PHAP: Learning sessions and webinars
Summary: Learning sessions and webinars organized by the International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection open to members and the wider humanitarian community.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is seriously affecting the health, livelihoods, and overall wellbeing of people all over the world, persons with disabilities are disproportionately impacted. The risk factors and consequences of COVID-19 on people with disabilities are even further exacerbated in humanitarian contexts. Persons with disabilities may be at heightened risk of contracting or developing a more severe case of COVID-19 due to barriers to accessing information, preventative measures and health services, while some people may be at heightened risk due to underlying health conditions or reliance on personal assistance. Further, COVID-19 has compounded exclusion of children with disabilities from education; increased risks of violence, exploitation and abuse; and deepened other pre-existing inequalities and marginalization.To address this situation, how can we ensure that persons with disabilities are included in all aspects of response to COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts? On 17 September, during a webinar organized jointly by ICVA, PHAP, IASC, and the Reference Group on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action, we discussed how the IASC Guidelines on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action can be implemented in the COVID-19 response. We started with a presentation of the recent note produced by the Reference Group and endorsed by the IASC on this topic, followed by a discussion of challenges in the current response and ways to overcome them.The webinar shared practical examples of how response to COVID-19 in humanitarian contexts has been made more inclusive of persons with disabilities, drawing on learning from the past 6+ months to present concrete actions that humanitarian actors can take, in partnership with local organizations of persons with disabilities. The webinar aimed to provide a space for learning and exchange of experience between organizations of persons with disabilities, NGOs, UN entities, and other humanitarian actors.Read more and access resources at https://phap.org/17sep2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated challenges for humanitarian work across the globe, including for how emergency response is being funded, providing a real-time “stress test” on financing systems. At the same time, stakeholders have been taking stock of the progress made under the Grand Bargain humanitarian financing reforms and considering priorities for future reform agendas. To examine what the pandemic response tells us of the fitness of the international crisis financing system, the Norwegian Refugee Council commissioned a study – a “think piece” looking at what can be learned from the current situation, even though the pandemic and our response to it are still in an early stage. To help stimulate reflection and debate on the future of humanitarian financing and to launch this study, NRC and PHAP organized a webinar on 15 September. We heard about the main findings and recommendations emerging from NRC’s study. This set the stage for a panel discussion on the role and fitness of the existing humanitarian financing structure and on how the system should evolve to be able to respond to crises of this complexity.Read more at https://phap.org/15sep2020
Read more and access resources at https://phap.org/8sep2020Understanding and appropriately applying the concepts of risk tolerance and risk appetite is crucial for humanitarian organizations to ensure that they are operating within their ability to manage risk. Humanitarian action is taking place in inherently high-risk environments and humanitarian organizations are often under pressure to take on most of that risk under the current structure of funding agreements. The concepts of risk tolerance and risk appetite are particularly important for humanitarian actors to understand in order to shift from the current state of risk transfer in funding agreements to a more equitable sharing of risks among stakeholders in humanitarian operations.On 8 September, ICVA and PHAP had a webinar focusing on the twin concepts of risk tolerance and risk appetite. Following an introductory briefing on these concepts, we discussed with a panel of experts the practical challenges in identifying risk appetite and tolerance for NGOs. This was the second event of the Learning Stream on Risk Management in Practice, aimed at exploring the current state of risk management in the humanitarian sector.
Read more and access resources at https://phap.org/9sep2020Many humanitarian emergencies result in large-scale displacement, whether short-term or over many years. Although they should be seen as a last resort, camps and other communal settlements are often at the center of humanitarian response, as that is where those with the greatest needs are concentrated. Given this central focus for humanitarian action, what kind of benchmarks and standards can those managing camps and camp-like settings use as a reference point in their work? While standards exist for many of the technical areas that come together in a camp setting, the same has not been the case for the work of Camp Managers, who are responsible for coordinating the delivery of protection and assistance in such settings.This was the starting point for the development of the Camp Management Standards, which have been developed by the CCCM Cluster over the past years through consultations with camp managers and residents. On 9 September, we held a webinar clinic and learned more about the challenges faced in camp management and how the draft Camp Management Standards can help to address these. We heard from experienced Camp Managers who discussed how to address practical challenges submitted by event registrants.The webinar also launched an online consultation survey for humanitarian practitioners to provide their views on the final draft of the Standards.
