Wednesday 8 April 2020
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reliefweb - 14 days ago

World: More Relevant? 5 Calls to Action

Country: World Source: ALNAP If relevance means a close match between a response and what people most need, this forces us to think hard about most aspects of humanitarian action. The relevance test reaches wide and deep. It is a test that cuts across the what and the how of humanitarian action: both are important if people s priorities both tangible, such as food and water, and intangible, such as dignity and community are to be addressed. This takes us beyond simplistic ideas of supply and demand and encourages us to think about humanitarian assistance as being as much relational as transactional. There are no clear-cut, text-book answers to the relevance test for each of the 10 dimensions explored in the ALNAP Study More Relevant? 10 ways to approach what people really need (Figure 1). Instead, there are sliding scales along which choices must be made (Figure 2). Each of these sets of choices poses serious dilemmas for humanitarians: dilemmas of expertise who knows best and who gets to dilemmas of action what to prioritise and for and dilemmas of boundaries when to stop, when to handover and how to complement. Faced with the real-world operational, organisational and structural constraints and challenges of the humanitarian system and settings, these dilemmas become particularly tough. Overcoming all of these dilemmas and constraints would not yield a perfect score on the relevance test. Relevance is iterative and hard to measure objec humanitarians can aspire to be more relevant rather than perfectly relevant to aim for the elusive humanitarian good enough , given the inevitable compromises that have to be made in any given context and crisis stage.

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