Planning from the future: is the humanitarian system fit for purpose?

Research reports and studies
January 2017
Christina Bennett, Randolph Kent, Antonio Donini and Daniel Maxwell

This report offers a diagnosis of what ails the system and a broad outline of what change could look like, what needs to be done to increase the effectiveness of humanitarian assistance and protection today and to boost its capacity to adapt and equip itself for an uncertain future. The appointment of a new UN Secretary-General with years of humanitarian experience provides an opportunity to put change on the international agenda. Whether ‘broke’ or ‘broken’, the humanitarian system of the future needs to do more than simply muddle through.

The report is the final output of the Planning from the Future project, an 18-month study conducted by King’s College London, the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University and the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute.