The Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) programme is looking forward to hosting a panel at the World Conference on Humanitarian Studies in Istanbul, Turkey from 24-27 October 2013.
We will be exploring ‘The role of the military in humanitarian assistance’ a subject which always provokes lively debate. It’s one that we’ve looked at in the GHA report and in our January paper on ‘Counting the cost of humanitarian aid delivered through the military’. Keeping in mind the essential humanitarian principles, this panel will focus on two practical questions: how can we get more clarity on military financing for relief efforts? and, are there ways in which military and humanitarian actors can more productively engage with each other? We’ll be bringing together researchers and practitioners with a wealth of experience in disaster and conflict response:
The panel will be chaired by Norah Niland, who has spent much of her professional life with the United Nations, both in the field (including assignments in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Cambodia, Liberia and Afghanistan), and at HQ on humanitarian, human rights, and development issues in crisis and transition environments. Norah is currently a Research Associate at the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP), The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
Anna Osborne, Development Initiatives’ (DI) Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) programme, will provide an overview of military spending in humanitarian contexts and present a paper on ‘military financing for relief efforts: an analysis of trends over the past decade and data gap analysis’. Anna currently develops DI’s work on military and security and has previously carried out research and policy analysis for UN peacekeeping missions in Liberia and South Sudan (UNMIL and UNMISS) and for International Crisis Group in Haiti.
Carina Solmirano from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) will look at, ‘Assessing the cost of military operations in Afghanistan (2008-2012) and juxtaposing them to the assessed costs of humanitarian assistance’ will be presented by Carina is currently Senior Researcher with SIPRI’s Military Expenditure and Arms Production Programme and is responsible for research in Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia.
Marc van den Homberg from TNO, a Dutch Research and Technology Organisation, will present a joint paper, undertaken with Cordaid, which highlights that whilst there are a number of Dutch coherence mechanisms in place once political decisions for an intervention taken place, there are not yet well-established mechanisms for an early stage comprehensive 3D analysis and assessment of emerging and future conflicts. TNO and Cordaid propose a multi-stage collaboration network that supports – at an early stage – more structured information sharing among the three actors. Marc van den Homberg is the co-founder and leader of the ICT for Development (ICT4D) team at TNO as well as a technical team member of the NATO HFM 241 exploratory team on Social Media and Information Technology for Disaster and Crisis Response.
Finally, Nigel Cribb from the UK Defence Academy will give personal reflections of military work undertaken in a humanitarian situation, including some practical examples of the UK’s military disaster relief operations in Kashmir after the 2005 earthquake.
Our panel is being held at 12:00-13:30 on Friday 25 October (programme subject to change). If you will be in Istanbul, we do hope you will be able to attend and participate in the discussion. If you are not able to be there, watch the GHA website for future updates on this area of work. Some papers will be available online shortly.
For more details please contact Kerry Smith – Kerry.Smith@devinit.org