Sept. 30 - Oct. 14

Last week, world leaders set a new international development agenda for the next 15 years with the approval of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs are an ambitious set of 17 goals with 169 targets that will take the place of the soon-to-expire Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  The end result of a 3 year consultative effort involving all 193 member nations, the SDGs are universally applicable to all nations and include overarching aims of reducing poverty and inequality and preserving the environment.

Two days before the approval of the SDGs, Gonzalo Sánchez-Terán (IDHA 16, CIHC Deputy Humanitarian Programs Director, Education in Emergencies Course Director) was a panelist for a session on Education during the 2015 International Conference on Sustainable Development, hosted by Columbia University in New York. In his remarks, shared below, Gonzalo offers his perspective of the Zero Draft, the document which first proposed the SDGs ratified on Friday. Gonzalo highlights a key weakness of the document - that it does not prioritize humanitarian emergencies - and discusses the potential implications of this "glaring blindspot" for SDG #4: To ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.

The Open Working Group's Proposal for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also known as the Zero Draft managed to put forward an ambitious and comprehensive agenda to tackle poverty, climate change and social exclusion but had some glaring blind spots. Focusing on developmental challenges, political inclusion and preventive action, the response to humanitarian crises was not a priority and was only mentioned in the Introduction to the first document but not in any of the Goals and Targets. As part of the Post-2015 Intergovernmental Negotiations, in May 2015, two of the 169 targets (both related to resilience in Goals 1 and 11) included a specific reference to the people affected by humanitarian emergencies. In a world with ever growing numbers of forcibly displaced people caused by conflicts and natural disasters it will be impossible to achieve the 'getting to zero' concept of the SDGs if humanitarian crises are not put at the center of the world's attention...

Call for Papers/ Photos

Noteworthy Articles, Reports, & Resources

Academic Council on the United Nations System Quarterly Newsletter Issue 3 (2015) (ACUNS)

Eleven Reasons Why Humanitarian Standards Matter (The Sphere Project)

The Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action (The Sphere Project)

Global Forum 2015 Summary Paper and Results and Findings Webinar (ALNAP)

Urban Webinar Recording: Area-Based Programming and Coordination Approaches in Urban Response (ALNAP)

Turning the Humanitarian System on its Head: Saving lives and livelihoods by strengthening local capacity and shifting leadership to local actors (Oxfam)

On the Road to Istanbul: How can the World Humanitarian Summit Make Humanitarian Response More Effective (CHSAlliance)

Disasters Special Issue: Aid in the archives: academic histories for a practitioner audience (ODI)

On February 25, 2015, the IIHA announced the release of Alexis Premkumar "Prem" Antonysamy, S.J. (IDHA 32, MIHA), who had been held in captivity by the Taliban since June 2014. Following the news of Fr. Prem's release, the IIHA began a letter writing campaign to share with Prem the thoughts and prayers of the IIHA community. The IIHA received an overwhelming amount of messages, posts, and emails from current students, alumni, lecturers, and friends around the world - all of which were compiled into a book then sent to Prem. Prem recently wrote a letter to the IIHA family in which he extends his gratitude for the thoughts and prayers received throughout his captivity and following his release. The IIHA would also like to take this opportunity to thank you, our IIHA community of family and friends, for your tremendous outpouring of support for one of our own. Read Prem's letter!
Matthew Hollingworth (IDHA 1), United Nations World Food Programme's (WFP) Syria Country Director, recently spoke to BBC's Food Programme about how WFP is responding to the needs of the most vulnerable in Syria, with over 4 million priority cases. 
Timo Luege (IDHA 21) of Social Media 4 Good recently posted two blog pieces: "10 Years After Katrina: Would Social Media Have Made a Difference?" and " When Disaster Strikes: Social Media Drives Self Recovery". Focusing on the positive effects of social media in humanitarian work, Luege argues that social media can save lives as well as increase humanitarian response efforts by being able to connect to people in need of assistance in a personal way.
Joe Lowry (IDHA 12) recently shared his dissertation "The Media and Aid Organizations: An Unravelling Symbiosis?" in which he examines the relationship between aid organizations and the media through a series of interviews. 
Ayele Tiyou (IDHA 38) is currently working with the World Health Organization (WHO) polio program in Bor, Jonglei State, South Sudan. As part of the global polio eradication campaign, Ayele works as a field epidemiologist consultant with the joint effort of the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Amman, Jordan

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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.

