Bit-coin technology, parallel existences, telemedicine and instant trillion-bites-based correlations may all change virtually every aspect of urban and rural settlements. The speed of change is accelerating, and the impact on the ways that people live their lives and meet their needs will be part of these transformations. And, for the humanitarian sector, what sorts of [...]
HFP worked with Save the Children International on the future of humanitarian action in urban contexts, in order to inform how a new Humanitarian Affairs Unit within SCI can harness speculative and future-oriented thinking in order to anticipate and adapt to future challenges in the urban environment.
If I could press a button to get the response I’d like from politicians I’d want greater integration of government activities. Governments have become so complex, so stove-piped, that the synergy needed for effective planning for the future is completely submerged in tiny little boxes throughout the government. So there’s no coherence and very little [...]
The military sector is at least as diverse as the humanitarian sector: it divides into Pre- Modern (poor nation), Modern (including India/Pakistan), Post-Modern (US, UK, France). Watershed-moment transformation has begun in the ‘top of class’ Post-Modern militaries and the knock-on effects will be profound. UK Army Chief, General Sir David Richards describes this as another [...]
When a crisis hits, the main thing we hear about is what the international community is doing to help. But how about what the people from the affected country are doing? If you are affected by crisis, often the first, most visible, lifesaving and sometimes only response you will see is from people and organisations [...]
The types, dimensions and dynamics of humanitarian crises are dramatically increasing – in some instances, exponentially. Capacities needed to prevent, prepare for and respond to such crises go well beyond the humanitarian sector as presently configured, and require a much wider range of competencies and capacities as well as human and financial resources than normally used by humanitarian actors. Bringing together international representatives from the military, the humanitarian sector, governments and the private sector through a series of thematic focus groups, key informant interviews, a 1 ½ day scenario exercise, and end of project workshop, the project will develop the knowledge base on the current and potential use of military capacities for humanitarian crisis prevention/risk reduction, preparedness and response.
Take for example the Overseas Development Institute and its Humanitarian Policy Group. They are both outstanding breakthrough organisations. But they don’t do things that we do and vice versa. We do partner development for example. We go into organisations to assess their anticipatory, adaptive and collaborative capacities. We go in and say, “Are you ready [...]
Climate change is a reality and a very important threat that we will face over a long period of time but it’s not the only threat we face. There are a lot of vulnerabilities we need to be sensitive to. I hope the humanitarian sector doesn’t see its world being shaped by climate change alone. [...]
The United Nations nuclear energy report which says Japan underestimated the tsunami that hit the Fukushima power plant, has inadvertently exposed the lethal and inherent flaws in world-wide government planning methods for emergency events. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) gives a technical perspective on a tragedy in its draft report just published, inadvertently exposing [...]
Conventional humanitarian agencies responding to crises such as the Pakistani floods, are going to have to deal with influential and popular “non-state actors” such as Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the hardline Islamist organisation thought to be a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), which has incredible capacity to provide efficient relief for those affected by disaster. This poses a tremendous [...]