Policy brief

The humanitarian-development-peace nexus:current status and discourse

Essential briefings for humanitarian decision-makers

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Since 2016, the humanitarian-development-peace (HDP) nexus discourse has brought a noticeable cultural shift in the humanitarian sector.

The concept has gone in and out of fashion over the years, but through recent nexus work, the long-existing concepts of Linking Relief Recovery and Development (LRRD) and resilience have increasingly moved out of niche circles and into more mainstream, system-wide initiatives. This is partly in response to aid recipients continuing to repeat their desire for aid that better enables self-sufficiency and resilience.

This briefing provides an overview of evidence on the progress around this cultural shift and the structural reforms taking place in donor agencies. It also highlights that donors continue to work in structures where humanitarian, development and peace aid are housed and funded separately. There has been less operational progress in implementing the HDP nexus than hoped, due partly to a lack of clear definitions of success or guidance and the absence of genuine leadership buy-in.