Transformation Area 1: Championing Principled Humanitarian Action

The Principled Humanitarian Action Steering Committee


To address the growing constraints to humanitarian access and champion principled humanitarian action, ICVA has convened a Principled Humanitarian Action Steering Committee (PHASC) to develop guidance and tools to support individual aid agencies and coordination mechanisms to better navigate humanitarian dilemmas and promote principled decision-making.

The PHASC’s work is inspired by research on how agencies think about and apply the humanitarian principles in Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan. The Steering Committee links with initiatives by Humanitarian Outcomes, WFP and Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) and draws heavily from existing work by ICVA and PHASC members, including existing decision-making frameworks.

Read more in the Terms of Reference document.

Who we are

The Principled Humanitarian Action Steering Committee is convened by ICVA and comprises of representatives from:

What we are working on:

  1. A decision-making framework and tools to support agencies to more effectively navigate dilemmas. We are currently reviewing existing decision-making frameworks to decide the best approach.
  2. ICVA with support from Save the Children are compiling case studies on dilemmas to share real life learning with members – do share an anonymous case study for our soon to be published database.
  3. Establishing communities of practice to discuss dilemmas
  4. A paper on the practical application of the humanitarian principles
  5. A paper on how to build trust in coordination mechanisms to facilitate better information sharing and discussions on dilemmas.
  6. Workshops and training in at least 3 country contexts. Workshops can also be provided to individual agencies on request.

Essential resources

Terms of Reference – Principled Humanitarian Action Decision-Making Guidance For Aid Agencies and Coordination Mechanisms

Summary Report – 2024 ICVA Annual Conference Session One