Sept. 16 - 30, 2015
The IIHA hosted the first cohort of the Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) Erasmus Mundus students at Fordham University during the summer session from June until mid-August. IIHA Executive Director, Brendan Cahill (IDHA 9), welcomed the six students from three European universities: Ruhr-University Bochum in Germany ( Janina Brohl, Marcel Servos and Johanna Zollner), Aix-Marseille University in France ( Cannelle Cosson and Nihal Osman) and the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in the Netherlands ( Anouk Hulspas). The students were supervised by IIHA Research Fellow, Rene Desiderio, Ph.D.

During their stay at Fordham, the students conducted research for their master's theses which focus on various humanitarian issues. Topics include: the safety and security of international humanitarian workers, particularly from kidnapping; private sector engagement and collaboration with the United Nations system, including the role of the UN Global Compact initiative; the participation of indigenous communities in the context of forced displacement, especially on issues relating to climate change and resettlement; and the role of men in preventing and ending sexual and gender-based violence in conflict and post-conflict situations.

The students interviewed key informants at various UN agencies, including OCHA, UNHCR, UNDP and UNFPA, as well as the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law/Sexual Violence in Conflict. Interviews were also conducted with NGOs that have offices in NYC, such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International.

Students who attended some of the summer sessions offered by the IIHA, including the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA), Human Rights in Humanitarian Crises, and Urban Disaster, Vulnerability and Displacement: Humanitarian Challenges, found the lectures particularly useful in their research, as well as in deepening their understanding of humanitarian issues and challenges. The students also benefited from a comprehensive briefing given by OCHA at the UN Headquarters that covered topics focusing on the international humanitarian architecture and internal displacement in urban settings. The students also participated in a field visit to the Brooklyn Grange Navy Yard Farm to see the successful Refugee and Immigrant Fund (RiF) Urban Farm Recovery Project, which provides job training and psychosocial support using urban agriculture platforms to immigrants and refugees seeking asylum in NYC.

As a venue for third-country research stay, all six students said that they will encourage and recommend the IIHA at Fordham University to other NOHA students. As the IIHA continues to deepen its partnership with NOHA and other organizations such as RiF, we are excited to see what this new academic year holds in store!
Call for Papers/ Photos

Healey International Relief Fund (HIRF) recently featured the ongoing Ebola response efforts of Ishmeal Alfred Charles (IDHA 40) and his team as they delivered donations in Sierra Leone. Charles' spirit of optimism is captured well in his photo caption: "Sunshine on a cloudy day..." We echo HIRF's thanks to Charles for his hard work on the ground. Another great example of one of IIHA's humanitarian heroes!
Pau Vidal, S.J. (IDHA 43) and Alvar Sanchez, S.J. (HNTC 8) are both currently working for the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) mission in Maban, South Sudan. As the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan worsens, humanitarian agencies are under increasing pressure to provide basic life saving services. However, in a country where education services are far from sufficient, extending learning opportunities to displaced persons must also be prioritized. Pau and Alvar were recently featured in a  JRS video detailing the importance of educational programming in emergency contexts. Pau was also featured in another video about the importance of investing in education as a pathway to peace.
Fr. Paddy poses during a life drawing class. Photo by Rory Prout.
Fr. Paddy Moran (IDHA 12), an Irish Spiritan missionary who has been working in Ethiopia for eleven years, shared with us a recent project that took place in the prison of Arba Minch, a town 505 kilometers south of Addis Ababa. Rory Prout, the artist in residence at the Irish Embassy to Ethiopia, visited the prison in May 2015 and offered art classes to the prisoners for five days, during which he "guided and mentored his students, helping them to discover the artist within." Following the project, Rory submitted a photo to be featured in a Human Rights exhibition called "Belonging."  The photo selected as a finalist in the competition (shown above) was taken during a life drawing class, in which Fr. Paddy volunteered to act as a model.
Dr. Sr. Ephigenia Gachiri, IBVM (IIHA and IDHA Guest Lecturer) is hard at work advocating for an end to the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). Her initiative, the Termination of Female Genital Mutilation, published its August newsletter to update the broader community about past and current progress and future plans.

Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter
View our profile on LinkedIn View on Instagram


The UN Secretary-General will convene the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul in 2016. This three-year initiative is being managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The WHS aims to find new ways to address humanitarian needs in our fast-changing world and to bring the global community together to commit to new ways of working together to save lives and reduce hardship around the globe.

In August, OCHA announced that the Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat, Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, would step down at the end of the year. IIHA Alumna, Kristy Siegfried of IRIN, recently wrote an article about this new development, in which she provides insight to Dr. Mahmood's inspirational leadership and the lasting mark Dr. Mahmood will leave on the WHS proceedings. The IIHA wishes IDHA Honoris Causa Recipient Dr. Mahmood all the best in her new position!

