What is Known About Capacity and Coordination of Social Assistance Programmes in Crisis Situations?

This paper reviews the literature and documented evidence on capacity and coordination issues in crisis situations, where social protection and humanitarian assistance intersect. The paper finds that while there is a burgeoning literature that mentions capacity and coordination, very little of this focuses on crisis situations. Although both terms are mentioned frequently, they are rarely defined or robustly and systematically assessed. The little literature that does exist points to a substantial knowledge gap on both the ways in which capacity and coordination deficits undermine the delivery of social assistance in crisis situations and what can be done to overcome these deficits. Frameworks that could be useful in exploring these questions in crisis situations are identified including those that differentiate between technical and functional elements of capacity, and between technical, political, social and behavioural aspects of coordination.