Humanitarian County Team (HCT) protection strategies are an important step in establishing the centrality of protection in practice. However, as a framework for the operationalisation of protection as core to an entire humanitarian response, this remains largely aspirational. Country HCT protection strategies are generally a reference point for highlighting protection issues, but are rarely perceived as a strategic basis for prioritisation or decision-making within a humanitarian response. An HCT protection strategy is primarily a tool that acts as a catalyst that brings together existing and new activities under the HCT umbrella and can contribute to protection outcomes. This review is predominantly based on the desk review of ten HCT protection strategies and insights identified from their development, progress and approach to the centrality of protection.1 Based upon these findings, and moving away from a more conceptual approach to one that is pragmatic and present, this review provides recommendations for strengthening the country-level approach to centralising protection in humanitarian action.
This review, conducted in February and March 2020, covers the evolution and current state of HCT protection strategies, including their role in contributing to the centrality of protection.