The Triple Nexus: Questions and Answers on Integrating Humanitarian, Development and Peace Actions in Protracted Crises

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What is the Humanitarian – Development – Peace Nexus?

The humanitarian, development and, when appropriate, peace Nexus refers to the interlinkages between humanitarian, development and peace actions. The Nexus is an operational framework that entails complementarity and coherence between emergency relief, development and peacebuilding as well as coordination between actors (for instance in developing joint context analyses, needs assessments, and common outcomes)1 . The Nexus also involves changes in financing (such as moving towards multi-year funding, less-earmarked assistance, flexible funding, and simplification of financing mechanisms).

Is it a New Agenda?

The Nexus is a continuation of long-running efforts to link humanitarian and development actions for the building of longterm resilience, especially in protracted crises, complex emergencies or situations of chronic vulnerability. This way of thinking began to take form in the Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) approach, which emerged in the 1990s and then taken up in resilience discussions as of the early 2000s. LRRD is an approach to programming that focuses on a better transition between humanitarian, rehabilitation and development activities. However, it has been criticized for being too linear in nature. With global displacement and humanitarian needs soaring as of 2012, emergencies have become protracted and assistance is needed to address both short-term and long-term vulnerabilities. The focus of the international community thus has shifted towards resilience and conflict prevention in order to bring to an end the cycle of aid dependency or reduce the possibility of fragility and conflict in the first place. To achieve such goals, the international community has recognized that humanitarian and development actors need to coordinate better and work more efficiently, new funding mechanisms need to be created, and the approach to providing aid needs to change. UN-led initiatives for the new ways of working include collective outcomes, comparative advantages and multi-year frameworks. Moreover, peace was added as a third pillar inherently tied to the success of the long-term sustainability and impact humanitarian and development assistance. Hence, the humanitarian-development-peace Nexus is a framework that goes beyond a single program and encompasses all these changes: better collaboration between actors, complementary and coherent responses, prevention, and changes in financing mechanisms.

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