Working across the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus: What can we learn from evaluations?

Morinière, L., Morrison-Métois, S.
Publication language
Date published
05 Dec 2023
Evaluation-related, Humanitarian-development-peace nexus

The humanitarian-development-peace nexus is an evolving and complex concept that has increasingly gained high-level policy commitment. In 2019 the OECD DAC Recommendation on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) nexus outlined the key concept and rationale, and was adhered to by 31 OECD DAC members and seven UN agencies. It solidified existing thinking on how to improve outcomes for affected populations through better cross- and intra-organisational coordination. This was embodied in the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit’s call for ‘a greater diversity of partners toward collective outcomes over multiple years’; and in the United Nations 2017 New Way of Working which called on humanitarian and development actors to work collaboratively based on their comparative advantages towards ‘collective outcomes’ − a concept often linked to the HDP nexus. The OECD DAC Recommendation also incorporated views from a joint study published by the United Nations and the World Bank in 2018, ‘Pathways for Peace’, which underscored the importance of investing in conflict prevention and the need to ensure that humanitarian and development work are conflict-sensitive. The OECD DAC Recommendation also reflects the shift of bilateral donors towards increasingly viewing development cooperation as a foreign policy instrument, with development actors putting greater focus on conflict prevention and peace objectives.

Since 2018, a growing number of evaluations have looked at ways in which organisations have adopted HDP or double nexus approaches (those which embrace two of the three pillars) through explicit or implicit policies or programming. Evaluations reflect shifts in language and practice over time and explore key barriers to implementing more effective nexus programming and ways of working. They often outline various obstacles to improving the connectedness and complementarity of humanitarian and development aid. Evaluations also document the progress of organisations and the wider sector, and may provide lessons relevant for other actors.

This HDP nexus evaluation mapping and synthesis paper aims to share key findings from evaluations on how organisations have advanced their version of a nexus approach. The paper offers insights on how the policy concept of the triple nexus has been operationalised and implemented in practice, and it looks at what can be learned from recent efforts.6 The paper presents a mapping of evidence and analysis from 90 evaluations, syntheses and lessons learned papers that were undertaken between 2018 and April 2022, and it reflects on key findings and trends in those publications.