Tag Archives: OCHA

Humanitarian Innovation Corner – July 2016

Following on from the IIHA and HTH’s recent participation in HumTech2016 alongside representatives from OCHA, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Microsoft, and MIT Boston, IIHA Innovation was invited to another series of plenaries in high level events throughout the month of June.


Representing the IIHA and HTH at the 2016 Academic Council on the United Nations System (ACUNS) Annual Meeting at Fordham University in New York, Giulio Coppi joined H.E. Oh Joon, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the UN and President of ECOSOC; Stephen Browne, Co-Director, Future UN Development System (FUNDS) Project; and Lesley Bourns, Policy Analysis and Innovation Section, OCHA, in the final plenary discussion about the Takeaways from the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).

IIHA Innovation also accepted the opportunity to join the American Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in a session for the 48th International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA) dedicated to humanitarian technology. Over the next few months, High Tech Humanitarians (HTH) will be implementing a series of activities and projects, and is currently gathering applications from groups of volunteers worldwide to help shape the Humanitarian Labs of the future on the HTH platform during a Summer of Open Design. Connect with gcoppi@fordham.edu if you want to know more!

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John Holmes Acknowledges Contribution of Fordham’s IIHA to Humanitarian Innovation

Former under secretary-general at the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and patron of Enhanced Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance.

John Holmes

“What all this means is a unique opportunity for local and international entrepreneurs and investors to become partners in the humanitarian effort. Governments such as the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Denmark and Australia have already said they will join the global alliance initiative, together with relevant U.N. agencies and nongovernmental organizations. We now want more private sector and academic partners to add to those such as Philips and Microsof and Fordham and Leiden universities. I am sure from my experience that the will and enthusiasm are there if we can provide the right platform.”

Read the full article!

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by | May 27, 2016 · 5:28 pm

World Humanitarian Summit Update

The UN Secretary-General will convene the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul in 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 August, OCHA announced that the Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat, Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, would step down at the end of the year. IIHA Alumna, Kristy Siegfried of IRIN, recently wrote an article about this new development, in which she provides insight to Dr. Mahmood’s inspirational leadership and the lasting mark Dr. Mahmood will leave on the WHS proceedings. The IIHA wishes IDHA Honoris Causa Recipient Dr. Mahmood all the best in her new position!

As the WHS draws closer, new initiatives include continued events and consultations, and a new blog that will provide commentary and thoughts from UN and other contributors on current crises and modern humanitarian questions. PHAP has also now made available on YouTube all consultation and discussion events in support of the  WHS.

Beginning on 21 September, the WHS online global consultation will gather comments and feedback to inform the preparations for the Global Consultation in Geneva from 14-16 October 2015. Individuals interested in participating may so on the WHS website. The Global Consultation will gather around 900 high-level participants from all stakeholders in humanitarian action. Participants will include representatives from affected communities, governments, civil society, national and international NGOs, regional organizations, United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the private sector and academia.

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IIHA Spotlight: IDHA 44

Dear friends,
Two weeks ago, the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) began its 44th International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA) at Château de Bossey near Geneva, Switzerland. The IIHA team welcomed 24 students from 18 different nations, representing 21 different humanitarian organizations and currently working in 17 countries around the world.
Once again, the IDHA was led by IIHA Humanitarian Programs Director, Larry Hollingworth, C.B.E, who was joined by a strong group of tutors: Anthony Land, Ph.D. (IIHA Senior Fellow), Al Panico (IDHA 30), and David Bopp (IDHA 27).
The course was opened by CIHC Board Member and Chief of Mission of the IOM in Germany, Argentina Szabados (IDHA 2), who kindly took time to travel and speak with the participants. During the first week, CIHC Board Member and former DG of UNRWA Peter Hansen delivered a session on Palestine and Israel to which the students participated with great enthusiasm and debate. Brigadier James Ellery, C.B.E. (AEGIS), talked about the work of Private Security Companies in the field. We were honored to include in the program lectures on Human Rights Law delivered by James Rodehaver (UNHCHR), International Humanitarian Law by Vincent Sautenet (ICRC), Disaster Law by Tessa Kelly (IFRC) and Paulo Caveleri (IFRC), and a case study on humanitarian coordination in the Philippines by Jesper Lund (OCHA, IDHA 11).
It was my pleasure to spend the second week with the participants and alumni, getting to know them and speaking to them about our programs and our IDHA family. They had worked hard in their exams and their presentations and were preparing for the upcoming week. When we look at the numbers above, we focus on how different they are: 24 students from 18 different countries. In a little more than a week, they will leave the beautiful Château de Bossey and return to their work. What we should never lose focus on, however, is how the IDHA brings these different people together, how they become friends, how they forge personal relationships with one another, with their tutors, and, hopefully, with the alumni that they meet. It is for this reason that I wanted to be with them: to urge them to keep their focus on the things that make us one group and one family. This could not be done without the remarkable work of the staff, especially the tutors, and, above all, Larry Hollingworth.
We wish them the best of luck on their papers, their presentations, and their exams, and welcome them into our IDHA family.
Brendan Cahill (IDHA 9)
Executive Director, IIHA
Fordham University

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Alumni Update: Timo Lüege (IDHA 21)

Timo Lüege (IDHA 21) is now a self-employed communications expert, focusing on helping humanitarian organizations and NGOs solve their information management and communications challenges. He is founder of the site “Social Media For Good“where he provides insight for humanitarian organizations on issues of social media and communications that they may face. Timo has recently written a piece titled “Towards Standardizing Hashtags in Disasters” where he analyzes OCHA’s new Hashtag Standards for Emergencies, enforcing OCHA’s idea that the use of hashtags in emergency situations can be a vital means of spreading information.

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