ALNAP 32nd Annual Meeting Study: More Relevant? 10 ways to approach what people really need

60 pp
Date published
30 Mar 2020
Research, reports and studies
humanitarian action, System-wide performance

This ALNAP study build upon the background paper prepared for the ALNAP 32nd Annual Meeting 'Relevant for who? Responding to diverse perspectives and priorities in humanitarian action'.

The background paper for the 32nd Annual Meeting presented a new framework for thinking about relevance, as a starting point to inform and structure discussions. It set out 10 dimensions, five for understanding people’s priority needs - inclusive, comprehensive, holistic, dynamic and polyphonic; and five for providing what’s most relevant to meet these – choice, tailoring, co-design, adaptation and complementarity. It explored the state of play of each of these and identified the constraints to doing better. It also identified the deep dilemmas and challenges that a real commitment to relevance implies for the humanitarian endeavour.

This study draws on these rich discussions and on the conceptual groundwork of the background paper, weaving together a review of the literature with an analysis of the Annual Meetings’ transcripts and interviews with experts and practitioners. This study is intended to be neither a comprehensive summary of everything discussed at the Annual Meeting in Berlin nor the definitive word on relevance. Instead it aims to capture the major issues, examples and ideas that emerged, and to provide a clear analysis and framework to enable everyone – whether present at the Meeting or not – to reconsider relevance and lay the groundwork for practical applications.