The Philippine Launch of State of the Humanitarian System 2018 Report
Time & Location
About the Event
Following it’s successful launch in the Philippines last 2015, the 4th State of the Humanitarian System (SOHS) will be once again unveiled by the Center for Disaster Preparedness (CDP), Disaster Risk Reduction Network Philippines (DRRNetPhils), Oxfam Philippines and the Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) in the country this March 12, 2019.
The said report completed every 3 years aims to provide a longitudinal assessment of the size, shape and performance of the humanitarian system. ALNAP (2018) noted that the 4th SOHS outlines humanitarian needs from 2015-17 based on the same broad structure, methodology and questions as the previous editions, to allow an assessment of progress over time. It also provides an overview of the resources made available to address these needs. Apart from this, it also describes the current size and structure of the humanitarian system and presents an assessment of the system’s performance in addressing humanitarian needs.
One of the key events featured in the report was the first World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) completed last May 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey that convened 9,000 participants from governments and civil society. The summit gave birth to the Agenda for Humanity composed of 32 core commitments under 5 priority responsibilities covering conflict, civilian protection and the norms of war, displacement and migration, ending need and humanitarian financing targeted to improve humanitarian action worldwide. In spite of the criticism to the summit linked with the perceived failure to address the increasing marginalization of humanitarian and refugee law in international politics, inability to set out any large-scale reforms and its unintended creation of binding commitments as a civil society process, it provided an important impetus for a number of initiatives including the ‘Grand Bargain’, a set of commitments and work streams designed to make the humanitarian system more efficient, transparent and accountable.
The report also detailed a number of areas for improvement, where many of which were already taken into account in the 2012 and 2015 editions of the SOHS. These include the following: collection of information in a number of key areas, including information on mortality and on the longer-term impacts of aid; monitoring, particularly monitoring of the outcomes of humanitarian interventions; ensuring staff have the skills for humanitarian responses; incorporating the views and feedback of crisis-affected people into programme design; making programmes more context-specific and more adaptable to changes in context; and preventing abuse and exploitation in humanitarian programmes (although this was an area of renewed interest in early 2018). While less has been achieved in handing over power and resources to local civil society organizations, this report presents that small steps have been made based on the case studies and surveys. There were also more programmes that include elements of ‘resilience’ and attempt to address both immediate needs and the drivers of need than was the case in 2015. There appear to have been some limited improvements in the relevance and efficiency of aid.