Join the H2H Network at HNPW 2023

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The H2H Network is getting ready for the Humanitarian Networks and Partnership Week. Join us at the CICG in Geneva (24-28 April) or online (17-28 April) for a busy programme of events, panel discussions and exhibitions.

Stop by the H2H Network booth to say hi to the team, and meet members at their various exhibition spaces. This year, two network members are leading focus areas (Areas of Common Concern) on important topics of general interest: CHS Alliance on power dynamics and organizational culture and GISF on Integrating Security Risk Management Across Humanitarian Action.

Learn more and register for events below.

H2H Network events

Flooding in Pakistan: What does the response tell us about the future of humanitarian action?

25 Apr (14:00-15:00) CEST

In mid-June 2022, Pakistan experienced an extreme monsoon rainfall season, resulting in uncontrollable flash floods and landslides across the country. The consequences of the flooding were widely recognized as having been exacerbated by climate change. Over 33 million people were affected by the disaster, with close to eight million people displaced, over 1,600 people dead, and nearly 13,000 people injured.

As a middle-income country with substantial disaster management capacity and strong civil society, Pakistan’s government led the ensuing humanitarian response efforts. In this context, the H2H Network funded four members to run projects making specialist services available to all humanitarian responders, filling gaps with targeted, technical tools and resources in support of the wider response. This panel will bring together international actors, project leads and their national partners to review what was learned, asking what the response to the crisis teaches us about the future of humanitarian response.

Innovation in the Age of Reimagined Aid: Complex Model Changing Innovations in the H2H Network

28 Apr (09:30-10:30) CEST

A decade ago, innovation became an area of intense focus and investment for the aid sector. The big traditional aid actors set up innovation labs and international donors established innovation grants designed to deliver innovations that in theory sought to benefit those who are most in need. However, in reality, many of the innovations developed were products and services that fit into the existing structure of aid delivery ... new water filters, better ways of gathering data for INGOs, and mobile apps that would address a particular need for communities in an aid response.

These creative efforts have made the delivery of aid through the traditional aid system work better and more effectively. However, the focus on discreet individual innovations has done little to challenge the structure of crisis response and development itself. To really push the models of aid and development, a new generation of innovators and innovation programmes is needed.

As part of its USAID-funded Innovation Accelerator, the H2H Network selected three innovation initiatives that reflected this bigger view of innovation. The challenges these innovators were facing couldn’t be solved with traditional institutions working in traditional ways. Instead, these innovators looked for system-challenging solutions to messy problems like reducing the on the ground impact of climate change, building out localized supply chains, and giving small aid actors access to the power of big data.

The panel will be chaired by Hannah Reichardt, innovation coach for the H2H Accelerator.

Member events

Seasonal Calendar dataset: knowing past and present to inform the future

24 Apr (14:00-15:00) CEST

This session aims to present ACAPS Seasonal Events Calendar dataset and how it can be used to inform humanitarian decision making. This dataset tracks seasonal events occurring in each country monitored by ACAPS in a typical year, and seasonal events that occur during a specific year. This session will present an innovative user-friendly display of the ACAPS seasonal calendar, discussing how this information can be accessed and can be used to flag events that may affect current humanitarian situations and, in particular, how it can be used to forecast new events and inform risk analysis.

Member: ACAPS

Scaling grassroots organizations to influence change and impact local and global ecosystems through open mapping

24 Apr (14:00-15:00) CEST

OpenStreetMap (OSM) is largely adopted by humanitarian & development practitioners around the world, and has proven its reactivity, sustainability and efficiency as a global tool for open and contributive mapping. However, those who are building organizations and communities around OSM-focused activities face a multitude of sustainability challenges: from financial sustainability to volunteer retention, from leadership and governance to inclusivity, and more. CartONG and HOT have started a programme to share learnings between 10 OSM community organizations and leaders from Africa, Asia and America seeking improved sustainability. Our goal is for those grassroots organizations to impact their local ecosystem through the use of open and participatory mapping, but also globally to influence change in the way the international development sector is shaped. We will also discuss how actors that want to be allies for these collective intelligence commons can support and collaborate with grassroots open mapping organizations.

Member: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap, CartONG

Reframing Humanitarian Capacity Building: Are current approaches fit for purpose?

25 Apr (09:00-10:30) CEST

Humanitarian capacity development has been a crucial aspect of disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts for decades. However, national actors are increasingly calling for better recognition of existing national or local capacity and more equitable partnerships built on individual strengths, collaboration, mutual respect and transparency. The rapidly evolving humanitarian landscape and approaches to delivering aid, as well as changing needs of communities and actors involved in humanitarian preparedness or response, have called into question the effectiveness of traditional approaches to capacity development. Drawing on recent experience and lessons learned from RedR UK and H2H organizations, this discussion aims to begin a process of examining the current state of humanitarian capacity development and identifying areas for improvement.

Member: RedR UK

Data for humanitarians: a journey from global to local

25 Apr (09:30-10:30) CEST

This session aims to present ACAPS Humanitarian Datasets portfolio including Humanitarian Access Events, Seasonal Events Calendar, Protection Monitoring and Information Landscape datasets. These datasets are a powerful tool, designed with sectoral experts and partners such as INTERNEWS, provided to decision-makers to understand crisis and contexts in an easy and ready to use way. The global coverage of the datasets, with a geoprecision of Admin level 1, allows comparability across context, but also an approximate granularity to quickly identify nuances. ACAPS will present the analysis framework behind the design of the dataset, and their usability, presenting user-case crisis specific example of Ukraine, and the process of working with partners, as INTERNEWS, to provide decision-makers with a high-quality tool.

