The HRI uses both quantitative and qualitative data to build 35 indicators, organised into five pillars, which capture the essence of the Principles of Good Humanitarian Donorship. The pillars correspond to five basic questions:
Pillar 1: Are donor responses based on the needs of affected populations and not subordinated to political, strategic or other interests?
Pillar 2: Do donors support strengthening local capacity, prevention of future crises and long-term recovery?
Pillar 3: Do donor policies and practices effectively support the work of humanitarian organisations?
Pillar 4: Do donors respect international humanitarian law and actively promote humanitarian access to enable protection of civilians affected by crises?
Pillar 5: Do donors contribute to accountability and learning in humanitarian action?