//Inspiration for setting up the HFP

Inspiration for setting up the HFP

My perspective was shaped by my Rwandan experience in 94-95 after the genocide there. I arrived as the UN coordinator for the humanitarian operation and really thought I knew what to do in that kind of emergency.  I’d been there and done that in a lot of assignments.  Two weeks later I realised how little I did know and understood.   The more I reflected the more I realised the humanitarian sector had been established for short-term response. We were the sheriff or cowboys with our six guns at the ready in a good cause but without much forethought. We were proud of our ethos of responsiveness.  As I looked at the types of crisis we might face in the future it was clear the old response mechanisms would not do in terms of protecting and saving lives, preventing disasters and even response would require much more sophisticated interventions and greater understanding of what scientific and technological innovation might offer.  I realised it would require far greater attention to organisations that speculate and think about what might be and are far more adaptive and willing to look for new collaborative partners and different ways of doing things.  This thinking came together in 2004 when I wrote a paper for the Overseas Development  Institute called, “Humanitarian Futures: Practical Policy Perspectives”.  I then thought this was not enough.  We needed to get far more involved to get that message that the future is now and we have to prepare now.

2017-10-25T14:11:37+00:00Commentary|0 Comments