Tag Archives: International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Design for Humanity Initiative

Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs and Vignelli Center for Design Studies Announce Design for Humanity Initiative

February 1, 2018, New York City – At a time of heightened and prolonged crises, humanitarian actors persistently strive to respond to affected communities with more effective and dignified relief and recovery interventions. Similarly, designers and architects endeavor to contribute their skills for social change and humanitarian action to uplift human rights and dignity.

Whether ensuring more dignified shelters and settlements for displaced persons, designing more inclusive and resilient urban ecosystems or employing art and design as a vehicle for advocacy–the possibilities for design and humanitarian action are endless.

The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs at Fordham University is thus partnering with the Vignelli Center for Design Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) to launch a three-year Design for Humanity Initiative.

A Design for Humanity Summit will be held on June 22, 2018 at Fordham University. Presenters and participants will identify current best practices, needs, and gaps in the humanitarian sector as well as generate design strategies and future partnerships.

“By facilitating an exchange between humanitarian responders and multi-talented design professionals, we believe both communities can devise and implement more sustainable, human-centered, participatory and innovative design strategies,” said Brendan Cahill, IIHA Executive Director.

“Industrial designers, graphic designers, interior designers, and architects bring critical design thinking and a participatory problem solving process to humanitarian challenges. We innovate to respond to human needs and alleviate real-world problems,” said R. Roger Remington, Director of RIT’s Vignelli Center for Design Studies.

The Summit will explore how innovative design can reshape humanitarian action for the benefit of people affected by crises by highlighting a range of piloted and pioneered design innovations for humanitarian response as well as facilitating future partnership and project implementation.

“Design professionals and the humanitarian community can play a significant role in supporting humanitarian relief processes through more sustainable, human-centered, and participatory design strategies. Bringing together designers, humanitarian practitioners, private sector, academia and government to look at best practices from the field will allow innovative solutions for emergency and protracted crisis response,” said Alberto Preato, IIHA Humanitarian Design Visiting Research Fellow.

Mr. Preato works as Program Manager for the UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Niger where  he coordinates protection and assistance for vulnerable migrants traversing the Sahel on the Central Mediterranean Route and oversees emergency assistance to internally displaced persons in the Lake Chad Basin.

Humanitarian principles of ethics, community participation, and inclusivity will be core themes that remain central to the Summit and follow-up initiatives.

Whether ensuring more dignified housing and settlements for displaced persons, designing urban spaces more resilient to climate change or employing art and design as a vehicle for advocacy – the possibilities for design and humanitarian collaboration are endless.

Humanitarian and design professionals are welcome to join the Design for Humanity Initiative. Sign up here to stay up to date and participate.

Media Contact
Angela Wells, IIHA Communications Officer
awells14@fordham.edu

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Reflection from Mohamed Idan, IDHA 23 Alumnus

I first learned about the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance course for aid workers and professional humanitarian actors in 2006. It seemed, on paper, as if the IDHA was especially designed for a person like myself: working in the developing world and searching to bring additional knowledge, skills and leadership abilities to their home communities. That would turn out to be true.

I attended IDHA 23, held in Nairobi in November 2007, on a scholarship. That generosity has enabled me to pass on to my own people – and others throughout the region – a skillset and way of looking at problems resulting in sustainable solutions. The course changed my whole conception of what it means to be a professional humanitarian aid worker. I honestly can say that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the professional courses of the IDHA.

I was surprised when I was first told of IDHA founder Dr. Kevin Cahill’s familiarity with Somalia and Somaliland – advising top officials of various governments since the 1960s and more importantly, always assisting the people on the ground. I was surprised in the sense that many people have come to “help” and then gone on to the next crisis. Few have kept a consistent relationship for over a half-century. That is what friendship and  “humanitarian action” should mean. And that is what the IDHA courses mean as well. Dr. Cahill’s founding in 1994, with his friend and colleague, the honored Elder Abdulrahim Abby Farah, was a further continuation of that friendship. After the civil war ended, Dr. Cahill, Abdulrahim Abby Farah and the CIHC were able to fill a gap in the field at a time when the people of Somaliland needed such an organization. A problem was assessed and a solution utilizing the skills of the people of Hargeisa was found.

Personally, undergoing the IDHA 23 diploma shed light on my experiences and career, allowing me to work with many organizations. I have had the opportunity to work with UNESCO and Save the Children, where I became Program Coordinator of Education for Emergencies projects. From there, I went to the International Organization for Migration as Program Officer for Mixed Migration/Counter Human Trafficking. I was later appointed to a national officer post. Currently, I am Head of Office for the International Organization for Migration in the Hargeisa Sub-Office where I supervise 20 national staff implementing six projects, including WASH/Health, institutional capacity building, migration management, emergency assistance, and voluntary return and reintegration programs.

It was the IIHA team’s encouragement and persistence that taught me that I can accomplish what I set out to do and be the finest professional. I also learned to expect these same high standards from my colleagues. I know that I am capable, but it will take hard work and lots of dedication. Your team promoted an environment where I felt like I was able to not only share my contributions but also to know my input was also considered and appreciated. If I can pass that wisdom onto others, the training and support the IIHA offered me was a smart investment.

