With 17 goals and 169 targets, but how do Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) fit in? See the humanitarian system of old. Many times about provision of basic needs: food, water, sanitation, shelter, health-care and clothing.
In the eyes of beneficiaries, this sounds very good. As due to emergencies, displaced people become desperate to be re-settled. And be able to access basic needs, to try and restore them to what was. But this is not what we desire. Aid must be sustainable. That is why after stabilising the humanitarian situation, development assistance must come in.
So that beneficiaries have a chance to engage in activities like cash-for-work or food-for-work approach to humanitarian programming. Every piece of coin must be earned, even in a humanitarian situation.
It is a better way of encouraging aid sustainability. Just hand-outs are not a sustainable approach. So aid agencies and Civil Society Organisations who still practice the ‘aid-only’ approach must now wind it up to start providing beneficiaries with more sustainable aid. This is a requirement if aid impact is not to be left between the loopholes.
The Millennium Development Goals gave way to SDGs. And the world encourages aid agencies to start looking at strategies that enables sustainable aid.
It means projects such as; start-up capital, skills development programmes for; out-of-school children, orphans and vulnerable children, disadvantaged children with the potential to excel in class but unable due to financial problems, should dominate humanitarian programming.
The coming years will be extremely challenging but full of opportunities for humanitarian practitioners especially in hard-to-reach areas around the world. Despite these challenges, potential beneficiaries in their millions expect support. Thus, delivering aid more effectively and efficiently is important. So NGOs that are yet to transition should take a pause and reflect on the current way they are doing business.
A few questions can accelerate the transition to sustainable aid. Like; what approach to aid delivery is working? And what is not? What processes need to be improved? How possible is it to try to quickly bring sustainability to the aid system?
These help to check that aid is not scattered wide and thin. Besides, baselines on basic needs can help a great deal. It helps to plan and fore-cast aid. And it lowers cost of humanitarian response significantly.
NGOs now have a better platform to make their contributions felt. Their stage is now set for improved collaboration with government structures at the village level. Ask government for needs gap. And channel money in top priority activities. NGOs can also contribute to a disaster fund. This boosts government’s ability to be disaster-prepared.
This eliminates responding after a disaster has occurred. The advantages of such working together are: One, it ascertains better grip of humanitarian situations.