Published: Wednesday, 02 July 2014 08:28
In 2005, the UN initiated a process of reform of the international humanitarian system. This was based on the growing awareness of the need to better involve NGOs, particularly national and local NGOs on a more equal footing with UN agencies in humanitarian planning and response.
With support from CAFOD, ECOWEB has able to participate in some advocacy for this humanitarian reform process. EcoWEB presented "Local Capacity Building Key for Effective Humanitarian Partnerships" during the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment Side-Event held in New York City on June 25, 2014. The event entitled The role of partnerships in humanitarian response: lessons learned from Typhoon Haiyan was co-sponsored by The Government of the Philippines, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and 5 UK agencies: CAFOD, ActionAid, Christian Aid, Oxfam, and Tearfund. Said agencies also commissioned the research Missed Again, in which EcoWEB was among the respondent.
ECOWEB, thru its Executive Director who presented at the ECOSOC, emphasized the need to strengthen humanitarian partnership and the need to capacitate the local and national development organizations that exist with our without disasters to effectively respond to humanitarian crisis as need arises. Capacitating the local and national NGOs is expected to improve the accountability mechanism of humanitarian system for thru them the views of communities affected by the crisis is expected to be better heard of.
Greater knowledge of the context and strong connections with community and government structures are some advantages of local and national NGOs for effective humanitarian response as presented by ECOWEB. However, they always face constraints on the lack of resources to sustain its programs and skilled staff.
Thus, ECOWEB recommended on the need to improve access of local and national NGOs to an Emergency Relief and Recovery Fund to help them better respond to disasters. And for greater effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian response, ECOWEB also put emphasis on the importance of effective coordination of various actors and the localization of UN cluster system.
The event was chaired by H.E. Mr. Libran N. Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations. The Chair praised the role of local NGOs and private sector in responding to disasters in the Philippines. He mentioned that the concept of partnership in the country during crisis goes back to the Filipino concept of “bayanihan” or strong community spirit.
Ms. Kyung-wha Kang, Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian, moderated the event.
Other panels of the event include Mr. Andy Featherstone, Co-author of new report, Missed Again commissioned by CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Tearfund and Action Aid documenting the application of partnership approaches with national and local actors during the response to Typhoon Haiyan; Mr. Butch Meily, President, Philippine Disaster Recovery Foundation (PDRF); and Mr. Randolph Kent, Co-author of a recent series of studies commissioned by UN OCHA, ODI, HPG, and Vantage Partners, and supported by DFID, on how the business community and public-sector work together to prepare for and respond to disasters.
For full report of the event, see http://www.ecoweb.ph/index.php/news/campaign-advocacy/humanitarian-system/2-uncategorised/130-the-role-of-partnerships-in-humanitarian-response-lessons-learned-from-typhoon-haiyan
Related Policy Advocacy Documents
Local Capacity Building Key for Effective Humanitarian Partnerships
Speech by Regina “Nanette” S. Antequisa, Executive Director of CAFOD partner ECOWEB, delivered to the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs segment side event The Role of Partnerships in Humanitarian Response: Lessons Learned from Typhoon Haiyan, Tuesday 24 June 2014.
The role of partnerships in humanitarian response: lessons learned from Typhoon Haiyan
A report from an official side event at the ECOSOC Humanitarian Affairs Segment meeting, Tuesday, 24 June 2014
CAFOD Policy and Research Documents on Humanitarian system including the Missed Again Report
Strengthening Humanitarian and Development Interventions thru an Empowering Engagement between Local CSOs and the UN and other International Agencies Introduction
An Agenda Paper of the civil society organizations (CSOs) in Lanao provinces submitted to the UNHCR and UNOCHA team placed to assist the humanitarian response to the impact of Typhoon Sendong (international name Washi). The paper is an output of series of meeting of local CSOs with support from UNOCHA in 2012.
The Mediating Volunteers: Bridging the Gap, Empowering Survivors of Humanitarian Crisis
A concept developed by ECOWEB to respond to important but often neglected needs of survivors in humanitarian crisis: the need to be heard and involved in the process to ensure protection of their rights in the conduct of humanitarian response.