9:00—10:30 AM EDT

Area-Based Humanitarian Coordination: A More Inclusive Model?


  • May Kayali, Executive Director, Pekawa
  • Michael Koehler, Deputy Director General, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
  • Alix Masson, Advocacy Officer, NEAR
  • Rein Paulsen, Acting Director, Coordinator Division, UN OCHA 


  • Jeremy Konyndyk, Senior Policy Fellow, Center for Global Development

Coordination is essential to effective humanitarian action. But the humanitarian cluster coordination system has struggled with persistent weaknesses. 

It is dominated by large aid agencies and organizes humanitarian action around technical sectors, formalizing a siloed approach to response funding and planning. The architecture tends to be heavily centralized and weak at the frontlines, and reflects the prerogatives of aid agencies more than the people they serve.

A new paper from CGD argues that it is time for a reorientation: toward a coordination and planning system that is organized around the priorities of affected people. A hybrid architecture centered around the principles of area-based programming could retain the strengths of the existing system while addressing its weaknesses.

This event will gather coordination experts to discuss the future of humanitarian coordination and identify opportunities to better align it around the needs of aid recipients. We will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of an area-based hybrid model, share lessons learnt, and examine concrete steps toward a more inclusive and coherent coordination model.

Read the paper.

Subscribe today to receive CGD’s latest newsletters and topic updates.