Where are you based?
London, UK. We also have Humanitarian Forums in Yemen, Egypt, Libya, Indonesia and Sudan.
How can I donate to The Humanitarian Forum?
The Humanitarian Forum is entirely funded by private donors and we are very grateful for contributions. If you would like to make a donation by phone or email, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What were the selection criteria for setting up national Humanitarian Forums?
We select our pilot countries after a full assessment of the humanitarian needs, the funding possibilities and the membership. Our national forums are tailored to the community we are trying to serve and the culture, systems society, and rather than attempting a ‘one size fits all’ approach to national Forums, we prefer to create a bespoke organisation which answers the needs of that country.
What’s next for the forum?
Over the course of the next few years, we’ll be expanding our global network, both in face to face conferences and workshops and through our online activities. We will be looking to select two more countries in which to create national Humanitarian Forums and will be holding our first national congress.
How does the Forum define Humanitarianism?
Because humanitarianism is founded upon the fundamental principle of human dignity and solidarity, the idea of Humanitarian accountability should by definition be intrinsic and inseparable from all “humanitarian” work. It should be obvious that to undertake relief work without first consulting the intended beneficiaries is to deny disaster survivors a voice and, paradoxically, to treat people as if they were helpless objects rather than dignified human beings. Arguably, if emergency relief is planned and implemented in a manner that does not respect the views, capacities and disposition of disaster survivors, it can better be described as “charitable” rather than “humanitarian” in nature. Sadly, many international aid agencies still tend towards servicing the accountability needs of those in power rather than those in need.
For more information, please read our humanitarian standards page.
What is meant by ‘Capacity Building’?
Put simply, Capacity Building is the process of improving the quality of NGOs in a sustainable way. It’s about strengthening an organisation to make the most efficient and impactful use of its resources. Many small NGOs want to improve but do not have the funding or knowledge to become truly excellent humanitarian organisations. By working with organisations at their level, we facilitate improvement and empowerment, enabling them to become active and useful members of the humanitarian community.
For more information, please read our Capacity Building Page.
How are the NGOs on a country level selected? Is there a selection criterion in place?
The national Forums have their own selection criteria, although as a general rule the selection process is inclusive and open. The international Humanitarian Forum supports local forums in creating an inclusive accountable selection process.
NGOs have varying capacities, so what is the incentive for more advanced NGOs to join the Forum, and how will the Forum deal with this discrepancy especially with regards to capacity building techniques?
We believe that both large and small NGOs can benefit from better partnerships. More advanced NGOs are often looking for direct access and more personal communication within the communities they serve. Smaller grass roots organisations can supply vital knowledge and expertise on local custom and culture. They tend to be more ‘in tune’ with their communities and can facilitate a more appropriate humanitarian response.
What is the relationship between the International and National Humanitarian Forums?
The International Humanitarian forum is the parent organisation to the national forums. We facilitate their foundation and offer support for their projects, and we share common core approaches and standards. The national Humanitarian Forums, as the best people to understand and answer the needs of their local and national communities, operate autonomously from the International Humanitarian Forum in their daily activities.