Mark Simmons, Cord CEO.

From my perspective, four themes dominated the World Humanitarian Summit: localisation, faith, political will, and the distinctiveness (or not) of humanitarian and development assistance. 

Although the Summit’s commitments are non-binding, if we – governments and civil society alike – live up to them we will have come a long way.  Aid would be more relevant to local needs and more accessible to local organisations.  Faith-based actors would be more included, and hopefully more inclusive.  They would be recognised as first responders and sources of provision and comfort, and would live up to these expectations. 

Spiritual, emotional and social need would be as relevant as physical need.  Politicians globally would recognise their responsibilities, their citizens’ rights, and the needs and well-being of all people.  They would take decisions that go beyond narrow considerations of power, wealth and influence.  They would accept that leaving no-one behind means making difficult political choices.  And the unit of measurement for effectiveness would not be outputs and activities but people: their needs; their expectations; their enthusiasm; their experiences of transformation. 

What was missing for me in the summit was the love. 

Each of us is motivated to respond to need not by politics or economics but by compassion and love, and if we keep this sense of personality and unconditional concern we will have had an even more successful Summit.