• DAC-CSO Reference Group

Feet on the Ground: CSOs weigh in the challenges of the Triple Nexus approach

Today’s international development landscape is seeing increasingly complex and compounded crisis situations, demonstrating a call for a human rights-based, people-centered and interdisciplinary approach to global challenges. In addressing these challenges, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation, and Development - Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) adopted the DAC Recommendation on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus (HDP or Triple Nexus) for donor countries and development actors to strengthen the coordination of humanitarian, development, and peace actors and synergise their responses.


The OECD-DAC emphasises that this approach is especially important in conflict-stricken regions and fragile states. Such a framework, they explain, recognises that organisations and other relevant actors must target an equal weighing of the nexus’ pillars in their initiatives to sufficiently prevent conflict and confront inequality. In short, their interventions must be holistically programmed “in a complementary, coherent, and coordinated manner.”[3] With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the midst of persisting development challenges, the need to operationalise the Triple Nexus and maximise its impact is more pressing than ever.

With this novel approach to fragility and no one standard process and model in place to facilitate implementation of the nexus, there is a need for collaborative learning and capacity development for humanitarian, peace and development actors. Assessment from initial programs must be utilised to inform and advise the implementation of the HDP nexus in fragile and conflict-affected contexts. As such, the DAC-CSO Reference Group’s Peace & Security Thematic Working Group conducted a survey in November 2020 to gather initial data on the efforts of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in integrating the HDP nexus in their programming. Furthermore, the survey allowed 18 member CSOs of the Reference Group to express any hindrances in employing this approach, opening space for discussion on strategies and recommendations moving forward.


Last May 31, 2021, the Peace & Security Thematic Working Group held a Lessons Learning Webinar to discuss initial findings from the survey. The webinar was attended by members of the DAC-CSO Reference Group and other HDP actors, who participated actively in building upon the survey report’s analysis and policy recommendations. Overall, the survey and lessons learning session aimed to observe the compatibility of the nexus with current CSO practices and discover potential ways in which discrepancies may be addressed. The survey report reflects the results from the survey, as well as insights from the lessons learning webinar.


In this regard, the nexus survey has the following objectives: (1) to compile CSO initiatives in implementing the HDP nexus in various contexts; (2) to identify best practices and challenges in the CSO implementation of the nexus; (3) to bridge the gap among the policies, frameworks and on-ground implementation of the HDP nexus; and (4) to formulate policy recommendations from CSO experiences for succeeding implementation of the HDP nexus by donor countries, civil society organisations and other development actors.


This survey report aims to contribute to the body of work tackling the Triple Nexus, providing a CSO perspective on the matter. In the spirit of peer learning on how to join up humanitarian, development and peace initiatives in building resilience, the survey can serve as a reliable source of information for the OECD-DAC, donor countries, and humanitarian, peace and development actors that will be implementing the Triple Nexus, to ensure proper coordination and synergy among the three pillars and the actors involved. Good practices can be built upon, challenges can be solved and recommendations can be heeded in order to maximise efforts to leave no one behind.


To get a full copy of the report, please click the links below:

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