Evaluations, Reports, Studies, Reviews and Research

Contingency Planning and Humanitarian Action: A review of practice

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HPN, Humanitarian Practice Network

This Network Paper explores the current process and practice of contingency planning in humanitarian organisations. It is organised into three sections:

  • The first section (chapters 2 and 3) sets out the key terms and concepts relating to contingency planning and explores the contingency planning process. It explains the main models used by humanitarian organisations and presents a new concept of the process that enables a more dynamic approach than previous frameworks.
  • The second section (chapters 4, 5 and 6) looks at the practice of contingency planning. It examines scenario development, including the techniques used; the types of scenarios that work in different circumstances; and the challenges scenario planners face. A number of case studies illustrate these different approaches. Finally, this section looks at what constitutes good practice in managing contingency planning processes.
  • The third section (chapter 7) presents the paper’s main conclusions, and suggests some recommendations for the future. While important innovations in contingency planning have been made in recent years, a number of major problems remain. By identifying these challenges and attempting to chart a way forward, this paper aims to contribute to the further development of the field – with the ultimate goal of increasing the efficiency of humanitarian action

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