Reflections on the Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) 2020
In February this year, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) held a 5 day conference for Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) which brought together over 2,300 participants from 450 organisations including representatives from the UN, governments, the military, NGOs, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, academia and the private sector. The event provided a forum for humanitarian networks and partnerships to meet and address key humanitarian issues currently affecting the world.
The 250+ sessions offered the opportunity for participants to address a few selected priority topics of major concern across the sector. Some of the key points discussed were:
Localisation: A topic which still is understood in different ways, localisation was one of the key priorities at HNPW 2020. One important take away for us at HAD was that HNPW participants agreed on the need to support local leadership capacities and resources. This aligns well with HAD’s recent capacity-building projects supporting local NGOs in Turkey and Yemen.
Nexus, humanitarian-development-peace: “We know how to do it, we do not know how to do it together” was the conclusion of HNPW. At HAD, as we bridge together development, humanitarianism and peace-building through our capacity building projects, we are at the heart of Nexus approach. We are always looking for new and innovative ways of working together and welcome many types of partnerships.
Anticipatory Action: Getting ahead of hazards and conflicts to minimise the impact of those affected and using technology to anticipate action at local level was another hot topic for discussion over the week.
Accountability to Affected Populations: Over the week, funding agencies concluded that while there is a need for data programming, as a sector we need to do more than just collect data. There needs to be more trust in local communities to act – we must go beyond simply consulting with local actors and actively empower them to respond. At HAD, our capacity building courses do just that, with our very successful Train the Trainer course enabling representatives from local NGOs to go on to further build the capacity of their organisation(s).
Launch of IASC Guidelines for Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action: Disability inclusion is a huge priority in the sector at the moment. Our partner Islamic Relief Worldwide have contributed to the Arabic translation of the IASC guidelines and participate in projects developing tools and resources for implementing these guidelines. At HAD, we are looking at potentially streamlining the IASC Guidelines and implementing them into our existing training courses. You can also read our guest blog on ensuring people with disabilities are included within humanitarian action.
The Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week continues to be a great opportunity for humanitarian and development professionals and subject matter experts to learn from each other and exchange valuable knowledge and best practice methods within the sector.