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The Humanitarian-Development Nexus: A Bridge Too Far?

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In their basic and caricature forms, development aid and humanitarian assistance highlight important differences that materialize in attitudinal, institutional, and funding obstacles in the implementation of the humanitarian-development nexus. While the nexus is implemented in order to respond to new types of crises characterised by the protracted nature of the conflicts, cooperation across the aisle has proved hard to achieve in practice. However, policymakers and practitioners have different perspectives on the nexus, and depending on the individual practitioners tasked with implementing the nexus, it can still work. To achieve this, boundary work is needed in order to overcome the distinct segments of the nexus’ constituent parts working in silos. To foster such boundary work, actors responsible for implementing the nexus in practice should be given greater autonomy so that the nexus is better sensitised to local actors, contexts and concerns, rather than being driven by headquarters’ policy demands.
  • Published year: 2022
  • Publisher: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Page count: 4
  • Language: English
  • Volume: 13
  • Journal: NUPI Policy Brief


  • Development policy
  • Humanitarian issues