In most crisis response contexts, multiple protection actors are seeking to access affected populations. As humanitarian actors are interdependent, with the actions of one affecting all other actors in a response context, they often face situations where there are coordination challenges related to access and protection. On 25 June, PHAP, NRC, and the GPC organized the fourth session of the webinar series on access and protection, which focused on issues related to coordinated negotiations and approaches to access – including the use of armed escorts, civil-military coordination, and coordination with peacekeeping missions – and how these relate to protection.More information about this event at https://phap.org/25jun2020
More than 61 per cent of the world’s refugees and 80 per cent of internally displaced people live in urban areas. The role of towns, cities, counties and provinces in creating inclusive communities and promoting hope has never been as important. They offer safety and shelter and can enable access to local services, education and job opportunities.The Global Compact on Refugees aims to implement a more holistic approach in responding to refugee displacement and recognizes the important role that local authorities play as first responders to large-scale refugee situations.Intercultural Cities (ICC) is a Council of Europe policy development and implementation programme that supports local authorities around the World in comprehensive approaches that are inclusive of migrants and refugees. On 18 June, 2020, two days before World Refugee Day, we heard how cities in Europe are making their cities spaces where everyone can live in safety, become self-reliant, and contribute to and participate in their local community.Read more on https://phap.org/18jun2020
Read more about this event on https://phap.org/11jun2020In order to carry out their work for the protection of affected people, humanitarian actors need access to reach those people with needs assessments and services. But that access can bring with it negative consequences – for those receiving assistance or protection services, for focal points and contact persons, or for society as a whole. Knowing how to approach and address these potential risks related to access and protection is critical.On 11 June, we held the third session of the webinar series on access and protection, which focused on issues related to when humanitarian actors have access, but either the access itself or the kinds of programming possible to carry out leads to protection risks. We were joined by a panel of experts who discussed some of the types of situations that practitioners face, and specific examples submitted by the participants.
Read more at https://phap.org/5jun2020The four principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence are the foundations of humanitarian action. Guided by these principles, humanitarian organizations work to ensure that assistance and protection go to those most in need. As well as forming the basis of their work, the principles enable humanitarian organizations to gain and maintain acceptance from communities and parties to conflicts, helping ensure the safety of staff. However, as counterterrorism measures become increasingly common at international and national levels, humanitarian organizations remain concerned about the impact of these on their ability to maintain a principled approach. While humanitarian organizations are, usually, not the target of these measures, they nevertheless pose real risks to operations, staff, and beneficiaries.On 5 June 2020, we launched NRC's new Toolkit for Principled Humanitarian Action: Managing Counterterrorism Risks. This event provided an opportunity for representatives of several key stakeholders to take stock of this issue, five years on from the launch of the original Toolkit. It allowed for an exchange on the current state of the impact of counterterrorism measures on humanitarian organizations and the associated risks. What measures are humanitarian organisations taking to address these risks? What role can donors play in risk management? What are the emerging challenges and opportunities? The ToolkitThe Toolkit for Principled Humanitarian Action: Managing Counterterrorism Risks updates the information contained in the 2015 Risk Management Toolkit in Relation to Counterterrorism Measures to reflect recent developments in this area. It aims to raise awareness of counterterrorism-related risks so that organizations can identify and mitigate these, and to make risk management approaches accessible to a broad range of staff who can use these in their day to day work.The toolkit is available at https://www.nrc.no/shorthand/stories/toolkit-for-principled-humanitarian-action/index.html
Read more at https://phap.org/3jun2020Humanitarian work is in most cases carried out in insecure environments and situations, making it critical for organizations to be able to identify and manage security risks affecting their operations. Although Security Risk Management (SRM) in the humanitarian sector has increasingly gained the attention of policy makers and practitioners, the current COVID-19 crisis highlights challenges in how to apply risk management, including in terms of duty of care. Delivering humanitarian aid under COVID-19 restrictions has also underlined the critical role of local actors and the importance to discuss risk transfer and risk sharing between international, national, and local humanitarian actors.On 3 June, ICVA and PHAP organized the first webinar in the new Learning Stream on Risk Management in Practice, aimed at exploring the current state of risk management in the humanitarian sector. In this webinar, we looked at the key findings from a new briefing paper from ICVA and researchers from the Graduate Institute on security risk management in humanitarian organizations and framed them around the challenges that the current COVID-19 crisis presents to the humanitarian sector. We heard from practitioners and experts about the current SRM challenges and solutions in their organizations, including risk transfer, risk sharing, and challenges related to duty of care.
