The New Way of Working - ICVA
September 2017
The New Way of Working examined: an ICVA briefing paper

Narrative extracted from the ICVA paper, the "The New Way of Working" examined: An ICVA briefing paper. 

 

WHAT IS THE NEW WAY OF WORKING?

The New Way of Working (NWoW) is a method of work. It is when a diverse range of humanitarian, development, and – when appropriate – peace actors work towards collective outcomes over multiple years based on their comparative advantage.i The approach is context specific, and is meant to reinforce (rather than replace) existing national and local capacities. It is especially relevant in protracted crises. The goal of the NWoW is to reduce need, risk and vulnerability in line with the 2030 Agenda. The NWoW is not a goal in and of itself, and should not be confused with other approaches sharing similar aspirations. 

 

ELEMENTS

COLLECTIVE OUTCOME

A result or impact that is: 

  • • quantifiable
  • • measurable
  • • reduces people’s needs, risks, and vulnerabilities
  • • increases resilience
  • • requires the combined effort of different actors
  • • is commonly agreed

COMPARATIVE ADVANTAGE

When one individual, group or institution is the best placed to act, given its superior capacity and expertise to meet needs and contribute to the reduction of risk and vulnerability. An organization’s mandate does not necessarily give it the comparative advantage in every context.

CONTEXT SPECIFICITY

In some cases where there is an acute conflict or protection crisis it might not be feasible to pursue development goals, whilst in others national priorities might not be reconcilable with providing assistance and protection based on need.

 

MULTI-YEAR TIMEFRAMES USUALLY 3-5 YEARS

ANALYSIS

Actors share a common understanding of risks, needs, gaps and capacities. This is done when all relevant actors come together to:

  • • collect reliable data
  • • jointly consider the situation and problem at hand
  • • arrive at a joint problem statement, and
  • • identify priorities for collective action

PLANNING/ PROGRAMMING

Actors agree on a set of collective outcomes and then plan backwards from envisioned 3 – 5 year results. They start by asking:

  • • What will it take to achieve these outcomes?
  • • Which actors have the comparative advantage to deliver?

LEADERSHIP/ COORDINATION

An empowered UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) facilitates and connects actors in country regarding:

  • • the development of joint problem statements
  • • identifying, implementing and financing collective outcomes
  • • engaging national and local authorities

FINANCING

Financing is tied to collective outcomes rather than projects. It includes: 

  • • a range of flexible and predictable multiyear programming
  • • diversified tools (like concessional financing, risk insurance, bonds and other instruments)
  • • layering of short, medium and long term programmes, including by the World Bank and other Multilateral Development Banks
  • • Increased investments in prevention, sustainability, and localized responses