The pilot edition of the SOHS found that despite significant increases in both humanitarian funding and the global aid worker population, needs of affected populations were not being matched by resources.
Despite improvements, humanitarian actors felt that needs assessment remained a weakness in the system, with insufficient follow-up after assessments and beneficiaries continuing to feel that they hadn't been adequately consulted.
The pilot also found improvements in the timeliness and coordination within a response due to the incorporation of the cluster system and the CERF.
Monitoring continued to be consistently identified as a particular weakness within the system in many evaluations in the period, although survey respondents did feel that the quality of monitoring was improving.
The SOHS 2010 survey and interviews did note improvements in the professionalism of humanitarian staff, but evaluations continued to identify problems with high staff turnover and a need to invest more in human resource management systems.
Insufficient investment in local and national capacities was a repeated concern, as were the top-down orientation of the system and the risk of undermining local capacities. However, there are also signs of improvement in how international agencies work with local humanitarian actors.
Efficiency seemed to be neglected in terms of analysis according to the study, with issues such as the risk of corruption continuing to be relatively unaddressed in the literature and evaluations of humanitarian action.
Humanitarian aid agencies identified a lack of respect for humanitarian principles on the part of warring parties, donor governments and their militaries. Aid agencies also noted, however, that collectively they themselves were not doing enough to maintain principled approaches or to advocate effectively for respect for humanitarian principles and IHL vis-à-vis governments.