How can we change humanitarian action?

Date Published: December 6, 2017 Author: ALNAP
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This video focuses on the processes that make change happen in the humanitarian system, summarizing the ideas explored in ALNAP’s new study ‘Transforming Change’. In exploring how change can be catalyzed, this video captures several relevant aspects of results-based protection.

What if the humanitarian system is less like a machine and more like a human mind?

The video prompts viewers to step out of linear and mechanical thinking and consider what interpersonal and behavioral dynamics can support or derail change processes.

…Or an ecosystem?

Furthermore, it emphasizes the interconnectedness, emergence, and feedback loops embedded within the humanitarian system (à la systems thinking) which appreciates the diversity of individual actors within a system acting and reacting to each other and their environment. While it may be difficult to induce change to the system through one actor or initiative, lots of little changes over time can lead to tipping points required for bringing about change in the whole.

Furthermore, change is about people, therefore organizations need to clearly communicate change processes and desired outcomes and maintain openness to conversations and criticism. We need to be adaptable to shifts and changes, supportive of positive forward steps, and cognizant that change takes time (for more on this, check out Simon Sinek’s video on intensity vs. consistency, below).


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