From Crisis to Recovery: Lost in Transition

For decades, aid actors have widely acknowledged the importance of facilitating effective transitions from relief to development and grappled with the operational and policy challenges of rebuilding devastated communities and societies to lay the foundation for development. Despite some effective programming, weak governance and political will in affected countries and weak aid coordination to support multi-layered approaches to transitions continue to hamper effective implementation. While some progress has been made over the past decades, gaps still remain, leaving millions of people vulnerable, with few solutions in sight. The global pressures on international aid, coupled with increasingly complex humanitarian crises, will likely widen the gap as limited humanitarian and development budgets are further stretched. In 2011, InterAction and the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) developed a project to review programming and policy in the transition from relief to development in displacement settings. Over the course of 2012, InterAction staff conducted three field assessments to develop country case studies examining policy and practice in the transition from relief
to development.

This paper is a summary of findings and recommendations from the three case studies.