What is the HRI?
Every year around 350 million people’s lives are shattered by the effects of disaster, conflict and crisis. Created in 2007, the Humanitarian Response Index (HRI) aims to identify and promote good donor practice and contribute to greater transparency, accountability and impact in humanitarian action. The HRI is the world’s only independent tool for measuring the individual performance and commitment of government donors to apply the principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship which they agreed to in 2003. By providing an independent assessment and empirical evidence on how individual donor governments perform compared to their peers, the HRI helps civil society and policy makers rank and benchmark the quality of government humanitarian assistance and contributes to efforts to improve the effectiveness, and impact of relief and recovery efforts.
The HRI is not an index on the volume or quantity of funding provided by Western governments for humanitarian assistance. It looks beyond funding to assess critical issues around the quality and effectiveness of aid. The HRI complements other monitoring tools and assessments that are used by the humanitarian community but is an independent exercise that is not funded by any government.
The HRI is a collaborative effort supported by many of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations (such as UN OCHA, IFRC and UNHCR) and academic institutions (such as the University of Bochum, Columbia University, etc.). Now in its fifth year, the HRI has been endorsed by leading figures such as Kofi Annan, Jeffrey Sachs and Simon Maxwell, and is beginning to have a positive effect in terms of changing donor policy and practice and increasing accountability towards crisis-affected populations.