In Evidence 6, we will explore the divergences in the importance each region gives to some terms. The analysis will be based on the comparison of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) consultations reports.

This post focuses on six regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, MENA, Latin America and the Caribbean and Oceania 1.

To prepare the analysis, we manually coded the documents. Codes were created to:

  1. Group the different declinations of a same term (i.e. impartiality, impartial);
  2. Group clusters of terms whose meaning depends on their association (i.e. climate change, disaster risk reduction, early recovery)

We identified an initial number of 73 codes. The graph below shows the co-occurrence matrix of these codes. A co-occurrence matrix is a network diagram that shows the words with similar appearance patterns. It also displays the associations between words and regions, in addition to the association between words. This type of analysis highlights the words which are central to several regions and the ones that specifically characterize one region.


How can we interpret the results of this analysis?

First, only two terms are central to several regions:

  • “need” which is central to the WHS consultations which took place in Africa, Europe, Asia and MENA;
  • “crisis” which centrally characterizes Asian; Latin American and Oceanic consultations.

Second, our graph shows that each regional consultation is characterized by an emphasis on specific terms. Yet, the number of terms is not the same for every region, depending on how each report frames the priorities. Let’s explore some of these specific focuses.

In Africa and Asia, a few co-occurring terms (4) are central. Yet, they reflect diverging priorities. In Africa, the link between a humanitarian and development approach is central as well as a focus on the effectiveness and accountability of humanitarian action. Advocacy appears to be a central practice. In Asia, the role of the “government” (a very frequent term) and civil society is emphasized. Capacity-building also appears to be a regional priority. In terms of context, “protracted crises” is frequently mentioned.

In contrast, the MENA region has the highest number of central terms (8). They reflect some regional priorities: “civilian and child protection”, “displaced populations” (including refugees, IDP and migrants) and “access”. Such priorities could be interpreted as resulting from the current conflict situations affecting the region.

Seven co-occurring terms are particularly central to Europe and Oceania. For Europe, these terms reveal a focus on general issues linked to humanitarian action. Europe is the only region giving a high importance to the humanitarian principles as well as to innovation and evidence. Concerns linked with security and conflict (reflected by “armed groups”) are also predominant. On the contrary, the Oceanian consultation on humanitarian action reveals a specific concern for climate change and resilience, which can be explained by the vulnerability of the island states concentrated in this region. “Community” is by far the most used term in the region.

Lastly, consulted actors in Latin America and the Caribbean emphasize 6 terms which reflect the importance of education, leadership, vulnerability, as well as gender issues for humanitarian practice.

Would you like to tell us what these results mean for you? Please use the comment form below.