Research process

Between November 2009 and June 2010, HRI field teams interviewed 475 senior representatives of humanitarian organisations working in the 14 crisis-affected countries studied this year. Teams met the majority of the operational response agencies that receive donor government funding for the crisis, as well as government officials, local authorities and civil society organisations. In addition, teams interviewed over 75 donor representatives in the crises studied. The field research included over 2000 responses to a survey questionnaire asking respondents for their opinions and perceptions – based on their direct experience liaising with the donors who support their work – of how well donors are applying good practice. The results of the field research were complemented by quantitative data on government donor funding from sources such as the UN, World Bank and the Red Cross/Red Crescent.

Once the relevant data is collected, the HRI assesses and benchmarks donors against 35 indicators aligned against the main concepts contained in the Good Humanitarian Donorship Principles. The indicators are organised into the five pillars of donor practice. The scores for each indicator and pillar are used to generate a comparative overall ranking of the OECD/DAC donors.

An innovation to the 2010 Index is the multi-dimensional analysis which classifies and groups donors according to the patterns of their similarities and respective differences in their performance. This avoids oversimplification and/or misinterpretation of results, and offers more detail on a donor’s strengths and areas of improvement compared to its peers.

Throughout the research process, DARA consulted widely with its Peer Review Committee and other experts on the design and selection of indicator, data sources and research tools, as well as the overall statistical analysis and interpretation of the findings.


Changes to the methodology

Donor classification


Methodology and Technical Annex