On the first anniversary of the World Humanitarian Summit, the CDAC Network and Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR) gathered more than 110 humanitarian workers, thinkers and leaders in Bangkok to debate ‘the authenticity challenge to the Participation Revolution’. The result is the '12 Essentials for System Change' to make participation in humanitarian response far more 'authentic', and which would in turn result in a dramatic, and necessary, shift in power relationships.
The 12 include not only a rethinking of how to make humanitarian aid more ‘democratic’ but also to apply existing guidelines such as the Core Humanitarian Standards on Quality and Accountability. There is also a call for action by donors to be more active as ‘market regulators’ and for communities to be much more involved in the non-crisis phase of planning, with local systems being better understood and better supported.
The joint report ‘12 Essentials for System Change’ is available here
Among the speakers at the forum were;
Dr Dhananjayan (Danny) Sriskandarajah, Secretary General and CEO of CIVICUS observed that while we have built a very sophisticated system for delivering humanitarian relief, we have not been successful in being serious about community involvement or feedback so that citizen voice is heard and amplified. We need, he said, to "avoid tokenistic consultations or 'insultations'." See Danny's video presentation here
Jenny Hodgson, the Executive Director of the Global Fund for Community Foundations, who told participants that over the last two decades, another, rather quieter, revolution has been taking place in communities around the world, largely beyond the radar of ’big aid’. Community philanthropy has much to offer to turn the current aid system on its head, and to shift power closer to ground to give people greater control over their destiny. Hear a podcast with Jenny here
Kathleen Reen, Director of Twitter’s Public Policy and Philanthropy in Asia Pacific Region, who spoke of the role of the private sector as a powerful enabler of participation in emergencies. In terms of key lessons she said they believe that preparedness for emergencies is where the most important work is done, and an acute crisis is the worst time to attempt to introduce a new app.
Dan McClure, Innovation Design Lead at Thoughtworks, told participants that if we are to make the substantial leap forward required by the Sustainable Development Goal’s ‘we can’t just optimise our performance, we need make deep change to the status quo’. See his power point for the forum here and listen to a podcast with Dan here