Exit Strategies

Authored by: Sung Yong Lee , Alpaslan Özerdem

The Routledge Companion to Humanitarian Action

Print publication date:  March  2015
Online publication date:  March  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415844420
eBook ISBN: 9780203753422
Adobe ISBN: 9781135013936


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The term exit strategy suggests a plan which can be designed and executed to achieve the desired outcome. It creates the impression that a situation can be managed and that active engagement can be terminated in a clean and easy manner. Yet, an exit strategy is a highly complex process rather than a one-off event and its timing and sequencing are influenced by a wide range of external factors that cannot really be controlled. Contemporary humanitarian aid is a particularly complicated set of activities undertaken in an often highly politicized and insecure environment, involving multiple actors and agendas, and as such undertaken in a way which does not lend itself to an exit strategy.

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