Forum Spotlight: Global Forum for Improving Humanitarian Action

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ALNAP’s Global Forum for Improving Humanitarian Action was held on June 4 – 5, 2015 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Comprising hundreds of representatives from aid organizations, donor organizations and governments from around the world, the conference looked to examine, in a serious, collaborative, and substantive way, how we as a humanitarian community can adapt to current issues, increase the impact of our emergency response and do so in a way that preserves the human dignity of aid beneficiaries. IIHA Executive Director, Brendan Cahill (IDHA 9), was happy to represent the IIHA at the Forum.

The conference began with an opening address by US Ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, who posed four areas of consideration for the conference to explore: Security, Modernity, Dignity, and Money. Other issues discussed included the importance of building local capacities, the need to reduce duplication in humanitarian efforts, and the contributions of technological innovation. Many of the improvements suggested throughout the forum are not new. What is new is the technology that now allows for greater impact, as well as an expressed desire to be more efficient and effective in an era of increasing human induced and natural disasters. As the new UN Aid Chief, Stephen O’Brien, mentioned in his closing remarks, “The world is changing and we must change with it.” The conversations, many among representatives who have been involved in aid work for decades, reflected this desire for transformation and evolution.

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