The WHS online global consultations are now underway and will gather comments and feedback to inform the preparations for the Global Consultation in Geneva from 14-16 October 2015. Individuals interested in participating may do 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.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 | 12:30 - 1:30 PM

Humanitarian Aid frequently brings desirable commodities and foreign currency into complex emergencies where powerful actors - abusive governments, rebel militias, private companies and others - have different and frequently competing agendas. A number of countries have been the target of humanitarian dollars for several decades and have become expert at manipulating humanitarian aid for their own purposes. Alex Van Tulleken, IIHA Helen Hamlyn Senior Fellow, will examine specific examples of this and the vulnerabilities that make it possible for NGOs and UN agencies to be co-opted into state abuses.

Location: Room 4-09, Fordham Law School, 150 W. 62nd St. New York, NY 10023

Tuesday, October 6, 2015 | 1:00 PM

RiF will be holding its next Asylum Support Group meeting on October 6th. The meeting will feature Marilee Johns, IRC Resettlement Supervisor, & Leonie Guei , a former asylum seeker. Marilee will discuss programs available for asylum seekers and for those who have been granted asylum and Leonie will share about entering Brooklyn Law School.

Location: Fordham University, McMahon Hall, 155 W 60t h Street, Room 109

Tuesday, October 6 - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Join TECHO, Pace University, and Univision as they host the Poverty Awareness Campaign to urge New Yorkers to take action against global injustice and inequality. Listen to talks and participate in discussions about the greatest humanitarian challenges of our time. Check out the Pop-Up Slum, a simulation that provides an insight into the informal settlements that almost 12% of our global population live in. Free of charge, join humanitarian leaders and community members in taking action!

Location: Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038
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.

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

Friday, October 9 - Saturday, October 10, 2015

In its 17th year, the Humanitarian Congress Berlin unites over 80 international experts from medical, political, academic and journalistic fields to discuss challenges and new approaches to humanitarian aid. It features panel debates on medical and political questions, workshops for experienced practitioners as well as introductory sessions for students and young professionals.

Location: Virchow-Klinikum, Lehrgebäude, Forum 3, Augustenburger Platz 1, 13353 Berlin
Wednesday, November 18 - Friday, 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.

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:
Papers can be submitted until 25 December 2015

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 | 2:00 - 3:30 PM (BST)

The ICRC and ALNAP will be bringing together experts from development and humanitarian sectors at the ODI in London on Tuesday October 6th to discuss the new ICRC report "Urban services during protracted armed conflict: a call for a better approach to assisting affected people". There will be a reevaluation of humanitarian and development aid efforts as the ICRC has reported that the underlying causes of most aid effort challenges are not recieving the attention that they deserve.

Location: Overseas Development Institute (ODI), 203 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NJ UK, and streamed live online
Tuesday, October 13, 2015 | 4:30 - 6:00 PM (BST)

Development and humanitarian aid often involve working in complicated and complex environments, addressing entrenched economic or social issues and involving multiple groups and interests. But too often, evaluations fail to take this into account. Much of the debate around evaluation, particularly in the last decade, starts and stops with which methods are best to collect and analyze data. We need to start addressing difficult questions about the political and working challenges to doing evaluation. How do organizations decide what - and what not - to evaluate? How do we reconcile inevitable trade-offs between measuring short and long term change? How do we maintain support for evaluation and ensure that it's used for learning and improvement?

Location: Overseas Development Institute (ODI), 203 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NJ UK, and streamed live online