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The 2010 Humanitarian Response Index released by DARA last week assesses the effectiveness of donor practice in humanitarian aid. Like the QuODA assessment that we published with Brookings, HRI attempts to measure the quality of aid donors provide based on international standards of what makes aid effective. Principles and Good Practices of Humanitarian Donorship were agreed upon in 2003 by the world’s largest donor governments, and the 2010 HRI report monitors donors’ progress towards their commitments to these principles.

DAC donor countries gave an estimated $11.7 billion in humanitarian assistance out of about $120 billion in ODA in 2008. In QuODA, many of our indicators exclude consideration of humanitarian aid, instead assessing non-emergency aid for development that can be programmed at the country level.  We note in the QuODA report that humanitarian aid is of enormous value to individuals and, as it serves a different purpose, is best assessed separately from other forms of aid.

The HRI ranks 22 countries and the European Commission based on their response to humanitarian crises in 14 countries during 2009. It concludes that overall donors are not fulfilling their commitments to the principles of good practice in humanitarian aid. The top three performers on the HRI –Denmark, Ireland and New Zealand - score above average on QuODA as well, with varying performance across our four dimensions of aid quality.

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CGD blog posts reflect the views of the authors drawing on prior research and experience in their areas of expertise. CGD does not take institutional positions.