Monthly Archives: January 2016

World Humanitarian Summit 2016 Update

Given the growing scale of humanitarian needs around the world and an ever more complex humanitarian landscape, the United Nations Secretary-General called for the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, which will be held in Istanbul, Turkey on May 23 & 24, 2016. This three-year initiative is being managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The WHS aims to find new ways to address humanitarian needs in our fast-changing world and to bring the global community together to commit to new ways of working together to save lives and reduce hardship around the globe. In 2015, the WHS and its partners organized 5 regional consultations, 2 thematic consultations and a Global Consultation. Hundreds of thousands of people viewed the WHS website and the number of people consulted climbed to over 23,000 voices from 164 countries. In September 2015, the WHS published a Synthesis Report, Restoring Humanity: Global Voices Calling for Action, which summarizes the outcomes of the consultation process and proposes 5 Action Areas to transform humanitarian action: dignity, safety, resilience, partnerships and finance. WHS also released the Final Report of the Global Consultation and announced that the UN Secretary-General will launch the Report of the High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing on January 17, 2016 in Dubai. With the World Humanitarian Summit now less than 5 months away, the WHS encourages the support of its partners and the continued participation of voices from around the world.

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Humanitarian Newsletter: January 20, 2016

Read the latest IIHA Humanitarian Newsletter, which announces the launch of the IIHA’s new partnership with High Tech Humanitarians! This edition also features academic articles and resources, alumni updates, and opportunities and events in the humanitarian sector.

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IIHA Launches Partnership with High Tech Humanitarians (HTH)

The IIHA begins 2016 with a new challenge: to support the dissemination and promotion of humanitarian innovation worldwide. This initiative, spearheaded by the development of a web platform called High Tech Humanitarians (HTH) and promoted by IIHA’s Humanitarian Innovation Fellow, Giulio Coppi, has a special focus on Open Source Technology. The open approach allows NGOs and local organizations to use, modify, adapt, and improve the solutions they prefer according to their own needs. In the future, HTH aims to expand its network to like-minded organizations at all levels, to create real and virtual spaces for open humanitarian innovation.
HTH is the first free platform for open source humanitarian innovation, to allow universal access to life-changing technology. HTH’s lean, simple structure and appearance is conceived to facilitate access from any kind of device, even if running on a very slow connection.
HTH believes that the lack of awareness about existing free tools is the primary obstacle in the struggle to give universal and equal access to life-saving and life-changing technological solutions.
Aimed at tech-friendly humanitarians, development actors, social workers, intrepid communities, and all other innovation-minded people, HTH promotes a culture of open source and equal, universal access to emerging technology, be it high-end or frugal, for everyone in the world. For this purpose, all the content of HTH is free under Creatives Common policy, notably the Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International Public License.
To get started, just explore the Toolbox to find the OpenTech solution that best fits your needs, suggest an open source solution which is still not in the database for others to discover, or register to the HTH newsletter! Once you pick your tool, adapt it, use it, and if you want please share your experience by email or connect with the HTH community by following HTH on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or YouTube.

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Alumni Update: Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43)

Over the holidays, Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43), shared with us a note of Christmas greetings and gratitude that highlights the incredible work of Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in Maban, South Sudan. In the letter, Pau writes “As JRS team here in Maban, we are filled with hope despite all the challenges. Thanks to all of you we have enjoyed the best gift: to be able to share our lives with our forcibly displaced brothers and sisters.”

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Alumni Update: Kara Lightburn (IDHA 36)

Kara Lightburn (IDHA 36) was recently featured in an article, Like Mother, Like Daughter: Helping Those in Need”, with her mother, Anita Lightburn, Ph.D., a Professor in Fordham’s Graduate School of Social Service and Director of the Beck Institute on Religion and Poverty.

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Alumni Update: Andy McElroy (IDHA 16)

Andy McElroy’s (IDHA 16) latest post for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) “India Responds to Quake” talks about how India responded to the most recent earthquake, and its role as one of the leaders of the DRR agenda in Asia Pacific.

 

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Alumni Update: Brendan Cahill (IIHA Executive Director, IDHA 9)

In the Fordham News article “2016: Which Way are We Headed?” Brendan Cahill (IIHA Executive Director, IDHA 9) looks ahead to what 2016 might bring for the swell of refugees and global refugee services.

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Featured Resource: NRC Risk Management Toolkit

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) Risk Management Toolkit builds on the 2013 NRC/OCHA Study on the Impact of Donor Counterterrorism Measures on Principled Humanitarian Action, commissioned at the IASC’s request. The study found that donor counterterrorism measures can have a negative impact on humanitarian action such as restricting funding, stalling project implementation, and leading to an increased climate of self-censorship by humanitarian actors. The toolkit provides examples of practical steps that humanitarian organizations can take, and are already taking, to strengthen risk management in relation to counterterrorism measures through an approach underpinned by humanitarian principles. It focuses on five areas where NGOs and UN agencies may be able to strengthen organizational risk management procedures. These are: codes of conduct and counterterrorism policies; due diligence measures; human resource policies; anti-diversion policies; and monitoring and evaluation procedures. Negotiation and review of counterterrorism clauses in partnership agreements, a typical area of concern for humanitarian organizations, are also included. Primarily directed at decision-makers with operational and risk management responsibilities and policy makers, we hope this toolkit will be a timely and useful resource for colleagues in both the field and headquarters. The toolkit is an inter-agency effort and was developed in collaboration with IASC colleagues. Substantial contributions were made by NGOs, UN agencies, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and some governments.

(Brief adapted from introductory letter by Jan Egeland, NRC Secretary General)

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Featured Report: World Disasters Report 2015

“Other crises where local people have taken the lead include the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the Nepal earthquakes this year, IFRC Secretary General Elhadj As Sy (IDHA Honoris Causa Recipient) wrote in a foreword to the annual report.”

Local responders are effective not just because they are there when a disaster hits, but because they know how things work and can identify the causes of problems, he added.

“They are uniquely placed to find solutions that reduce underlying risks because of their understanding of local contexts – of weather patterns, of community leaders, of vulnerabilities and of sources of strength,” he wrote.

“That expertise can be harnessed to make communities more resilient to future threats, ” he said.

For more information, view the World Disasters Report 2015 (IFRC).

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