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12 FEBRUARY 2015


The Dutch Humanitarian Summit is an initiative of: CARE Nederland, Cordaid, HealthNet TPO, Humanity House, ICCO &Kerk in Actie, NCDO, the Dutch Red Cross, Oxfam Novib, Save the Children, Stichting Vluch- teling, University Groningen, War Child and ZOA.

CONTACT Humanity House attn. Marloes Sonsma Prinsegracht 8, 2512 GA Den Haag 070 3100054 marloes.sonsma@humanityhouse.org www.humanityhouse.org

COPY WRITERS Eva Huson, Gerben Vlasveld Laura van der Reijden Silvi Hurkmans DESIGN Visuele Notulen


Welcome Session Dutch Humanitarian Summit 2015




Column: Humanity by Naema Tahir


Theme I: Local vs. International Capacity


Local vs. International Capacity


Column: Impartiality by Minka Nijhuis


Visitor Interviews


Theme II: Urban Refugees


Urban Refugees


Video: Urban Refugees


Column: Neutrality by Bright O. Richards


Keynote Speech Lilianne Ploumen


Theme III: From Relief to Development


Resolving the Problems of Lost Generations


Visitor Interviews


Theme IV: Innovations in Relief Aid


Fair or Failure


Innovation Market


Gender: A Neglected Concept?


Supervisory Board


Theme V: The Various Roles of the UN


The UN and their Different Roles


Column: Independence by Maite Vermeulen


Video: World Humanitarian Summit Animation


Closing Session


Column: Univeriality by Boris van der Ham




Full Declaration


Video: Humanitarian Summit Statements


Psycho-Social Health in Emergencies


The Round Table





Introduction: NHT in a Nutshell




The Dutch Humanitarian Summit took place on the 12th of February in The Hague. The Dutch Humanitarian Summit is an initiative of ten NGOs in colla­boration with the University of Groningen, NCDO and the Humanity House. The goal of the Summit was to take stock of where we are in the humanita­rian sector and to come up with improvements, which are highly needed as the humanitarian sector is faced by an overwhelming number of crises worldwide. UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for a World Humanitarian Summit taking place in Istanbul in 2016. The results of the Dutch Summit will feed into the preparations for the World Summit. On the 12th of February the Humanity House and neighbouring Paard van Troje were fully packed with participants. Debates were lively and the innovation market was well attended. We look back on a greatly succesful day as it engaged so many people. Many of whom came from the humanitarian sector, but the younger generation was also present. The preparations for the day started with a Round Table of directors of the ten organisations in October 2014. The ten directors selected five priority themes for the Dutch Humanitarian Summit: local and international capacities, the different roles of the UN, from relief to development, urban refugees and – innovation in huma­nitarian aid; while gender in emergencies­was seen as a theme cutting across all other. During the Summit, spoken columns by philosophers, writers and journalists explored the five humanitarian principles of humanity, universality, independence, neutrality and impartiality. This perspective from outside the humanitarian sector offers reflection on the principles and their meaning. This report summarizes the debates of the day, it highlights the declaration of the Dutch Summit and it captures the energy of the day in photos. And most importantly, the report will help us in the follow up process after the Summit. It reminds us of the 9 commitments included in the declaration of the Dutch Humanitarian Summit. And it helps us follow up with future exchange of ideas, thoughts and sharing of knowledge. Ton Huijzer, on behalf of the participating organizations.




“We are very proud to be involved in the first ever Dutch Humanitarian Summit, during which NGOs will seek better ways to meet the needs of people affected by conflicts and disasters.” Lisette Mataar, Director of Humanity House



OPENING SESSION How can Dutch humanitarian organizations contribute to improve the provision of relief aid during major crises? Ten Dutch humanitarian organizations want to offer concrete answers to this question and have joined forces to organize the Dutch Humanitarian Summit.


The Dutch Humanitarian Summit 2015 kicks off with a brief introduction of the initiators Tineke Ceelen (Director The Netherlands Refugee Foundation) and Thea Hilhorst (professor Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction). Tineke Ceelen (Director the Netherlands Refugee Foundation) sowed the seeds of the Dutch Humanitarian Summit as she initiated a series of humanitarian debates in the Netherlands in 2011-2012. With the involvement of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the approaching World Humanitarian Summit, this series has developed into the Dutch Humanitarian Summit. Its main goal? Ceelen: “To exchange knowledge instead of merely discussing money and visibility. We can’t change the world today, but we can make a little difference. Let’s continue the debate about why and what we are doing. Let’s make sure this conversation won’t end today.” Initiator Thea Hilhorst (Professor Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction) made a consultation round prior to the Summit. She had conversations with the ten humanitarian organizations, from top to the bottom, resulting in the report ‘Dutch Humanitarian Aid; now and in the future’ . The added value of the summit is evident to Hilhorst. “The Dutch Humanitarian Summit brings people together that usually don’t work together”, states the professor.


