The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP) was established in 1997 as an entity devoted to research and advocacy in the humanitarian sector. It serves as a focal point for the collection and the analysis of the practice of governmental, non-governmental and international actors engaged in humanitarian operations. Its aim is to improve the performance and the accountability (towards the beneficiaries as well as towards the donors) in such activities.

Having a unique status and mandate, ALNAP counts among its members a vast part of the main key actors in the humanitarian domain: several major donors (ECHO, USAID, UKAID, the Ministries for international cooperation of Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia and Denmark), many of the most important humanitarian NGOs (OXFAM, Save the Children, Care, Disaster Emergency Commitee, etc.), the International Red Cross and Red Crescent System, all UN agencies with a humanitarian mandate (WHO, FAO, UNDP, OCHA, IASC, UNICEF, UNHCR, etc.) and numerous research centres.

ALNAP’s research team produces working papers, learning papers, manuals, reports and other documents that enjoy great circulation and are highly regarded among humanitarian practitioners and are hence capable of orienting the debate and determining policy choices in that sector. ALNAP’s contribution will obviously invest the whole project. In particular they will be relevant for: a) the identification of a shared vocabulary that will prove helpful in reaching a common and unequivocal understanding of the terminology used in the relevant international IDRL instruments, thus favouring the establishment of a clearer conceptual framework; b) sharing the know-how developed in the impact evaluation made for specific emergencies (e.g. the Tsunami Evaluation Coalition); c) “validate” the provisional research findings by circulating them among actors involved in disaster relief operations; d) favour the dissemination of the research results through its privileged institutional channels, thus conferring more visibility to the research and maximizing it concrete impact in operational terms.

Photo courtesy of ALNAP,