International Rescue Committee (IRC)

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Acting, Fast & Slow

An International Rescue Committee blog offering insights into humanitarian action, policy and development

On the IRC’s Acting, Fast & Slow blog, IRC and invited experts analyze the effectiveness of aid — from funding to delivery — and explore the tensions between acting immediately to address pressing problems and acting slowly to build an evidence base. Fast & Slow posts also reflect on how to apply these lessons to different contexts, mitigate unintended consequences and shape policies.

These posts represent the personal views of contributing individuals and do not represent formal positions of the International Rescue Committee.

Posted by The IRC on March 31st, 2016
During the last two decades, substantial improvements in immunization coverage have occurred due to vaccine technology, cold chain equipment, and targeted global financing. But the job is not finished: total vaccine coverage in developing countries has stagnated around 80 percent. more »
Posted by Jeannie Annan on March 2nd, 2016
As the evidence grows from impact evaluations of development interventions, the answer about whether or not a program works can (counterintuitively) become more obscure. To better understand the evidence and think more systematically about how research should inform our programs (and do this relatively quickly), we recently borrowed from 3ie’s gap map approach. more »
Posted by The IRC on January 29th, 2016
The IRC has launched a series of policy briefs examining the challenges Syrian refugees in host countries like Jordan and Lebanon face in finding employment and and earning the income they need to rebuild their lives. more »
Posted by The IRC on January 14th, 2016
2016 is upon us, and with it enters renewed feelings of change and self-improvement. Such quests are often articulated in a New Year’s “Resolution.” Evidence shows, however, that New Year’s resolutions are often too grand to be realistic. more »
Posted by The IRC on December 17th, 2015
Nothing is easy in South Sudan, or with surveys, as I learned in my recent field visit with the IRC’s Client Voice and Choice Initiative. more »
Posted by The IRC on December 11th, 2015
The other night I was on a flight from Frankfurt to Addis, en route to Juba. It was past midnight and I was trapped somewhere between a futile attempt at sleep and a futile attempt to watch a bit of unwatchable in-flight entertainment. more »
Posted by The IRC on November 30th, 2015
A new IRC report refutes commonly held beliefs that do more than perpetuate misconceptions about the needs of refugees; by restricting access to family planning, they put women's lives at risk. more »
Posted by The IRC on November 13th, 2015
As cities are increasingly where humanitarian action responds to crises, can urban planning principles help humanitarians intervene more effectively? The IRC's Samer Saliba lists ten urban planning principles every humanitarian should know. more »
Posted by The IRC on November 2nd, 2015
Over the last three years, I have been to eastern Democratic Republic of Congo multiple times. During my visits I have been struck by changes reported by health facility committee members in South Kivu. more »