“Let’s make sure this conversation won’t end today” Tineke Ceelen




Step up our efforts to support local partners in strengthening their capacities to deliver timely and impartial humanitarian aid with respect for the legitimate roles of national actors in responding to humanitarian crises;


Strengthen our capacities in emergency response in the immediate aftermath of an emergency, be better prepared for humanitarian work in very insecure environments, and stepping up our efforts to improve access to people in need by advancing the respect for hmanitarian principles and international humanitarian law;


Strengthen coordination and cooperation in humanitarian response and evaluate the effects of the multiple roles of the UN and UN coordination in situations of conflict for access to people in need and effective and accountable delivery of aid;


Ensure participation of and accountability to affected communities of humanitarian programming during all stages of preparedness, relief and recovery;


Initiate recovery programming as soon as possible during the relief phase and work as organisations and with donors to better link humanitarian relief efforts with recovery and development and ensure the continuity of basic services to affected communities;


Step up our efforts to provide aid to displaced people in urban settings in order to reflect the reality that more than 50% of refugees and displaced now live in cities;


Promote gender sensitive humanitarian aid and context specific approaches that promote women and girls’ empowerment over their own lives from the first stages of a humanitarian response;


Promote attention for children and youth as a group with specific needs in humanitarian response and thus tackling the growing problem of ‘Lost generations’;


Step up our cooperation with private partners and academia to develop innovative solutions in humanitarian programming.


We commit ourselves to and call upon all participants of the World Humanitarian Summit to:


Naema Tahir


Some 14 years ago I had the privilege of working for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UNHCR. I remember the day I left Schiphol, heading to Lagos which was to be my duty station. I was 29 years old and I was going to help and save as many refugees, in my capacity as associate protection officer. I was full of good will. I was full of humanity. People needed me, and that felt urgent. In Lagos I met a woman who had worked with many refugees in Pakistan. That interested me much since my parents come from Pakistan and it were the million or so refugees that Pakistan took care of in the eighties and nineties that had made me want to work for a refugee organization in the first place. So, I asked this lady, ‘What are the refugees in Pakistan like?’ Her response was a one worded sentence which surprised me: ‘Ungrateful’ she said. I had never heard a term like this connected to people in need. I had never even imagined one could say something like this about poor, helpless, needy refugees. ‘Ungrateful’ she called them. And she continued in the same vein: she told me that the refugees she assisted always complained, always wanted more, expected more, they were never satisfied. For me, it was the first time I had heard something negative about people in need. However, in a funny way it helped me see things in a different light. You see, I had headed off to Lagos as a United Nations official with a heart full of humanity. I wanted tot show humanity. And in Lagos there were refugees who needed my humanity: projects, aid, training, schooling, medicine, food packages. You name it! But humanity is more than just giving. As the Roman philosopher Cicero said: humanity means two things: one is indeed to give, the other is to do something, to act. Such as, to build a school. Or, to work in a hospital. Or, I would add, to act humane. Because humanity also means to ‘act humane’. And that means to see the other person as a human. As a person who has more identities than the identity we give them: that of the needy and helpless person. I believe we all have the duty to always ask ourselves: do we see the persons we help as humans? And in our answer lies the heart of our humanity.


Local vs. International Capacity




The humanitarian system suffers from a lack of capacity and cannot offer sufficient help to the increasing number of major disasters. Is the solution to strengthen local capacity? Or should international capacity be increased instead? A discussion about the access to people in need with Lahpai Seng Raw (Metta Development Foundation), Tammam Aloudat (Médecins Sans Frontières) and Evert van Bodegom (ICCO & Kerk in Actie).

back and forth in the conflict zones. “No displaced person has died of hunger in this context”, states Seng Raw. “But we also have a lot of crises nor the local NGOs, neither the UN and other international organizations can solve.” For example, one cannot always successfully negotiate humanitarian access to conflict zones. The solution? “We need to complement each other’s work and we have to work together: both local and international groups.”

