Sunday, September 23- Thursday, September 27
LEADERSHIP IN HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
Humanitarian crises are no longer side-shows to the global political and economic agenda. They are a consequence of and a factor in determining the shape of the global community. At the global level the geography of humanitarian crisis often coincide with the geography of global security concerns (e.g., Afghanistan, Somalia, Colombia). At the national level increasingly frequent natural disasters are recognized as being a critical factor in shaping economic growth and thus more states are taking mitigating actions as a result of serious crisis (e.g., the Philippines, Indonesia, Mozambique). In industrialized and urbanizing nations the complexity and cascading effects of major crises a now acknowledged as profound shapers of local and sometimes national politics and economics (the Japan tsunami, New Orleans Hurricane). Across the world the old mix of actors operating in humanitarian environments, northern donor nations, the Red Cross, NGOs, is being added to by new actors; the military, southern based NGOs, new government donors.
Thus the altruistic driven business of responding to humanitarian crises is set in a much more informed, public and complex environment than in the past, and often humanitarian operations have to compete for space, resources, profile and independence with strategic foreign policy objectives, national political objectives and local commercial and corporate objectives.
Those running humanitarian operations and organizations today need extraordinarily skilled leaders.
1. Understand the basic history of humanitarian action and the way that history has shaped today’s humanitarian community. Focus on the way that the leadership of individuals and organizations has shaped this history.
2. Understand the present structure of the humanitarian community and the consequences of that structure, paying particular attention to the role of coordination and the challenges of providing leadership in a networked environment, paying particular attention to the new coordination approaches post UN Humanitarian Reform.
3. Understand the basic values and operating principles of humanitarian action, focusing on the ethics of the individual worker and the dilemmas this creates.
4. Understand the power dynamics issues within the humanitarian system and its relations to its primary and secondary clients, paying particular attention to the stresses this creates for humanitarian leaders and to the ways of recognizing and coping with those stresses.
5. Explore the clash of political, military and humanitarian agendas in crises and the role of leadership in resolving these clashes.
6. Explore the future drivers of humanitarian crises (Institutional Change, Climate, Globalization) and the role of leadership in evolving humanitarian agencies t be fit for the future.
Buchanan-Smith. M. & Scriven. K. Leadership in Action: Leading effectively in humanitarian operations. ALNAP. 2011 (http://www.alnap.org/resource/6118.aspx)
Lansing. A. Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage. Basic Books; Second Edition (1999)
Chapter 2: Origins of the International Humanitarian System. In. Walker, P. , and D. Maxwell. Shaping the Humanitarian Word. Routledge Publications, 2008.
Holmes, J. Humanitarian action: a Western-dominated enterprise in need of change. Forced Migration Review. 29 4-6 December 2007
UN Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction; Revealing Risk, Redefining Development. Summary and Main Findings. 2011
Students will use the seminar to prepare a briefing paper, to be delivered as a presentation at the end of the Seminar. Students will work in groups to prepare a briefing for a humanitarian leader; the CEO of an NGO, the minister of a donor nation, the minister of a crisis effected country, or the UN Humanitarian Coordinator. Briefings will focus on policy and practical options for the chosen organization in responding to a named crisis.