The Humanitarian–Development Nexus

Published on 22 May 2018

Achieving meaningful impacts in a global context of fragile states, conflict, environmental disasters and other acute and interconnected vulnerabilities, increasingly demands coordinated efforts by humanitarian and development actors. This is especially apparent regarding the Sustainable Development Goals, where hard-won progress can be slowed or even reversed as a result of crises and disasters. In fragile states and protracted conflicts – where the majority of the world’s poor live – the lines between development and humanitarian work are also increasingly blurred.

While there is talk of a ‘humanitarian-development nexus’, efforts towards bridging the humanitarian-development divide often remain disparate, shaped by different principles, philosophies, cultures, attitudes and mind sets, and involving complex politics

A Sussex Development Lecture series, jointly run by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), the School of Global Studies and the Centre for International Education based at the University of Sussex, convened senior humanitarian and development leaders, practitioners and academics, to cast a critical light on the shifting relationships between humanitarian aid and development, exploring how they can work better together.

The lectures were streamed live on Facebook and are available to watch below:

Bridging the Humanitarian–Development Divide

Expert panel discusses how humanitarian aid workers and development actors can work better together, in a context of increasingly protracted conflicts, fragile states, environmental disasters and disease outbreaks.


Bridging the Humanitarian Development Divide‘, Institute of Development StudiesCreative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Beyond the traditional humanitarian aid model

Thea Hilhorst, Professor of Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction, Institute of Socail, Erasmus University, discusses how we need to look beyond the traditional model of humanitarianism, centred around international humanitarian UN agencies and NGOs, to a resilience model, focused more on local people and institutions as the first responders to crisis.

Beyond the traditional humanitarian aid model‘, Institute of Development StudiesCreative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Humanitarianism under stress – meeting the challenge, strengthening the architecture and reviving the rules

Kevin Watkins, CEO of Save the Children UK, provides reflections on the strengths of the humanitarian architecture and the institutional, financial and rules-based challenges that have to be addressed if the system is to provide protection and support recovery for some of the world’s most vulnerable children.

Humanitarianism under stress‘, Institute of Development StudiesCreative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

Kate Osamor MP

Kate Osamor MP, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, sets out Labour’s vision of a world for the many.

Kate Osamor MP – Sussex Development Lecture‘, Institute of Development StudiesCreative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

The Humanitarian Border: Aid and Development as tools to prevent migration

Michael Collyer, Professor of Geography, University of Sussex, discusses migration control strategies that engage with humanitarian priorities in new ways to produce what has been called ‘the humanitarian border’. He highlights evidence that suggests that these efforts will be largely futile if not entirely counterproductive in terms of the immediate efforts of restricting international migration.

Aid and Development as tools to prevent migration‘, Institute of Development StudiesCreative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

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