Development Policy Committee: A triple nexus approach is needed for development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and peace actions

Development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and peace actions should provide a more efficient joint response to the needs of people affected by crises. Closer collaboration between the various actors is therefore vital. This is the key conclusion of the analysis published by the Development Policy Committee (DPC), in which an expert group consisting of representatives of DPC members analyses the current situation and provides recommendations for the next steps to be taken for further improvements.

The publication discusses the triple nexus approach particularly in fragile contexts and protracted conflicts. There is an obvious need for closer collaboration, as a significant number of partner countries in Finland’s bilateral development cooperation are fragile states. These include countries such as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Myanmar. Finland is also known as a committed humanitarian assistance provider and peace actor.

Increasingly difficult situations emphasize the need for collaboration

The triple nexus approach refers to measures that aim to strengthen coherence and complementarity of development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and peace actions. Collaboration with local actors and their commitment to the process also play a key role in this.

When successful, this new and more coherent way of working can lead to sustainable peace through seamless and more appropriate actions, as viewed from the perspective of people in target countries and the realisation of their rights. This is the main objective of the triple nexus approach.

The most compelling pressure for reform arises directly from increasingly difficult operating environments often involving a coexistent need for humanitarian assistance, development cooperation as well as peace actions. In these situations, humanitarian needs may continue for a long time or re-emerge. It is therefore important to act also through development cooperation at the same time. This could include cooperation in education, water and sanitation, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Similarily, the need for different forms of peace action is determined by the context.

Finland well-placed to strengthen the triple nexus approach

Despite the growing need, it may be challenging to bolster collaboration between development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and peace actions. The OECD/DAC  recommendation on the humanitarian-development- peace nexus provides a guideline and principles for the triple nexus approach.

According to the DPC report, Finland is well-placed to strengthen collaboration between triple nexus actors. This, however, requires stronger political will, determined leadership and policies supporting collaboration between the sectors. Also required is a change in ways of thinking and working in financing and in donor and partner countries  to make triple nexus a reality.

Finland currently still lacks such an approach. In addition, civil society organisations (CSOs) require more specific instructions.  

The full report Greater than the sum of its parts – Why is a triple nexus approach needed for Finland’s development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and peace actions? can be found on the DPC website(Link to another website.) (in Finnish).


Inka Hopsu, Chair, DPC, tel. +358 40 758 9545,

Marikki Stocchetti, Secretary General, DPC, tel. +358 40 525 8649,

The Development Policy Committee (DPC) is the only body monitoring and analysing Finnish development cooperation and policy on a systematic and broad basis. Appointed by the Government for its four-year term in office, the DPC members represent parliamentary parties, interest groups and civil society organisations as well as member universities of the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID) network.