As the WHS draws closer, new initiatives include continued events and consultations, and a new blog that will provide commentary and thoughts from UN and other contributors on current crises and modern humanitarian questions. PHAP has also now made available on YouTube all consultation and discussion events in support of the  WHS.

Beginning on 21 September, the WHS online global consultation will gather comments and feedback to inform the preparations for the Global Consultation in Geneva fro m 14-16 October 2015. Individuals interested i
n participating may so on the  WHS website . The Global Consultation will gather around 900 high-level participants from all stakeholders in humanitarian action. Participants will include representatives from affected communities, governments, civil society, national and international NGOs, regional organizations, United Nations agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the private sector and academia.
Thursday, September 24, 2015 | 5:00 PM

The Leitner Center for International Law and Justice at Fordham Law School in partnership with the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), the Stein Center for Law and Ethics, the National Lawyers Guild - Fordham Chapter, and the Feerick Center for Social Justice and the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) is pleased to present a screening of 'Soft Vengeance: Albie Sachs and the New South Africa,' a Peabody award-winning documentary on the life and work of Albie Sachs, a former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa and a prominent anti-Apartheid activist. Justice Sachs was exiled for 23 years, survived an assassination attempt, and played an integral role in the drafting of South Africa's constitution. He has worked tirelessly to ensure freedom and justice in South Africa. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Justice Sachs and the filmmaker Abby Ginzberg.

For more information: Please visit the event webpage.

Location: Room 3-04, Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd St. New York, NY 10023

Thursday, September 24, 2015 | 6:00 PM

The world is on the brink of something historic and the ONE campaign is inviting us all to be a part of it. Join thousands of others on Dag Hammarskjöld Park on September 24th at 6:00 pm to help showcase to global leaders everywhere that we as humans feel passionate about issues of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Use the hashtag #LightTheWay to help illuminate the lights in the park, and watch as people and cities worldwide are doing the same. The lighting will start in Australia and travel around the globe, reminding us that we are all standing together UNDER ONE SKY.

For more information: Please visit the event page.

Location: Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, East 47th Street, New York, NY 10017
Tuesday, October 13 - Wednesday, October 14, 2015

InterAction and Dalberg are hosting a two day event on the evolution of Innovative Financing for Development (IFfD) that is designed to educate senior decision makers in the NGO community. Case studies, explanatory lectures and exercises will be employed to explain the importance and impact of IFfD. Registration will close on October 1, 2015.

For more information: Please visit the event webpage.

Location: First Floor Conference Room, 1400 16 St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20063

September 21, 2015 | 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM (GMT)

The European Parliament Standing Rapporteur on Humanitarian Aid and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement are proud to present a panel discussion on the fundamental principles that guide humanitarian action. It has been 50 years since the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has adopted the fundamental principles of humanitarian aid: neutrality, independence, impartiality, humanity, universality, unity and voluntary service. These principles remain relevant as ever, but are increasingly called into question. In preparation for the World Humanitarian Summit, this debate will serve as an interactive forum where these principles and their implications on the ground can be discussed.

For more information: Please visit the event page or send an email to or
Location: Place du Luxembourg 1050 Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium
November 18 - November 20, 2015

The 7th annual Conference on Health and Humanitarian Logistics will be hosted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at the University of Pretoria and co-organized by the Georgia Tech Center for Health & Humanitarian Systems (HHS), the INSEAD Humanitarian Research Group, the MIT Humanitarian Response Lab and Northeastern University. The conference features plenary panels, and interactive workshops on a variety of topics related to supply chain management and logistics in global health and humanitarian response and development. The program also includes poster sessions and ample opportunities for networking. Further details on the conference agenda, theme and discussion topics will be available soon.

For more information: Please visit the event webpage.

Location: Sandton, South Africa
Saturday, March 5 - Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The World Conference on Humanitarian Studies, "Changing Crises and the Quest for Adequate Solutions," will now take place from 5 - 8 March 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Since the turn of the century, we have not had as many large and concurring crises as today. While some historical conflict areas are slowly emerging from crises, Syria, Iraq, Libya, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, South Sudan, the Ukraine and other incumbent crises continue to spur human suffering, displace millions of people, destroy infrastructure and livelihoods, impair local institutions and create increasingly wicked political problems. As the number and diversity of crises is increasing, local actors, governments, and humanitarian organizations are struggling to understand what is going on and respond to them. At the same time, many other actors, varying from Private Military Security Companies and private foundations to religious groups have entered the fray. The fourth World Conference of Humanitarian Studies aims to deepen our understanding of how and why crises are changing, which actors play a role in them, how this changes the interplay between humanitarian action and other actors and systems, and how this affects the prospects of prevention, preparedness, response and development.

Important dates:
Panels can be submitted until 1 October 2015
Papers can be submitted until 25 December 2015

For more information: Please visit the event event webpage.

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia