Organizations involved in humanitarian action: Introducing a new dataset

Clara Egger, Doris Schopper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
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Although the humanitarian sector has gained prominence in the management of contemporary conflicts, data on the diversity of organizations involved in humanitarian aid are scarce and do not rely on well-founded inclusion criteria. This lack of data limits not only our knowledge of humanitarian action but also our understanding of international security and of non-state actors' role in foreign aid. The Humanitarian Organisations Dataset (HOD) seeks to fill these gaps. Based on clear and reproducible criteria, 2,505 organizations active in the humanitarian sector have been identified while information on their history, nature, activities, and geographical location has been collected. Our analyses depart from prevailing Western-centered accounts of humanitarian, show regional variations in types of organizations, and identify distinct historical patterns by region and by type of organization. They also document a large span of humanitarian activities, going beyond the current exclusive focus on in-kind assistance. We illustrate how the dataset can contribute to further research through its combination with other data and explore the relationship between NGOs and governments in humanitarian aid funding. Beyond its value for scholars, we anticipate that the HOD will also be of interest to policymakers and nonacademic users concerned with humanitarian action and crisis-management issues.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbersqac009
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number2
Early online date7 Apr 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s) (2022). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Studies Association.


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