The Humanitarian Response Index field missions

Each year, DARA sends teams to a dozen crises (fifteen in 2010), covering more than a half of the global humanitarian funding.

How do we prepare a mission?

Once the crises are selected, DARA contacts all humanitarian organizations (UN agencies, Red Cross Red Crescent, INGO’s and local organizations) working in the response to request their participation in the data collection. We also contact donor agencies field offices to inform them of the mission and to invite them to participate in the interview process.

What do we do in the field?

Upon arrival in the field, the HRI research teams (between 3 and 6 persons, depending on the number of implementing agencies in the field) begin the process of interviewing humanitarian organizations and conducting surveys of how donor countries supported the work of UN agencies, international and local NGOs, Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement in the response to the crisis the previous year. In most cases, HRI teams are able to meet with almost all of the agencies working in the crisis (in some cases, up to 90% of the agencies), as well as government officials, local authorities, civil society organizations, and donor representatives. Whenever possible, teams also visit the affected areas to see first-hand the response to the crisis and speak to field staff and beneficiaries. This gives teams an overview of the crisis response.

Who do we talk to?

As part of the HRI research process, we interview representatives from humanitarian organizations working in different crises about how donors are supporting the response. In particular we speak to people who have some kind of relationship with donors. Normally this is the head of mission or the person in charge of preparing funding requests or reports to donors. We aim to interview representatives from all the different humanitarian organizations working in the crisis, such as UN agencies, the Red Cross/Red Crescent, and local and international NGOs. We also interview donor representatives in the country.

What kind of questions do we ask?

During the interviews with the implementing agencies, we use a standard questionnaire. The interviews with aid agencies are supplemented with meetings with other key actors, like donor representatives and local authorities. Survey respondents are asked to answer a series questions on how each of their donor supports their work and if they believe donors are applying key concepts of good practices from the GHD. Each question is linked to core concepts contained in the GHD, such as timeliness of funding or donor support to facilitate safe humanitarian access. All responses are confidential in order to ensure answers that are more candid and to protect the often delicate relationship between funders and recipients of aid money.

What do we provide in-country?

When possible, the HRI teams provide in country debriefings at the end of its missions in order to offer humanitarian agencies and donors information on initial findings and to validate with them their relevance and accuracy.

For more information on the HRI and its missions, read our FAQ’s