convergence between HDP programmes (some of which are outlined in this report). There is a need to unpack the linkages between related areas of programming (e.g. between disaster risk reduction, disaster management and response, natural resource management, climate change adaptation and peace) or between different approaches within the same sector, such as health and social protection programmes, and to develop programming models that bring together an HDP approach. To support this, further research focusing on particular sectors and programme areas would be useful.
  2. HDP actors need to undertake an honest review of existing coordination mechanisms and ongoing initiatives to enhance HDP collaboration. The case studies identify many challenges associated with the existing aid architecture and a number of promising initiatives to strengthen joining up. These need more systematic review and evaluation to identify good practices and develop guidance for all actors on how to strengthen a nexus approach. Additionally, it could be useful to review the UN and World Bank nexus coordination and planning initiatives and pilots at the country level and draw out lessons learnt. South−South cooperation and the role of non-traditional donors in nexus collaboration is another area that merits further exploration. Work is also needed to field test area-based coordination as a way to enhance HDP collaboration and to evaluate and learn from existing frameworks for joint assessment and planning, such as RPBA and PDNA processes, and joint programming.
  3. HDP actors need to investigate how existing financial allocation mechanisms and modalities can better incentivise collaborative action across the nexus and improve targeting of protracted crisis regions at the subnational level. This study points to the need to examine existing allocation mechanisms and modalities to enable development finance to better target crisis-affected regions at the subnational level to provide the necessary flexibility to enable adaptive and shock-responsive programming, and to incentivise HDP actors to work together. This might include further investigation of the potential role of pooled funding mechanisms in promoting collaboration, the use of risk and contingency financing mechanisms, and the establishment of intermediate funding mechanisms to support local actors. In addition, further research is needed to understand existing mechanisms to support the local private sector and examine how they could be used more effectively in protracted crisis contexts to promote livelihoods, generate employment and support peace. Finally, there is a clear need for spatially disaggregated data in order to track aid flows to crisis-affected regions.