Home Rethinking aid system narratives

In Nigel Timmins and Joshua Hallwright’s provocative new paper, ‘Rethinking aid system narratives: The case for collaborative leadership’, the authors reflect on the ways of thinking that shape the siloed and reactionary system of humanitarian aid and argue that there is a need to re-frame disasters as contextual factors rather than exceptional events within the development framework.

Too many leaders find themselves perpetuating the system even while they wish to change it. Yet if leaders can identify the incentives they are creating for others, and understand what behaviours they are adopting because of the incentives upon them, then there is the opportunity for them to make different choices.

This article examines the cooperation and collaboration that is required across the boundaries of our siloed systems to bring about sustainable change and the need to support leaders who collaborate, in order to both strengthen accountability and make the development and humanitarian system more effective in supporting disaster affected and at-risk communities.

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