chapter  31
Exit strategies
BySung Yong Lee, Alpaslan Özerdem
Pages 13

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 infl uenced 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.