Evaluative learning for resilience: Providing Humanitarian Assistance for Sahel Emergencies (PHASE)

Research reports and studies
August 2016

In a world of increasing risk and instability, humanitarian and development actors must adapt to work more closely. This was a clear outcome of the World Humanitarian Summit and Ban Ki Moon’s Agenda for Humanity (UN Secretary General, 2016). Development programmes do not have the flexibility to rapidly reallocate funding to address spikes in need, and humanitarian organisations are confined to funding instruments that prevent longer-term engagement.

A contingency mechanism that allows development agencies to quickly respond to anticipated crises, while continuing to invest in programmes that address the root causes of people’s vulnerability to shocks and stresses, is likely to be one vital step towards making humanitarian and development aid work more effectively together. This is what the UK Department for International Development (DFID) is trialling.

The Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme in the Sahel will deepen ways to better connect humanitarian–development financial programming by using the implementing modalities of humanitarian aid through the Providing Humanitarian Assistance for Sahel Emergencies (PHASE) programme and its Contingency Mechanism. This evaluation describes how knowledge and evidence will be generated to evaluate this connection, from a resilience-building perspective.

The essence of this paper is to test a theory of change describing how humanitarian and development finance can be used together to protect development gains, and is driven by the overarching question: To what extent did flexible humanitarian finance applied within a resilience-building programme protect development gains made and ensure development progress remained on track?

For evidence on how the PHASE crisis modifiers worked in practice, read the 2017 report Crisis modifiers: a solution for a more flexible humanitarian-development system?