In the last few decades NGOs have become increasingly involved in situations of conflict, especially civil conflict. Due to the issues of sovereignty and security, interventions in such conflict were in the past usually in the hands of international organisations such as the Red Cross family (ICRC and IFRC) and UN agencies, but today humanitarian responses increasingly include a wide range of other NGOs in central roles.
But how well are they able to respond to people’s needs in situations of conflict? in what ways can NGOs most usefully contribute? And what are the organisational capacities required is they are to be effective and appropriate in their response – building on people’s resilience rather than increasing their vulnerabilities?