The complexities and uncertainties that increasingly face the international community far transcend the capacity of any one sector, government or institution – no matter how prominent or powerful – to deal with their consequences effectively. To that extent the international community faces a capacities challenge – a clear recognition that more and more the future will be best addressed through communities of interests. These communities of interests will require a wide range of actors – governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental – to collaborate with each other far more consistently and substantively than has been the case in the past. It will require in the first instance, a clear understanding of “the language,” motives, value-addeds and comparative advantages of those who would and should be part of such communities. With this capacities challenge in mind, the note that follows outlines an approach for dealing with some of the major constraints that inhibit effective collaboration.


The approach does not purport to be the answer to developing communities of interests, but rather the beginning of an approach towards that end. Using a two axes scenario methodology – the Humanitarian Capacities Challenge (HCC) — in the year 2030 designed to show how greater appreciation of the ways that potential capacities of different types of organisations can address a common problem, and that this awareness opens the way for more effective collaboration and community-building.