The International Humanitarian City (IHC), Dubai, UAE, hosted the January training of the Arabic training of Building a Better Response (BBR). As usual by the end of the 2-day workshop, participants were able to describe: The international humanitarian architecture (IHA) and be more aware of how individuals and organisations can actively engage in the IHA, as well as the associated costs and benefits; The cluster approach, one of the main mechanisms for sectoral coordination in the IHA; The main sources of funding within the IHA and the processes for accessing them; The leadership structure within the IHA and the main roles and responsibilities of the key players.
With the World Humanitarian Summit, scheduled to take place in Istanbul in May 2016, only a few months away, there seemed to be consensus on the usefulness of placing local actors (authorities, NGOs and civil society organizations) at the center of humanitarian response. Several avenues have been considered including: revisiting the humanitarian architecture to ensure greater involvement of local actors; reform of existing financing mechanisms to facilitate access to funds for local organizations; allowing affected populations to determine which actors are best placed actors to meet their needs etc. Taking advantage of the presence in Dubai of the ‘Building a Better Response’ (BBR) project team, International Medical Corps (IMC), the International Humanitarian City (IHC), and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) hosted a panel discussion on the place of Southern organizations in humanitarian response: Localization of aid’ – Local and national actors at the heart of humanitarian response: wishful thinking or attainable goal? The discussion aimed to examine the opportunities and obstacles to ensure a more robust leadership role for local and national actors in humanitarian response and to identify initiatives in the region working towards this end.
Panelists included: Yacoub El Hillo, Humanitarian Coordinator for Syria, H.E. Shaima Al Zarooni, CEO of the International Humanitarian City IHC) in Dubai, and Khaled Khalifa, Chief of the Partnership Coordination Section (PCS) of OCHA in Geneva. The panel was moderated by Moustafa Osman, OC’s Founder and Director
The meeting was also the occasion to officially launch the Arabic version of the recently launched Building a Better Response e-learning platform.