Paul Knox-Clarke

MA in Anthropology


Paul Knox Clarke has worked as a manager in humanitarian response operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Mali and Sri Lanka, as well as in HQ roles for Save the Children (UK) and the UN World Food Programme. He has also provided advice on organisational strategy and design to senior management in a variety of international organisations, including Oxfam, The Global Fund, UNFCCC, UNOPS  and UNV. Paul now works as the Head of Research at the humanitarian network ALNAP, where he leads a dynamic research and communications team.

Teaching interests

Humanitarian effectiveness; trends in humanitarian action; leadership and coordination; the role of the state and civil society in humanitarian action; urban humanitarian response; accountability, participation and engagement.

Research interests

The evolving role and scope of international humanitarian action; the meaning and measurement of humanitarian effectiveness; organisational behaviour, structures and inter-relationships in the humanitarian system; organisational and systemic change.

Examples of recent projects

  • Design and delivery of the Global Forum on Humanitarian Action; a collaboration between ALNAP, the US government and the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit
  • Involvement in the design of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)
  • Presentations to, and participation in, the Interaction results based protection initiative
  • Support to the Strategic Transformative Agenda Implementation Team, including materials development and facilitation of work with Humanitarian Country Teams.
  • rovision of leadership and coordination training to members of Humanitarian Country Teams,
  • Humanitarian Coordinators, Cluster Coordinators and UNHCR senior managers
  • Briefings and presentations to donor representatives (USAID/OFDA, SIDA and German MFA) on humanitarian coordination and issues of humanitarian effectiveness
  • Participation in the Advisory group to OCHA’s Humanitarian Effectiveness Project
  • Development of ALNAP projects around leadership and coordination; accountability and feedback mechanisms; evidence in humanitarian action; the role of local NGOs in humanitarian action; urban response.

Publications, conference papers and presentations

  • ‘Change in humanitarian organisations’ in ALNAP Review of Humanitarian Action 2008, ALNAP / ODI
  • Meeting the Urban Challenge: adapting humanitarian efforts to an urban world (with Ben Ramalingam) Alnap / ODI 2012
  • ‘Insufficient evidence? The quality and use of evidence in humanitarian action’ (with James Darcy) ALNAP / ODI 2014
  • ‘Between chaos and control: rethinking operational leadership’; ALNAP / ODI 2014
  • ‘Exploring coordination in humanitarian clusters’ (with Leah Campbell) ALNAP / ODI 2015
  • ‘Briefing papers on humanitarian effectiveness 1-7 (with Alice Obrecht) ALNAP / ODI 2015

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