Asking about “hopes” and “dreams” as a method of needs assessment in humanitarian assistance. Case study: Afro-Colombian IDPs in Cali


This thesis aims at contributing to the current knowledge about needs assessment
methods in humanitarian assistance by proposing an innovative protocol of
interview which is focused on the hopes and dreams of the people in need.

The thesis is based on three months of field work in Cali (Colombia) between June
and September 2017, in which social workers belonging to different organizations
were interviewed and the proposed method was tested on Afro-Colombian IDPs.

The research found that the protocol was effective in gathering useful information
from hopes and dreams of the people underlining at the same time its limits and
problems. The protocol proved to be valid for humanitarian needs assessments,
furthermore the thesis suggests that it could be used for longer-term planning of
humanitarian aid that takes into account the future of the people in need.