Recognizing local NGOs: the one and only option

Stop talking, start saving lives

“Investing in local capacity is the only way forward to deliver timely and effective humanitarian aid in crises.” These are the words of Lahpai Seng Raw. She has founded Myanmar’s largest civil society group – Metta Development Foundation – and works in the war-torn Kachin State. In this area only a very limited number of aid agencies can work, even during a ceasefire. Seng Raw: “So when the armed conflict resumed in 2011, the United Nations and other international agencies had no access to the conflict zone.” According to her, recognizing local NGOs as the central actors providing humanitarian assistance to displaced people is therefore the only and right choice. Local NGO’s will take the lead from the first day of the conflict; they have local contacts, speak the regional languages and can go

“I will probably present a perspective that’s slightly different.” Tammam Aloudat, Swiss Deputy Medical Director for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), reveals a tone of frustration in his voice while taking the stage. “We can have a discussion about working together which will leave us with a warm and fuzzy feeling. However, I want to take it further. Because what I do when a humanitarian crisis hits, is saving the lives of people rather than talk about how we will save the next generation in the next disaster.” According to Aloudat local NGO’s cannot always take the lead and be the first to enter a humanitarian crisis zone. “When I flew into Haiti in 2010, I witnessed the Haitian Red Cross being entirely disabled for the first weeks. During the first period of a crisis, local NGOs often suffer as much as the rest of the community is suffering.” While


“We can have a discussion about working together that will leave us with a warm and fuzzy feeling. I want to go further. ” Tammam Aloudat


he has worked with national volunteers in amongst others Zimbabwe, he is of the opinion that too much is expected from local capacities. Aloudat: “It assumes that local people have all the knowledge.” The deputy-director stresses that aid discussions all too often take place in conference rooms, while they should be in tents in the field, with the people the humanitarian sector aims to help. It is Lahpai Seng Raw therefore that Aloudat believes that ‘local and international capacity’ shouldn’t be the main discussion-top-

ic. Rather shift the attention to the field: “We’ve strayed from our main goal, which is helping people in need.”

“ It’s clear: the UN and NGOs cannot negotiate fundamental rights of humanitarian access at all times. ”

When the Titanic goes down

“Discussing local and international capacities, I have to think about the Titanic, the movie”, confesses Evert van Bodegom, working as a disaster manager for ICCO and Kerk in Actie. “The crux is that the ship is going down. And while it’s going down, Leo and Kate do not discuss with what vessel


they will leave the ship.” Whatever capacia very strong civil society, which has provty there is, Van Bodegom argues, we have en last year, during typhoon Hagupit, to to use it. Accordingly, be able to handle many the pressing question things on its own.” Therearises: how can differfore, the disaster managent capacities reinforce er, concludes: “The curone another? His own rent humanitarian debate suggestion: always fosis dominated by too many ter local capacity, unless people from the global we have an argument North. We need to change not to do so. After all, this and link internationboth national and interal NGOs to national ones. national organizations Only then, we will have have knowledge and casufficient rescue capacity pacity they offer each for when the Titanic does Lahpai Seng Raw other. According to Van go down.” Bodegom, this also applies to disaster prevention. “For example, the Philippines has

“ Investment in local capacity is the only way forward to deliver effective humanitarian response in crises. ”


Minka Nijhuis “I found impartiality where I expected it the least: in the besieged and broken city of Aleppo.” “Hajjo had probably never heard of the principle of impartiality, and yet his modus operandi was the perfect example. He and his men rescued whoever needed to be rescued, and buried whoever needed to be buried.” “Local humanitarians in war zones serve as an inspiration. And as a reminder to never give up trying.”







INGRID ROLLEMA Founder Open Art Studio in Gaza “I have an atelier in Gaza, where we give children and other refugees perspective through the creation of art. It’s good to see that the problems I encounter there, are also problems which are important for the top people at the NGOs. I didn’t expect that. There are a lot of problems in aid, although a lot goes well too. But we’re talking about human lives here. We have lost over 600 people in the camp where I have my atelier in Gaza. That’s the harsh reality. I’m glad the people of the NGOs share the same view on these challenges.”

STIJN VERCAMMEN Student International Humanitarian Action “The aid sector is facing some challenges: either NGOs don’t communicate with one another or they don’t talk to local people in the regions they’re working in. The people at the United Nations discussion also noted that, but it’s very complicated because of all the politics and responsibilities involved. It was a very good day with great discussions.”

TINEKE CEELEN The Netherlands Refugee Foundation “There’s a lot of knowledge and experience here, so it’s perfect that all these people came together. 1 + 1 = 3. It is a start, a start of more cooperation between NGOs, and sharing of our obstacles and difficulties. The amount of refugees worldwide is growing, the world is getting more dangerous and our use isn’t as evident as before. There’s definately room for improvement.”

