By Clara Egger

This graph shows the prevalent sector of activities per region of intervention. The HOD uses the cluster approach as well as the typology used by ALNAP in the State of the Humanitarian System report to identify sectors of intervention. Sectors of activities are self-declared by organisation, so the results may reflect the willingness of humanitarian organisations to showcase their expertise in different sectors using the common terminology used in the sector. The reality of their practices may depart from such declarations. 

This graph shows that three regions host most humanitarian programmes : Africa, Asia and MENA. Note that the smallest number of programmes declared for MENA reflects the fact that the region is smaller than Africa and Asia. The three regions display similar patterns in terms of distribution of sectors. Health and protection programmes are predominant, reflecting the historical structuring of humanitarian assistance around these activities. They are closely followed by food assistance and food security programmes, another historical sector of intervention, and by education in emergency, which has become prominent more recently. Water and sanitation and early recovery programmes follow closely. The graph also reflects the growing importance of two areas of concern for humanitarian practice : security programmes - reflecting the insecurity aid workers face in crisis settings - and disaster risk reduction reflecting an increased attention - especially in Asia for preventing and mitigating the effect of climate change. In contrast, activities in the emergency telecommunication, logistics, coordination and camp management and coordination are more limited, reflecting the very specialised nature of such programmes. 

In comparison, the four other regions - Europe, Central South America and the Caribbean, North America and Oceania - show similar patterns. Numbers are lower in these regions as programmes rather focus on support services or advocacy programmes due to the more limited number of crises in those regions. This is also seen with the absence of specialised services highly connected with the implementation of in kind or cash programmes in these regions, such as camp coordination and camp management. 

This Expertise Note was contributed by Dr Clara Egger in collaboration with the Humanitarian Encyclopedia team, based on analysis of the Humanitarian Organisation Database (HOD).

Last update : Apr 13, 2021