This 50th edition of Humanitarian Exchange, co-edited with Rachel Houghton, focuses exclusively on partnerships in humanitarian action. Articles explore a wide range of different arrangements, including clusters, consortia and networks, involving NGOs, the UN, the private sector, academic researchers, ‘southern’ or local organisations and host governments.

Articles by Dayna Brown and Anne Street suggest that more needs to be done to address unequal power relations in partnerships between international and local institutions, while John Twigg looks at local partnerships for disaster risk reduction. Terry Gibson reflects on how local views have influenced the Global Network for CSOs in Disaster Risk Reduction, and Ruth Allen and Catherine Russ provide insights from partnership working in Haiti and Pakistan. Faizal Perdaus highlights how MERCY Malaysia has used cross-sector partnerships with local organisations, international NGOs and government actors in Malaysia, Myanmar and Gaza to overcome obstacles to reaching people in need. Roman Pryjomko, a professional partnership broker, also makes the case for more cross-sector partnering in the humanitarian sector, drawing on his experiences in Pakistan.

Christine Knudsen outlines how the protection cluster in Northern Uganda has tried to operationalise the Principles of Partnership, and Maria Kiani reports on the work of the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International in Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya. Three NGO consortia – the Emergency Capacity Building Project, the Consortium of British Humanitarian Agencies and the ASEAN Partnership Group discuss their experience of partnership working, and James Shaw-Hamilton discusses how more cross-cultural collaboration between ‘Western’ and ‘Islamic’ NGOs in the Middle East could improve humanitarian response in the region. Finally, Ellen Martin and James Darcy explore the motives and drivers of collaboration between the commercial and humanitarian sectors, while Jess Camburn identifies key steps to forming effective partnerships between NGOs and research organisations.

Issue 50 articles