Humanitarian actors often need to negotiate to gain access to populations affected by conflicts and other crises. While negotiating for access for humanitarian assistance is often challenging in and of itself, practitioners and organizations face a distinct set of issues in access negotiations that relate to protection. On 28 May, the second session of the webinar series on access and protection focused on challenges that practitioners face when trying to gain or maintain access for protection, whether negotiating directly for protection programming access or negotiating for humanitarian access in general while considering protection concerns. We were joined by a panel of experts who discussed some of the situations that practitioners face, including: - Authorities invite assistance but not protection: We are being actively invited by the authorities or gatekeepers to provide assistance, but not protection. - Reporting on protection concerns could limit access: We have access and have discovered protection issues. We now have to weigh reporting or advocacy on these issues versus having our access restricted. - Restricted channels for access: We are allowed to provide assistance and protection, but only through the channels of the government or an armed group. - Needs assessments cannot include protection: We are unable to include protection in our needs assessments for fear of restricted access, so we do not understand the needs of vulnerable populations.Read more about the event at https://phap.org/28may2020
Humanitarian protection is often the most needed in the very conflict zones where access is also the most restricted. Whether in areas controlled by armed groups or government forces, in situations when civilians have their basic rights and physical safety threatened, humanitarians carrying out protection work and advocacy are likely to face actors trying to restrict their access and ability to operate, or simply keep them out. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to sudden changes in how protection actors can access populations of concern, with additional restrictions on how they are able to operate in the short and medium term. What can we learn from the experience of protection actors operating in hard-to-reach areas that we can apply to the new challenges of the current operational environment?On 22 April, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), PHAP, and the Global Protection Cluster (GPC) organized the first of a series of webinars on access and humanitarian protection. The event provided an overview of the key terms, concepts, interlinkages, and dilemmas of protection and access in armed conflict, disaster, and health emergencies. What are the main protection concerns particular to hard-to-reach areas? What challenges do protection actors face in terms of access? Are maintaining access and protection priorities at cross purposes or can they help reinforce each other? This introduction was followed by a discussion with protection experts, exploring the ways in which existing lessons from protection programming in hard-to-reach areas can be applied to protection operations in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak.Read more about the event and acces related resources at https://phap.org/22apr2020
As the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, continues to spread globally, the risk it presents to populations living in camps and camp-like settings is growing. Camp managers are working quickly to adjust their programs to accommodate social distancing while continuing to communicate with communities and working with partners to improve communal sanitation. Sphere recently released guidance for how the Sphere Handbook can help guide humanitarian staff in the response to the COVID-19 outbreak. But how should camp managers apply those standards and strengthen the prevention measures recommended by technical sectors? During our webinar on 2 April, organized by the CCCM Cluster and PHAP, we learned about COVID-19 prevention measures critical to the work of Camp Managers and others working in displacement settings. We heard from WASH specialists, as well as experienced Camp program staff who have recently been involved in setting up special measures to prevent the spread of disease and develop key messages for populations living in temporary settlements. A representative from Sphere also provided guidance for how the Sphere Handbook can be a useful tool for practitioners in this situation.Read more about the event on https://phap.org/2apr2020
Through the Grand Bargain, humanitarian organizations and donors have committed to change the way humanitarian action is carried out and create a “Participation Revolution.” But how does including the people and communities affected by humanitarian crises look in practice? How are organizations ensuring that the voices of the most vulnerable groups considering gender, age, ethnicity, language, and special needs are heard and acted upon? How are they designing program activities and budgets to support the changes that affected people demand?In this webinar, organized on 26 March 2020 by PHAP and the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response, we took stock of the progress to date on workstream six of the Grand Bargain and heard success stories from the field that can help agencies achieve a sustained change in how they design and deliver their programs.Read more about the event on https://phap.org/26mar2020
In the first sessions of the conference, we had heard from NGOs and other humanitarian actors on the challenges and risks related to principled humanitarian action faced in their work. In the third and final session, we looked at relevant initiatives for mobilizing collaborative and collective action among NGOs, UN agencies and Member States, donors, and affected people.Read more about the session at https://phap.org/ICVA2020-Session3This session was part of ICVA's Virtual Annual Conference 2020. Read more about the conference on the event page https://phap.org/ICVA2020
With challenges to principled humanitarian action, NGOs are facing increased risks in their work. While NGOs accept risk as part of their work, many organizations are taking on more risk than they may be aware of and have the capacity to manage. In the second session of the Annual Conference, we explored the types of risks faced by NGOs linked to the humanitarian principles, how they can be managed, and how the gap between risk appetite and risk tolerance can be addressed in the sector.Read more about the session at https://phap.org/ICVA2020-Session2This session was part of ICVA's Virtual Annual Conference 2020. Read more about the conference on the event page https://phap.org/ICVA2020