In these troubled and violent times, with the migration crisis, conflicts in Syria and the Central African Republic, and terrorist attacks here and abroad, it is essential to preserve the fundamental principles of our societies, such as respect for human dignity, solidarity and humanism, so that external crises do not turn into crises at home… Humanitarian actors have a role to play in this respect, for example, by calling on the authorities to treat refugees and migrants with greater decency (see “Médecins du Monde’s position on migration”, by Françoise Sivignon).
They also have important responsibilities, in terms of the quality and effectiveness of the aid they deliver, as illustrated by the response to the Ebola epidemic (see “Ebola: the cost of poor governance in the health sector”, by François Grünewald). Every type of programme can be an opportunity to learn (see the articles by Julie Patinet, “The sustainable management of water points” and by Samantha Brangeon, “The waste produced by humanitarians”). In order to learn, however, there need to be mechanisms in place to monitor, evaluate and re-orientate action (see “How should we measure resilience?” by Valérie Léon). But over and above technical and institutional issues, the sector also needs to analyse its ability to really strengthen local crisis response capacities (see “Towards devolution of humanitarian response: South Sudan perspective”, by Henri Nzeyimana). Much more than a technical question, the debate about the devolution of humanitarian response concerns a change of paradigm.