How does one prepare for the future – how does one plan from the future?
In this section of the HF website, you will find a series of tools to help your organisation explore and define plausible longer-term futures, their potential humanitarian impacts and ways to mitigate such impacts. These tools will enable you to assess whether or not you are fit for that future, and – depending upon your answer – ways to ensure that you are.
The HF Toolkit contains five key components:
An Introduction to the Humanitarian Futures tools and their purposes
The Futures Roundtable exercise, intended to enhance strategic planning and decision-making
The Testing the Future exercise, designed to introduce managers and department heads to ways to think about the future and their organisations’ capacities for dealing with the future
The Ferghana Valley Scenario simulation exercise, created to show ways to promote mutually beneficial collaboration, and identify comparative advantages and value-addeds.
The Organisational Self-Assessment Tool, enabling the individual to assess his or her own capacities for anticipating and dealing with plausible futures;
Should you need further advice about these tools, have any comments about your experiences with them, or should you wish to offer advice about how to improve the tools in this toolkit, please visit the Interact page to share your thoughts in order to benefit the wider humanitarian sector. Thank you.
To understand more fully the potential value of the HFT, for those with humanitarian roles and responsibilities, it is important to put the Toolkit in perspective. An appreciation of the changing dimensions and dynamics of crisis drivers is one such perspective; a second concerns the implications on those humanitarian organisations that are determined to respond effectively to such change; and, the third is what organisations need to do now to prepare for change in an ever more complex and uncertain future.
These perspectives explain the structure of the HFT further detailed in the attached Introduction and within the four additional tabs Futures Roundtable; Testing The Future; Organisational Self-Assessment Tool, and the Ferghana Valley Scenario
The Futures Roundtable Exercise is designed to help organisers and facilitators ensure that participants concerned with strategic and operational planning:
gain insights into plausible societal change that may in turn generate new types of humanitarian crises, or known types of crises, potentially unprecedented in terms of their dynamics and dimensions;
have clear insights into new approaches for strategic and operational planning to begin to meet such future challenges now;
are exposed to ways to promote anticipatory and adaptive capacities in order to foster an organisational ethos of foresight and change, and integrate them into the planning process;
have a better understanding of ways to identify innovation and innovative practices and new forms of collaboration.
Today, those with humanitarian and emergency roles and responsibilities find themselves stretched and challenged to respond to the scale, scope and changing nature of crisis events, generated by natural and man-made hazards. Disasters and emergencies will continue to grow in magnitude and frequency, driven to a great extent by increasingly interconnected, complex and fast changing global, technological, socio-economic and geopolitical factors.
The Testing the Future exercise is designed to be used by an organisation with humanitarian roles and responsibilities to help it prepare for the future by planning from the future.
The exercise is intended for those at programme and middle management levels. It should be initiated and guided by a senior member of the organisation.
The Ferghana Valley Scenario is a simulation exercise intended is to demonstrate how a range of capacities from “non-traditional” humanitarian actors can enhance the ways that the international community can prepare for and respond to the growing number and types of future humanitarian crises.
The OSAT was developed by the Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College, London, and tested in various organisations throughout Africa, Europe, South-east Asia and the Americas between 2008 and 2014. It is now available to all here on the Humanitarian Futures website.
This assessment exercise has been designed to provide an entry point to help you explore the readiness of you and your organisation to meet the challenges of future humanitarian crises