Antonio Donini

Antonio DoniniVisiting Fellow

Antonio Donini works on issues relating to humanitarianism and the future of humanitarian action as well as on Afghanistan. He is also a research associate at the Geneva Graduate Institute’s Programme for the Study of Global Migration. From 2004 to 2013 he was a senior researcher at Feinstein. Prior to joining the Center he worked for 26 years in the United Nations in research, evaluation, and humanitarian capacities. His last post was as Director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance to Afghanistan (1999-2002).

Before going to Afghanistan Antonio was chief of the Lessons Learned Unit at OCHA, where he managed a program of independent studies on the effectiveness of relief efforts in complex emergencies. He has considerable experience in doing research in volatile or fraught contexts and experience in collecting and analyzing the perceptions of groups affected by crisis and conflict.

Antonio has published widely on humanitarian policy and practice issues, including on Afghanistan. In 2004 he co-edited the volume Nation-Building Unraveled? Aid, Peace, and Justice in Afghanistan (Kumarian Press). He coordinated the Humanitarian Agenda 2015 research project which analyzed local perceptions of humanitarian action in 13 crisis countries and authored the final HA 2015 report, The State of the Humanitarian Enterprise. He also published an edited volume on the politicization and manipulation of humanitarian action: The Golden Fleece: Manipulation and Independence in Humanitarian Action, Kumarian Press, 2012.

News Items

IRIN features Planning from the Future Report
January 30, 2017

Every week, IRIN’s team of editors curates a selection of humanitarian reports and opinion you may have missed, from in-depth analyses and features to academic studies and podcasts. On January…

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Antonio Donini’s opinion piece published by IRIN
November 30, 2016

On 30 November, 2016, IRIN published an opinion piece by Feinstein visiting fellow Antonio Donini: “The crisis of multilateralism and the future of humanitarian action.” In his piece, Antonio argues that multilateralism…

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Feinstein Research Projects

Planning From the Future

The Planning From the Future project aims to influence the direction of ‘non-traditional’ and traditional humanitarian actors to help them deal with a rapidly changing and potentially increasingly vulnerable world.

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Humanitarianism and Politics: Briefing Note Series
By Antonio Donini | January 2011

Building on earlier work in Afghanistan and our briefing note on “Humanitarianism Unraveled?” published in mid- 2010, we have issued similar briefing notes on the relationship between humanitarian action and politics in Sri Lanka, Darfur, Pakistan, and Somalia.

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Feinstein Publications

Planning from the Future: Is the Humanitarian System Fit for Purpose?
failings of the humanitarian system

Does the humanitarian system have the capacity and vision to respond effectively to the crises of today, tomorrow, and deep into the future? This report analyses the failings of the…

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Regional Humanitarian Challenges in the Sahel

The Sahel rarely makes headlines. Until the early 2000s, it was on the margins of geopolitical interest and of humanitarian action and debate. Today, the Sahel is on center stage…

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