I have had many teachers in my life and I can honestly say none has inspired me as much as Larry Hollingworth. He really goes the extra mile – sometimes the extra 10 miles – for students.

I hope to become an individual that makes your institution proud, epitomizingthe values the IIHA stands for and by which you have built your highly-regarded reputation.

Your generosity has inspired me to help others and give back to the community who need my professional services. I promise you I will work very hard and continue to give back to others, too.

Thank you again for your generosity and support Kevin Cahill.

Mohamed Idan

National Officer/Officer in Charge
Hargeisa Office
IOM Mission for Somalia

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Humanitarian Newsletter: October 26, 2016

Read the latest IIHA Humanitarian Newsletteriiha-with-website featuring a letter from Executive Director Brendan Cahill about the upcoming departure of Program Officer Kasia Laskowski from the IIHA team, news about Fordham University and the IIHA‘s new partnership with the International Organization for Migration, and articles by CIHC Board Member Lord David Owen and IIHA Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow Alexander van Tulleken, M.D.! This edition also includes updates and reunions from our wonderful IIHA alumni around the world, a list of our upcoming training courses, jobs and internship opportunities in the humanitarian sector, and our monthly Innovation Corner by High Tech Humanitarians!

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Fordham and the IIHA formalize partnership with IOM

IIHA and IOM

Roger Milici, Stephen Freedman, Joseph M. McShane, S.J., Ambassador William Lacy Swing, Ashraf El Nour, Brendan Cahill, and Olivia Headon (Photo by Dana Maxson)

Ambassador Swing and Joseph M. McShane, S.J. Fordham University and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) are proud to announce our partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which was formalized by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Fordham University President Joseph M. McShane, S.J. and IOM Director General Ambassador William Lacy Swing at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus in New York.

dmp_8882The agreement between the two organizations was led and negotiated by IIHA Executive Director, Brendan Cahill (IDHA 9), who emphasized the importance of the partnership for training, research, and publications. We extend our sincere thanks to CIHC Board Member and IDHA Alumni Council Chairperson Emeritus, Argentina Szabados (IDHA 2), who, in her roles as IOM Regional Director for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia and Special Representative to IOM Director General, has been an absolutely integral part of the process.

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Alumni Update: Joe Lowry (IDHA 12)

Joe Lowry (IDHA 12) shared with us a blog piece he authored for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing in advance of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) last month. You can read the text and watch the full video of the spoken word blog post on Joe’s blog.

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UNHCR Resource Update: Training Package on the Protection of LGBTI Persons in Forced Displacement

The comprehensive training package on the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons in forced displacement, developed jointly with International Organization for Migration IOM, covers a wide variety of topics, including terminology, international law, communication, operational protection, conducting interviews, durable solutions, health, and refugee status determination, all with a focus on practical guidance for UNHCR and partner organizations. Through a series of field tests undertaken in 2015, UNHCR staff from around the world have helped to refine these materials to ensure that they are operationally relevant globally. All modules include a facilitation guide, participant workbook, and presentation, which can be downloaded. In addition to the main modules, short versions of the foundation topics, including a webinar that allows staff members to do basic self-study, are part of the training package. The training package includes general and module-specific guidance for facilitators, as well as other training aides, to promote the use of these materials in the field.

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Alumni Update: Joe Lowry (IDHA 12)

Joe Lowry was featured in the Bangkok Post for his article Through Migrants Eyes. The article, originally penned for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and then posted on his blog, discusses the plight of migrants and refugees across Southeast Asia, the global migration crisis, and the responsibilities of the international community.

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Alumni Update: Eman Hassan (IDHA 40)

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Eman Hassan (IDHA 40), Resettlement Support Center (RSC) Supervisor, South Asia for International Organization for Migration (IOM), recently shared with us details about her ongoing work in Nepal. Eman is currently working in Damak, a small town located in the south east of Nepal, for the resettlement program for the refugees in South Asia region. The RSC processes the cases of refugees in Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India who will be resettled to third countries. In her role as RSC Supervisor, Eman is responsible for the cases of refugees who will be resettled to the USA. Despite the recent earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25th, the RSC did not stop the resettlement process at any time, resuming work immediately from Monday, April 27 until the present time, in order not to disrupt the cases or affect the refugees. In addition to this specific response to refugee resettlement, IOM is also responding to the Nepal earthquake by delivering aid to affected areas.

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Alumni Update: Joe Lowry (IDHA 12)

Joe Lowry (IDHA 12) has recently authored two blog posts about the impact of Cyclone Pam on Vanuatu. The first, “All the Leaves Are Gone…” focuses on the preparedness for, physical impact of, and current recovery efforts from the storm. The second, “Pamela: Child of the Cyclone” tells the story of one newborn evacuee and discusses what IOM is doing to help, including implementing their Displacement Tracking Matrix.

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Alumni Update: Mlungisi Kunene (IDHA 38)

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Mlungisi Kunene (IDHA 38) recently received a promotion to join the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as Regional Programme Officer. He is also currently pursuing a Masters in Forced Migration and Displacement through the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

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