Humanitarian Action

The Humanitarian Policy and Practice (HPP) Team provides leadership and staff support to InterAction members that are active in humanitarian response and advocacy. Humanitarian action provides life-saving services and facilitates the return to normalcy for people and communities affected by natural and man-made disasters. It also seeks to lessen the destructive impact of disasters and complex emergencies. Humanitarian response is guided by the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence, which provide a common framework for organizations involved in humanitarian action. 

For decades, humanitarian organizations within the InterAction alliance have provided services, materials and logistical aid to affected people in crises. InterAction supports the work of these members by providing a forum for consultation, coordination and advocacy on emergency response. Beyond immediately responding to emergencies, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engage in activities to improve the overall response of the international humanitarian system. InterAction engages at various levels with United Nations agencies, the U.S. Government, NGO consortia and individual international NGOs on cross-cutting issues and specific country situations.

The HPP Team comprises the following focus areas:

  • Humanitarian Practice focuses on coordinating and improving InterAction member responses to specific crises, ensuring that past lessons are incorporated and humanitarian principles are followed. This area also engages with the emerging initiatives related to standards and certification in the humanitarian sector.
  • Humanitarian Policy looks at humanitarian response and coordination on a global scale, with particular emphasis on representing the U.S. NGO community on the various policy bodies of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC).
  • Protection works on strengthening protection in humanitarian action through programming, policy development and advocacy. It includes an initiative to develop and promote Results-Based Protection, work on Gender-Based Violence and other specific protection concerns.
  • Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA) seeks to enhance NGO’s ability to prevent and respond to the risk of sexual exploitation and abuse by their own staff. 
  • NGO Security works with members to ensure that they have appropriate systems in place to protect their field staff against threats in an increasingly violent environment for humanitarian programs.
  • Shelter and Settlements focuses on improving member programs in the area of emergency shelter, guided by the approach that shelter is more than four walls and roof; effective programs ensure that the affected populations' safety and dignity are bolstered through a holistic approach linking the shelter response to other program components.