The search for coherence: UN integrated missions and humanitarian space

11 March 2011

The last decade has seen substantial attempts by donors and the UN to integrate different mechanisms of intervention in conflict settings so as to create greater coherence. This has involved the wider integration of humanitarian action with other military, diplomatic, political and commercial interventions in a bid to more effectively support transitions from war to peace. These efforts to create greater coherence are reflected in the changing architecture within donor governments and the UN, with UN integrated missions now standard practice in many conflict settings. This integration between aid and politics is widely seen in the humanitarian sector as a cause of contracting humanitarian space, as humanitarians lose their independence and neutrality and are associated with contested political projects. This meeting discussed these trends and the evidence for integration negatively affecting humanitarian space.

New York