Our Work

Transition From Relief To Development

The importance of facilitating the transition from relief to development in the aftermath of conflict and large-scale natural disasters is widely recognized. But implementing effective programs and establishing the requisite support remain elusive. Again and again, we see an inability to initiate and sustain a recovery process, leaving many thousands of people without  basic services, and protection, as well as displaced for years beyond the initial emergency.

Obstacles to effective transitions include: weak national governments in affected countries; confusion and lack of collaboration within donor aid structures; ineffective leadership by the UN Development Program (the UN agency coordinating the early recovery cluster); and inability to expand the scope and scale of effective programs previously implemented. The global trend of urbanization and the slow pace of rural development further complicate these issues, as many displaced persons prefer to remain in urban centers as opposed to returning to rural areas where they may not have as many livelihood opportunities.  InterAction's conducted research on the transition from relief to development in three countries – Liberia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Funded by the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the project produced three case studies and a final summary report. These are intended to serve as resources for improving transitional programs Throughout 2012, InterAction staff conducted a combination of desk research, site visits, and interviews with relevant governments, donors, UN, and NGO personnel to develop case studies on Liberia, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The goal is to identify specific challenges posed in the selected locations by the transition process, as well initiatives to address these challenges. The final report and country case studies can be found below.

Final Summary Report 

From Crisis to Recovery: Lost in Transition

Pakistan: An Incomplete Transition

Liberia: Out of the Ashes

Sri Lanka: Transitioning from a Humanitarian Crisis to a Human Rights Crisis


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