Published research

2015 Humanitarian Accountability Report:
On the road to IstanbulHow can the World Humanitarian Summit make humanitarian response more effective?

Bringing together 13 leading humanitarian thinkers to discuss challenges to greater humanitarian effectiveness, On the road to Istanbul, the 2015 edition of the Humanitarian Accountability Report, offers concrete solutions to many of the issues raised during the regional consultations for the World Humanitarian Summit.

Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, the chief of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat, said: “We all want to ensure the World Humanitarian Summit is worth the climb. To do that, we need ambitious but actionable ideas such as those found in this timely report.” Written with the support of more than 30 peer reviewers, the report suggests that in order to improve effectiveness, the humanitarian sector should build upon and reinforce five key areas:

1. principled humanitarian response, which builds trust and facilitates access;
2. standards, which have shown to support appropriate, effective and timely aid;
3. national capacity, the strengthening of which is essential for effective and sustainable humanitarian response;
4. collective accountability, which requires inclusiveness, transparency and a common language;
5. good people management practices, which are paramount for effective aid.

Click on the above key areas to view and discuss the recommendations for each thematic area, as well as download the related chapters from the report. You can also download individually the introduction to the report, and its conclusions.


Improving Impact: Do Accountability Mechanisms Deliver Results?

Improving Impact: do accountability mechanisms deliver results?

Published in June 2013Improving Impact: do accountability mechanisms deliver results? addresses the evidence deficit for accountability mechanisms in the humanitarian and development sectors. Across these sectors, accountability from NGOs to populations affected by crises has been significantly strengthened in recent years. Yet good practice remains patchy, and there has been little robust evidence for the contribution that accountability mechanisms actually make to project quality. Jointly commissioned by Christian Aid, Save the Children UK and HAP, this report is the first of its kind to provide evidence of the contribution of accountability mechanisms to improving the quality and impact of aid projects and demonstrates the value of introducing accountability mechanisms into such projects.


2013 Humanitarian Accountability Report

To celebrate HAP’s 10th anniversary, the 2013 Humanitarian Accountability Report reviews progress made over the past decade, and presents innovations the sector has adopted to make itself more accountable to populations affected by crises. Download the full 2013 Humanitarian Accountability Report now! You can also read this document online as an e-book.






Change starts with us, talk to us!

Change starts with us, talk to us!

Published in December 2010Change starts with us, talk to us! Is a report that was commissioned to gain further insight into how beneficiaries of humanitarian aid perceive the effectiveness of efforts undertaken to prevent SEA and to identify ways to improve outcomes. The main question the study sought to address was the extent to which beneficiaries feel safer as a result of measures introduced by aid organisations, including both policies and response mechanisms. This highlights the fact that aid organisations collaborating in this study were making efforts to address SEA, and the findings herein offer assistance in improving systems and approaches in the spirit of continued adherence to zero tolerance stances. The study is based on consultations with beneficiaries and was conducted by three independent researchers between July and October 2010 in Haiti, Kenya and Thailand.


The right to a say and the duty to repond

The right to a say and the duty to respond

Published in March 2009, The right to a say and the duty to respond addresses the limited research that has been undertaken so far to collect evidence of the effectiveness of complaint and response mechanisms and their impact on service provision. To start addressing this knowledge gap, the report draws on a study of views and experiences of staff from four agencies and representatives of communities in Uganda and Bangladesh at locations where these agencies operate; additional interviews with staff from 17 agencies complement the four case studies.




To complain or not to complain: still the question

To complain or not to complain: still the question

Published in June 2008, To complain or not to complain: still the question is a report based on consultations with refugees living in Kenya, Namibia and Thailand, and provides insight into the barriers to complaining. It also highlights the changes that beneficiaries hope for in order to break their silence when it comes to misconduct by humanitarian staff. “To complain or not to complain” about sexual exploitation and abuse continues to be the dilemma faced by many disaster survivors. Despite several years of concerted efforts by humanitarian agencies, major progress is still required if organisations are to become truly accountable for preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries by humanitarian staff.