About Humanitarian Futures

Humanitarian Futures is for those with humanitarian roles and responsibilities who will have to prepare for a world in which the types of humanitarian crises, their dimensions and dynamics are increasing – in many ways, exponentially.

The Humanitarian Futures website is designed to assist those who recognise this fact, and are determined to meet the consequent challenges. It is based upon the work of the Humanitarian Futures Programme (HFP) at King’s College, London from 2004 to 2015.

In its efforts to help prepare the humanitarian sector for the future, the HFP worked with a wide range of those from the natural and social sciences, governments and community organisations, international and regional governmental and non-governmental organisations, the private sector and the military.

Over twelve years, the tools in the Humanitarian Futures Toolkit, like most of the material found on this site, have been developed, tried and tested in various forums in many countries and continents. In East, West and Southern Africa; South East Asia and the Far East; in addition to South and North America, the practical importance of the Humanitarian Future’s message and approaches have been acknowledged as an essential step towards preparing for the future.

The toolkit, as well as other sections of the website, also reflect close collaboration from 2004 to 2016  between, amongst others, Tufts University’s Feinstein International Center, and the UK based Overseas Development Institute’s Humanitarian Policy Group.

While we feel that the resources this website has to offer now have very practical benefits, we also recognise that there are many things that others can offer in terms of strategic planning for the future. This is why – with all the work and testing we have undertaken to date – we still are very aware that your inputs, additions and suggestions will be essential if the objectives of the Humanitarian Futures website are to be of use to the wider humanitarian community.

For this reason the website has a central interact section – to ensure that over a decade’s experience continues to be relevant for those with humanitarian roles and responsibilities.

Planning from the future for the future

Read more

Who We Are



Dr. Randolph Kent co-hosts the Humanitarian Futures website. He also is a Visiting Professor at the African Leadership Centre, King’s College, London, and is working with the Royal United Services Institute on an initiative called the Futures Project.

Prior to these appointments, he directed the Humanitarian Futures Programme at Kings College, London, where he and his staff worked from 2004 to 2015 with a wide range of multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental organizations to strengthen their strategic and planning capacities for dealing with longer-term humanitarian threats.

Dr. Kent accepted his post at King’s College, London, after completing his assignment as UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia in April 2002. Prior to his assignment in Somalia, he served as UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Kosovo [1999], UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Rwanda [1994-1995], Chief of the UN Emergency Unit in Sudan [1989-1991] and Chief of Emergency Prevention and Preparedness in Ethiopia [1987-1989].

Read more


Project Consultant

Joanne Burke is an independent consultant, based in London. From 2009-2015 she worked as a Senior Research Fellow with the Humanitarian Futures Programme and the Planning From the Futures Project

focusing on themes related to new actor engagement in humanitarian action and the role and work of the United Nations in relation to a changing global, institutional and crisis landscape.

Joanne is a certified partnership broker and associate with the Partnership Broker’s Association, London.  Previously, she worked with UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, Geneva,  (2004-2009) where she launched the Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI), and she managed the Global Training Programme for USAID’s Office for U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), (1990-2000).

Read more


Project Assistant, Web Development

Niklas joined Humanitarian Futures in 2017 to support the delivery of the Humanitarian Futures website and content production.

He has a background in graphics, web design, copywriting and content production.


Project Consultant

Charlotte re-joined Humanitarian Futures in 2016, where she is supporting Randolph and Joanne in the successful delivery of the Humanitarian Futures Toolkit.

Charlotte worked for the Humanitarian Futures Programme from 2012-2014, when. she split her time between focusing on the Translating Military Capacities for Humanitarian Action project, and managing HFP’s financial administration. Her research focused on identifying mechanisms to overcome the barriers that inhib