1. Stakeholder conference on the future of EU humanitarian aid. Bruxelles 2013
Opening by Director General Mr Claus H Sorensen, European commission.
The meeting could be organised despite of strike here in Belgium. The world is changing and we
are facing new challenges. We have to work for being part of the change and the appropriate
response to be organised.
In Myanmar the cyclone was the time of organising a project for evacuation of Thousand of
people before it could hit the coast. By chance it has turned to other place. G8 was the place for
Obama to increase participation. Today the meeting is about organisation and process, we may
keep in mind that there is a reality behind that.
Rising sea level and other climate change related events will participate to the humanitarian need
as well as economics and technology side effect.
Safety for humanitarian teams is not easy and doctors have been killed in several field
operations. There is a question about refugee situation in places where there is no clue on the
ECHO have to stick on the field needs and work inside a framework called "partnership
agreement" because it must be possible to explain what is being done.
All collaborators are actualy in the same building. Controversial issues will come on the discussion
and also the consultation will merge with the comments during this meeting. The goal is to reach
an agreement about what we should do, what we expect from NGO community and work with
international agencies in order to work better.
There are a lot of other issues to be studied.
Presentation by ECHO of the findings of the stakeholder consultation.
Online consultation was organised during three months. Two main blocks of questions in order to
get opinions about participation, organisation, response etc...
The questionnaire provided response from 55 NGOs, thinks tanks, individuals and other
stakeholders. The narrative is the most important result, while the graphic gives sometimes
another opinion from participants.
The policy and pratice of EU humanitarian response must be improved even if the foundations
are confirmed. Numerous options for priority actions and variety of opinions are listed. There
were very detailled answers, from various level of expertise.
Innovation and technology, climate change and urban crises are the main trends for
Principles are linked to humanitarian aid from politics, focus on practical approach, and advocacy.
Promotion of International Humanitarian law is another issue.
Effectiveness, resilience between DDR and LRRD. Linked to dialogue, coordination and analysis.
2. Quality of aid within existing framework. Direct and indirect delivery, work with partners.
Coherence with civil protection, and Crisis management.
Coordination: better utilisation of COHAFA and support to international system to be improved.
Partnership: explore possibilities with non EU partners.
Pool third party funds.
International system: promote effective system.
New donors: engage participation of new partners.
PPPS: cooperate only in special circumtances.
Visibility: important but not a priority to appear everytime.
Decision making: continue, improve, harmonise and support participation to existing process.
Discussion about issues adresses in the consultation.
Opening the discussion:
How to improve the international system by EU action?
How to engaged action with new donors?
Humanitarian Aid as an influence tool instead of a response to field needs?
It means that we are facing a lot of new emergency situations and we can have several
strategies: prioritising or creating new kind of responses. Also designing exit strategies to end the
most difficult situations.
Work with private sector?
It is on going and it may be done with acceptable goals and processes. If more actors and
participation it is important to work with them on principles and humanitarian processes. The
complementarity can be organise for a good effectiveness. There are a lot of offers from private
sector to respond the situations but not easy to match principles and goals.
There are situations when private sector response could increase the disaster because of
inappropriate response. Contribution is important when framed inside a partnership.
Private sector participation might be easier to respond natural disasters because of funds
available. Also it is a question for ethics in cooperation with private sector.
3. MSF is asking ECHO to be sure that delivery of humanitarian aid is done by humanitarian
organisations with principles.
ECHO wants to be an intelligent donor but there is an impression that ECHO want to reinvent the
wheel. For exemple the guideline for action was made by participation of NGOs and now ECHO
would like to impose the guideline to NGO community. NGOs are already using principles and it
would not change anything.
For being an intelligent donor, ECHO should focuse on supporting quick response to emergencies.
Christian Aid is enlighting that supporting local capacities to respond the needs is very important.
An issue is raising in the disccusion about trouble made by massive external humanitarian help
that is made to local private sector.
Accountability is extremely important and ECHO is also imposing priorities on field actions for
reponse linked to field assesment.
Transparency is important for action.
MSF talks about accountability by NGOs and International Agencies. For large response, even if
not complex situation it is important to monitor the accountability of field actors in term of
quality. Focusing on response to needs always go down to fund reduction and accountability.
The whole accountability chain is to be taken into account from fundraising to beneficiaries.
Gender issue is sometimes seen as accountability matter but it is a more general question linked
There should be accessibility for local partners inside ECHO framework of action.
Presentation by DG ECHO next steps and future policy initiative to improve
Topics: Effectiveness of humanitarian Aid. The real efficiency is measured locally. Pooled funds
and trust funds are another issue. How to identify, manage and support innovation and
technologies. Respect to International Humanitarian Law. How to adress urban conflicts?
Combating vulnerabilities in disaster, rehabilitation and development situations. How to enhance
coordination between humanitarian and development actors?
About the survey, a question linked to the number of answers because only nine member state
Discussion: Stakeholders views on the planned policy proposal.
MSF desagree Sustainability should be a guideline principle of intervention as written in the
document. Civil Protection is not humanitarian action and should managed adequately. There are
ciscumtances when Aid workers and patients are in danger because of violence.
4. A comment from OCHA speaker about other action that EU based was doing a lot on the field by
chinese and bangladeshi doctors in Syria. How humanitarian Aid can be done better.
Even if the summary of survey is closed, the comments and suggestions are welcome during this
The work for coordination with development teams is to enhance cooperation in case of
emergencies. The goal is to make the action possible and take the bill of emergency action.
World Vision ask the question of danger zone, are we there or not? It is important to have a
discussion about remote action. A total assesment of the countries is needed because there is
need where NGOs are not acting.
It is important having only one plan of action by country, even wider than only humanitarian aid
if needed. The reporting system and process must be rationalised because there are too many
details. One of the strengh is to have 400 people looking at what NGO and International
community are doing on the spot. It is important to have this network for reporting the real
situation. Also young girl education must be part of the game as well as adult litteracy. Twenty
percent of NGOs (& other partners) are not in the system and that is an issue. Eight chapters are
covering the whole issues. Whatever will be writtten on Humanitarian policies will be EU
commission statement. It is important to think who will read the guidelines and policies because
it will have an impact on how it is written.
The international action when emergency occurs depends on efficient assesment and global
approach for relevant local action. Then, cooperation with local development action is enabling
smooth and valid operations.
How to measure impact?
The proliferation indicators and variability from one country to the other is a complex process.
The scope can not be captured through the indicators.
How to push the system and how to enhance financing participation from donors?
For technology point, it is interesting to develop data collection for efficient operations. Personal
and public data can be organised for file sharing amongst organisations.
About urban conflicts, IRC is working on that kind of events. Urban violence shows there is a
need to reinforce local partners.
Access to beneficiaries and reaching the spot are not always simple. Depending sometimes on
politics or natural situation.
Visibilty is requiered for showing to the public that projects are going on. But it is also a security
point, visiibilty is sometimes counter productive. ECHO need to have visibility of project. MSF
mention that visibility on the web can also be counterproductive because access to Information is
possible anywhere. People are able to follow what is going on in their own country.
5. UNDA is speaking about integrated action with participation of local communities for
empowerment. Also sustainable action is requiered for long term effect of missions.
Livehood support is also a good point for a better repatriation process when the situation enables
Entry strategy could be to coordinate with existing development platforms because they usually
work on the field before events. The continuity with humanitarian action and development may
help to make operations more relevant and durable.
The common funding for projects is facing the problem that humanitarian budget will be used to
finance development work.
Closing: more work will be done to keep everybody connected and concerned about ECHO
Published by RDM-ROW http://slideshare.net/reporter Dominique Deschamps