This study explores elements critical to effective humanitarian assistance and protection. It details global trends that shape humanitarian needs, risks and response expectations. It situates the study in the context of concurrent global agendas and recent trends in the dialogue on humanitarian effectiveness. The findings are organized around 12 elements of effectiveness. It concludes with five overarching shifts in mindset and approach that will contribute to strengthening humanitarian effectiveness as well as advancing areas of shared interests with other major change areas such as sustainable development, peacebuilding, climate change and gender equality. The study puts forward a model that can be used to chart progress in advancing humanitarian effectiveness over time.