Member: ACAPS, Internews

...and Action! Media and communication as aid in crises.

25 Apr (11:00-12:00) CEST

Are we making the most of local media and communication to avert disaster, meet humanitarian needs, and drive local action? This session will convene stakeholders to discuss how we can go beyond “accountability” to support early warning and early action and increase the reach and impact of humanitarian responses.

Member: BBC Media Action

Climate, Disasters, and Data

25 Apr (14:00-15:30) CEST

We estimate that communities of over a billion people worldwide are not adequately represented in spatial data used for international humanitarian and development responses. Without an understanding of where people live, it limits our capacity to proactively anticipate risks and strengthen climate resilience.

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) works to ensure community created map data is accessible and used in decisions that save and improve lives. Limited spatial data in regions exposed to disaster risk increases vulnerability and limits our capacity to proactively anticipate risks and strengthen climate resilience. HOT works with a range of implementing partners to collect and analyze geospatial data to identify communities at risk of disaster, and to understand potential disaster impacts in these at risk communities.

Member: Humanitarian OpenStreetMap

Keeping last mile of delivery safe for all: evidence based SRM for national frontline health staff

25 Apr (16:00-17:30) CEST

Over 440 health workers working in armed conflicts have been kidnapped, or killed in 2022. The large majority are national staff and not working for an NGO or international organization. International organizations are increasingly working together with their implementing partners, communities, health networks and the Ministry of Health, to keep this staff safe. This session will discuss these efforts, and challenges faced, including examples of collaboration with MoH, as part of system strengthening, joint INGO and NGO efforts and community driven solutions.

Member: Insecurity Insight

Going beyond the printed word: how effective visual communication can bridge languages, foster trust and promote inclusion

26 Apr (09:00-10:30) CEST

Visual communication like film and posters can be powerful tools for sharing information and fostering trust in service providers. Yet color, iconography, symbols and images are not universal. Understanding how to communicate beyond printed words ensures that humanitarians can effectively support the people they serve. This session will explore a range of formats and styles used to create effective media formats/visual communications which are high quality, inclusive and engaging.

Member: CLEAR Global

Climate Change - what’s the state of readiness of the humanitarian sector to meet this growing demand?

26 Apr (09:30-10:30) CEST

As the effects of the climate emergency are felt around the world, the work of humanitarian organizations is crucial. Even if green-house gas emissions were to halt overnight, climate change is already locked in, which means that adaptation, disaster preparedness and response due to flooding, drought, wildfires and increased storminess is going to be needed more than ever before. This panel discussion – led by the sustainability and climate change champion and RedR UK CEO, Sally Sudworth – will debate the questions:“What’s the state of readiness of the humanitarian sector to meet this growing demand?”,"What’s your state of preparedness?", “What are the capacity gaps or learning needs of humanitarian organisations, especially those of local actors active within the humanitarian-development nexus”?

Member: RedR UK

The Risks of Asking Questions: Weighing benefits against harms when people share information in crisis

26 Apr (11:00-12:30) CEST

Are we aware of the protection risks people take when sharing and accessing information in humanitarian crisis situations?
And do we understand how people weigh risks against the gains they can make when sharing and accessing good, timely information?

With strong involvement from Protection actors and in co-design with three pilot communities, Internews has been working to develop and improve tools to better understand protection risks related to information in humanitarian response. Based on experiences from the pilots, the panel - made up of Internews’ Protection Advisory Group members - will explore the following hypothesis: Increased understanding and knowledge of protection risks related to information would increase people's safe and timely access to good information, and therefore allow informed decision making and effective access to public and humanitarian services.

Member: Internews

Opening the black box: How humanitarian decision makers use data?

26 Apr (16:00-17:30) CEST

As a follow up on last year's "Catching the black swan" this session will host a panel of decision makers exploring how data contribute in the decision making process.

Member: ACAPS

"Could you just put this into Ukrainian for me?": What the Ukraine response can teach us about integrating quality language support in future emergencies

26 Apr (16:00-17:30) CEST

Communication is critical to an effective humanitarian response. Yet provision for managing multilingual communication and information is not yet routine across the humanitarian system. Looking at insights from people affected by the war in Ukraine, organizations supporting them, and professional linguists engaged in the response, this session will explore how the humanitarian system can better address language and communication challenges in this and future responses.

Member: CLEAR Global

Scenarios: how can they inform strategic planning?

27 Apr (14:00-15:00) CEST

Examples of how scenarios have been used to inform strategy. Best practice shared by ACAPS.

Member: ACAPS

‘The only right we have is to receive’ - is participation impossible in the face of deep-seated power imbalances?

28 Apr (09:00-10:30) CEST

As it stands, people’s sense of disempowerment is so strong that they often don’t even try to engage with aid providers. “The only right we have is to receive, because we don’t know anything about what the people in charge of aid are doing,” said a woman in Les Cayes, Haiti. People need to know that their voices, knowledge, skills, experiences, and perspectives matter.

Through a panellist discussion with CDAC Network, Internews Network, Jireh Doo Foundation, and On Our Radar, facilitated by Ground Truth Solutions, this session will explore the root reasons for this sense of disentitlement, as well as discuss best practices for communicating people’s rights, encouraging their engagement, and how to collect honest feedback.

Member: Internews, CDAC Network, Ground Truth Solutions