According to a recent survey, almost two thirds of Canadians support increased collaboration among humanitarian agencies.
An Ipsos Reid poll conducted in the second week of May indicates that 65 per cent of respondents believe that all Canadian humanitarian organizations should work together to raise funds, thus reducing competition among them and the duplication of costs. Only 13 per cent of people surveyed supported the notion of organizations competing with each other for donations.
A significant number of Canadians also say that they would be more likely to give to future relief efforts if all of this country’s humanitarian agencies collaborated to raise funds. Indeed, 46 per cent of them make this claim while only five per cent predict that more collaboration would make them less likely to donate.
These findings point to a clear desire by Canadians to see organizations responding to international disasters work together to engage the public in a different way. Whether through established umbrella mechanisms such as the Humanitarian Coalition, or other forms of partnership, the message is that joining forces to assist those in need appeals to large sections of the public.
In the aftermath of the two major earthquakes that hit Nepal in the last few weeks, and the multiple and repeated requests for funding that reached Canadians in the days that followed, humanitarian organizations would do well to heed the results of this latest poll.
In many countries, humanitarian organizations already collaborate extensively in times of international disasters. For example, in the UK the Humanitarian Coalition’s counterpart (the Disasters Emergency Committee, or DEC) counts 14 member agencies. Their joint appeal mechanism, with its track record of dynamic and efficient campaigns, has so far raised the equivalent of more than $106 million CAD for Nepal survivors.
Should more humanitarian organizations in Canada also decide to work together, we can aspire to more synergies and, ultimately, more money going to life-saving programs.
Note: Results of this poll are accurate to within +/- 3.4 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.