Linking relief, rehabilitation and development

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Linking relief, rehabilitation and development

Since its creation, Groupe URD’s name has shown how important we consider the issue of linking relief and development. Given the heightened complexity of crises, we no longer talk of a linear path between relief and development, but of combining know-how from different practices, in order to respond to crises that are dynamic. As a result, operational methods, the way crises are understood, and the global approach to aid are evolving.

Linking relief, rehabilitation and development, which has been at the centre of debates since the 1990s, remains a major methodological and operational difficulty. The linear approach of a continuum was the main approach for a long time: emergency relief was mobilized to assist affected people; this was followed by reconstruction and rehabilitation activities until development programmes were restarted. However, due to the complexity and the length of crises, this understanding of LRRD has become outdated and has been replaced by the contiguum approach where there can be different articulations between relief and development actions at the same time within the same territory.

However, humanitarian aid programmes and development cooperation programmes are of a different nature and timeframe and involve different activities. They have distinct purposes, objectives, mandates, working methods and know-how. Both operators and donors need to deal with the new problems that this raises, and need to establish appropriate coordination and concertation mechanisms.

Since 2016, LRRD has gradually been replaced by the term, “humanitarian-development nexus” which encourages development actors to become more involved in managing the consequences of protracted crises. Another related issue is the link between security, peace-building and development.