Despite its significant role in many international humanitarian operations and in efforts to combat diseases such as TB and Lassa Fever, a consolidated, publically available account of Merlin's history does not exist.


The current process of Merlin's merger with Save the Children UK presents a logical moment to compile a history of the agency, to reflect on its experience of providing humanitarian assistance often in dangerous contexts and recognise its contribution and those of its staff, trustees and supporters. Merlin's 21 years corresponds to a remarkable period of expansion in the international humanitarian sector and so its history will also to provide insights into the issues, pressures and opportunities faced by humanitarian agencies during this period.

Merlin History Project

About the Project

The Merlin History Project team is being managed by Merlin's former Evidence and Impact Adviser who recently transferred to Save the Children. He is supported by a five member Steering Group.


Following an initial workshop with selected former staff in June the Merlin History Project formally began in August 2014. The first phase focussed on gathering material to construct a narrative 'spine'. The second phase running from November to December will focus on areas of particular interest drawing on additional interviews and the results of physical and online discussion forums. Report drafting will take place in early 2015 and be reviewed by an Editorial Committee. The final report is scheduled for completion in March 2015. 

Merlin team taking shelter in a bunker: Nagorno-Karabakh June 1993