Multi-disciplinary Strategies


Achieving protection outcomes often requires multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral efforts targeting various components of risk at multiple levels. This demands an intentional approach to mobilize relevant actors to cultivate complementarity between their roles. The relationships, boundaries, and synergies between humanitarian actors and other relevant stakeholders, including those with formal and informal roles to address the risk factors, must be acknowledged and considered.


  • Begin by recognizing that understanding the problem requires a comprehensive analysis seen through the lens of multiple disciplines.
  • Engage with organizations and individuals inside and outside of the humanitarian community to understand their values and perspectives, organizational culture and relevance of their mandates and capacities to address identified risk factors. Beyond the affected population, this includes national and sub-national state and non-state authorities, national and local civil society, host communities, human rights and development actors, donor governments and the broader diplomatic community, peacekeeping and political missions, and others.
  • Collaborate strategically and intentionally by identifying those stakeholders who have the greatest impact on achieving a protection outcome and deciding what form of collaboration should take place. Collaboration between stakeholders often requires a level of trust between actors; therefore it is necessary to invest in relationships with partners throughout a sustained period of time.
  • Analyze and differentiate between the levels of responsibility of various actors to collectively address a protection issue. Determine the specific leverage points to influence and take up action.
  • Establish incentives for collaborative and coordinated efforts to comprehensively reduce risk.
  • Use a causal logic to establish the pathways to reduce risk and articulate the roles and specific contributions required by different actors to address the various risk factors identified in the protection analysis. For example, some of those roles might be convener, capacity builder, negotiator, facilitator, service provider, etc.
  • Establish the sequencing of actions by different contributing actors at each stage of the program cycle.
  • Determine the level of engagement (individual, family, community, national, regional, international) needed by various actors in order to reduce risk, taking into account how the level of engagement is complemented or challenged by the actions of others.
  • Monitor the assumptions articulated in the causal logic with a view to adjusting the roles and contributions of different actors over time to achieve the desired protection outcome.
  • Elaborate how the contributions of different actors are tracked in relation to other contributing factors (by other actors, decisions, events) which are necessary to address the risk.