Good Humanitarian Donorship and the European Union: a study of good practice and recent initiatives

Research reports and studies
September 2004
Barnaby Willitts-King

European Union (EU) donors including the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO) provide almost half of global official humanitarian assistance. Many EU donors are active participants in the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) initiative. This initiative, launched in Stockholm in June 2003, aims to improve the practice of humanitarian donors in order to make humanitarian action a more principled and effective endeavour. EU donors are showing leadership in particular areas of GHD implementation, such as agreeing a common definition of official humanitarian assistance for reporting purposes, working towards harmonising reporting and management demands and piloting GHD in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The GHD initiative is an ambitious one, but the study found examples in the EU of good practice in GHD at all stages of the policy and project cycle. Progress has been made against both the Implementation Plan agreed at Stockholm and in domestic
initiatives taken by EU donors, which go beyond theĀ  implementation Plan.

Very few donor governments have developed frameworks for implementing GHD, and this could be a first step in providing a guide for good practice.

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