Every year, millions of people need humanitarian assistance to survive and recover from disasters and conflicts. However, despite the best of intentions, the response of the different actors who fund and implement humanitarian assistance is not enough. As the principal providers of humanitarian assistance funding, donor governments have the power to make the humanitarian system more effective, and ensure that aid reaches the people who need it most. The Humanitarian Response Index (HRI) provides an independent and objective examination of donor performance with the aim of improving the quality and effectiveness of aid, and promoting greater transparency and accountability of donors as a critical part of the humanitarian system. Based on a rigorous analysis of data from governments and humanitarian agencies, and a survey of hundreds of humanitarian actors directly engaged in providing humanitarian assistance around the globe, the HRI offers a comprehensive overview of how well donors are meeting their own commitments to good practice. DARA (Development Assistance Research Associates) is an independent non-profit organisation, specializing in the evaluation of humanitarian and development assistance. By promoting greater learning, quality and accountability of all stakeholders, our aim is to contribute to the prevention and alleviation of suffering, and the empowerment of people affected by disasters, conflicts, and poverty.
'The HRI is an enormously innovative new tool for preparing for a world of greater humanitarian shock and urgent response needs. The deep thinking and invaluable data pulled together in this report will be read avidly throughout the world. We need to put Humanitarian Response on a greatly up scaled basis - with needed and timely finance, technical expertise, national and local readiness, and solid management. The wellbeing and even survival of millions are at stake. The HRI will bring us much closer to the goals, and I will do my part to help spread it messages around the world.' - Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the Quetelet Professor of Sustainable Development, and the global bestselling author of The End of Poverty 'The Humanitarian Response Index helps guarantee that every dollar of humanitarian assistance is used to provide the right kind of aid, to the right people, at the right time. The millions of people affected by crises and emergencies deserve as much' -- Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General 'DARA performs a valuable service in publishing this index. It provides both a framework of accountability and a spur to improved performance. Donors of both development and humanitarian aid are concerned to ensure that aid has the highest possible impact. They have invested substantial effort in defining good performance and in benchmarking against each other. The special value of the HRI index is that it combines quantitative and qualitative information to provide a single overall assessment of donor quality.' - Simon Maxwell CBE, Director of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) 'From the perspective of the One World Trust and our work on the accountability of global organisations, DARA's Humanitarian Response Index is a valuable initiative that challenges bilateral donors to do better and look for best practice. Such evaluations are indispensable for peer to peer learning and to ensure that vulnerable people in need benefit from international solidarity and get the support they deserve.' - Michael Hammer, Executive Director, One World Trust 'I believe that the Humanitarian Response Index is a vital tool in increasing the overall accountability of humanitarian donorship. It provides feedback which is essential for donors to transform the promises of the Good Humanitarian Donorship Initiative into reality. It is part of the overall process that should bring us closer to the humanitarian ideal of assistance in proportion to need.' - John Cosgrave, Independent Consultant on Humanitarian Issues 'Accountability is too important to be left to donors, whether individually or severally. The HRI's assessment is broadly confirmed by our own independent studies.' - Larry Minear, of Tufts University, USA