Africa Asia Middle East Français Português Subscribe IRIN Site Map
Global HIV/AIDS news and analysis
Advanced search
 Sunday 13 January 2008
Weekly reports 
In-Depth reports 
Country profiles 
Fact files 
Really Simple Syndication Feeds 
About PlusNews 
Contact PlusNews 
Print report
GLOBAL: New tool to evaluate donors

Photo: Masoud Popalzai/IRIN
The new tool hopes to improve the quality of aid on offer
JOHANNESBURG, 3 December 2007 (IRIN) - A unique new benchmarking mechanism that looks at the performance of humanitarian aid donors has put Sweden in the lead.

Developed by DARA International, an evaluation agency based in Madrid, Spain, the Humanitarian Response Index (HRI) is the first of its kind to focus on the quality and quantity of humanitarian aid by individual members of the group of 23 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries.

"Sweden responds predictably and swiftly to complex emergencies," said Augusto López-Claros, Project Director of the HRI. "Its funding tends to be more focused than that of others on forgotten emergencies and on those sectors that receive low-profile media coverage." Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands follow closely on the heels of Sweden.

The countries have been appraised against the Principles and Good Practices of Humanitarian Donorship, endorsed in Stockholm in 2003 and considered a code of conduct for donors. The Stockholm Principles urge countries to save lives, alleviate suffering and maintain human dignity, besides stressing the need for transparency and accountability in dispensing aid.

The HRI study polled over 800 humanitarian actors in eight crisis-torn countries - Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, East Timor, Haiti, Lebanon, Niger, Pakistan and Sudan.

Humanitarian agencies were asked whether: donors were sticking to the Stockholm Principles; their funding decisions were swayed by political, economic, military or other strategic considerations; they worked effectively with other humanitarian partners; how actively they were integrating their relief efforts with broader development objectives.

According to DARA, the HRI will help strengthen progress towards conformance with the Stockholm Principles and accountability, but above all provide an opportunity to assess individual donor performance, a feature that other evaluation mechanisms do not offer.

Humanitarian Response Index Rankings 2007
European Commission
New Zealand
United Kingdom
Source: DARA
Humanitarian donorship is usually evaluated by the Peer Review Mechanism of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee, and while countries also appraise their performance through their own monitoring systems, these have limited scope, the authors of the HRI study commented.

The key issue is that donors should take account of the findings and try to improve their aid mechanisms, said David Roodman, a research fellow of the Centre for Global Development, a think-tank based in Washington. "It is only the Nordic countries who will study the findings and try to improve their systems."

Nordic countries top the list of the Centre for Global development's annual Commitment to Development Index 2007, which also has an aid component. "Non-governmental organisations could be instrumental in pressurising donor countries to improve, but that would perhaps only work in countries like France, the UK and Germany - not in the US, where the systems are very rigid," Roodman said.

DARA's López-Claros said, "My own experience with indices as international benchmarking tools is that countries can benefit from them if, instead of being annoyed at getting low rankings, policymakers ask themselves what improvements can be made to the policy framework to ensure improved performance."


Theme(s): (IRIN) Aid Policy


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
Print report
FREE Subscriptions
Your e-mail address:

Submit your request
 More on Ascension Island
GLOBAL: Pledges put UN response fund within “touching distance” of target
GLOBAL: More spent on hair care than climate conditioning
GLOBAL: "Political will" needed to change climate
GLOBAL: Hoping for a deal on the road to Bali
GLOBAL: Food prices buoyed by biofuel affect aid
 More on Aid Policy
GLOBAL: Pledges put UN response fund within “touching distance” of target
GLOBAL: Freedom from hunger is "not an optional human right"
GLOBAL: UN emergency fund CERF and NGOs - "Progress made, progress to make"
GLOBAL: The new aid giants
HORN OF AFRICA-YEMEN: IOM to create database for African migrants
Back | Home page

Services:  Africa | Asia | Middle East | Radio | Film & TV | Photo | E-mail subscription
Feedback · E-mail Webmaster · IRIN Terms & Conditions · Really Simple Syndication News Feeds · About PlusNews · Bookmark PlusNews · Donors

Copyright © IRIN 2008
This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.