9 March 2012

Coinciding with International Women’s Day the Humanitarian Response Index (HRI) was published yesterday. The survey assesses how well donor countries are doing in giving effect to the Good Humanitarian Donorship Principles developed by a Swedish-led conference in 2003. The survey indicates that humanitarian aid is less effective in meeting the needs of vulnerable populations than it should be. It covered the responses of 23 major aid donors relating to nine major crises during the period. The efficiency and effectiveness of this aid would improve substantially if there were greater adherence to the donorship principles. However, planning, coordination and delivery of aid have changed little since the principles were established.

A focus of this year’s report was the extent to which aid was structured around gender needs. It suggests that gender has a low priority. Emergency support is often delivered without regard to the needs of different sex and age groups.

Luxembourg is the only major donor country with a lower GDP than New Zealand. The other major donors are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, European Community, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States.

They are ranked in three classes according to the donorship principles (responding to needs; preventions, risk reduction and recovery; working with humanitarian partners; protection and international law; learning and accountability.)

Group 1 donors: New Zealand fits into this top grouping together with Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. These donors score consistently above the overall OECD average in most qualitative and quantitative indicators, and have the highest overall scores in four of the five donorship principles.

Group 2 donors: Australia, Canada, European Commission, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The scores for these donors are generally mid-range, with scores only slightly better than the OECD average.

Group 3 donors: Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Japan, Portugal, Greece and Spain. Scores are below the overall average in both quantitative and qualitative indicators.

New Zealand which was ranked 3rd overall in the 2010 was unable to be included in the overall rating in this latest survey – reportedly because there were insufficient survey responses received.