“I found one thing I heard today very inspiring: the call for more activism by mr. Pronk, and his words about the poor, who should decide the agenda of NGOs.”

THEA HILHORST Professor Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction “It’s fantastic that so many people show their interest during this meeting. The process towards this summit, which took a year and half, was also very valuable. We worked together with all the different parties, in a way which could be an example for other projects. That gives me hope.”







More than half of all refugees and displaced people around the world live in urban areas. Donors, UN agencies and NGOs are aware of this reality, but encounter difficulties in adapting their activities to meet the needs of urban refugees. Can this be improved? Refugees seeking the city When talking about refugees, we are often quick to think of the vast tent camps in, mostly, rural areas. Yet, this is an incorrect frame. Nowadays, more than half of the displaces Syrians and Iraqis try to make a living in the cities, avoiding the refugee camps that are erected by local governments and humanitarian organizations. Outside these camps, they enjoy the freedom to go wherever they wish, while living in a refugee camp significantly restricts their freedom of movement. Yet, this increased freedom comes at a price: the clandestine life in urban areas increases the vulnerability of displaced persons. In many cases children can’t attend school while parents are refused a working permit. Forced to take up jobs in the informal sector, refugees often work hard for little money. In cases where the rising rental price becomes too much to bear, families end up in a tent after all.

Camp bias While many refugees move to urban areas, little foreign aid flows towards this group. “Humanitarian organizations and the UNHCR suffer from a camp bias”, states Bram Jansen, anthropologist specialized in refugee-related issues. “The flow of displaced persons towards the cities is painted off as an exception, although in reality more than half of them seeks shelter in urban areas.” According to the anthropologist emergency relief organizations should invest more in aiding this group. Tineke Ceelen, director of the Netherlands Refugee Foundation, agrees with Jansen’s statement that disproportionate amounts of resources flow toward refugee camps. Ceelen: “If we look at the sums of money that are used to aid urban refugees, we conclude that that’s way less than fifty percent of our budgets.” Wanted: local partner Humanitarian organizations, on their part, seem to realize that their urban aid falls short at the moment. A policy-document published by UNHCR in 2009 reads: ‘The rights of refugees travel with them and are not bound by location’. Hence, also refugees should be able to count on humanitarian aid, also outside refugee camps.


“Refugees are creative. If governments allow them to stay in urban areas, they are able to make a living. ” Bram Jansen


“That’s easy to say”, states Jansen. According to him, several obstacles first need to be tackled in order to bring such intentions into practice. Most importantly: knowledge lacks on how refugees exactly survive in the cities. Humanitarian organizations therefore need to - somehow - connect to these groups, develop an in-depth understanding of these refugees and then provide aid. However, refugees’ distrust often impedes this, stresses Jansen. Urban refugees, working mostly informal jobs, are often wary of anything that resembles an official organization. Jansen: “Often, both the government and non-governmental organizations are striving to reach the same goal: tracking these displaced persons and putting them in refugee camps.”

But NGOs can help urban refugees, thinks Arco van Wessel, director of programmes for ZOA. “We need the right contacts on the ground, but we somewhat lost those. It’s mostly local organizations that are currently helping these urban refugees. It’s those organizations that we should approach in order to create a good policy.” The city is a complex place But the city is a complex operational place. While camps are relatively uncomplicated in terms of logistics, it may be difficult to successfully bring emergency relief to the cities. Ceelen: “In camps the situation is straightforward, but in cities there is a


higher risk of projects going wrong”. According to her, relief organizations are often afraid that their projects will fail due to the unclear situation in the city. For example, difficulties with distinguishing between actually displaced groups and non-displaced groups, like local poor, complicate the projects of humanitarian organizations greatly. Bram Jansen

opment that includes both refugees and locals in urban environments. No matter the complexity of delivering aid in cities, it must be preferred over putting displaced persons in freedom-limiting camps. Jansen: “The city is a more constructive solution to the refugee-issue than a camp is. The latter should be seen as an emergency solution and a fall-back option for persons and families that didn’t succeed in the city.”

“Camps and cities can co-exist. Refugees can travel to the city to try their luck, or go to a refugee camp for help.”

Jansen argues that there is no other solution to that problem than to opt for a broader form of devel-






“The rights of women and children need special attention in urban areas. It is vital to work together with institutions on site in order to understand the local situation.” Perry Heijne

“Refugee camps are great as a fallback scenario. In terms of a structural solution, cities serve refugees better. People travel between camps and cities all the time.” Arco van Wessel



Bright O. Richards “We have to leave this country, we have to flee. This cannot go on forever. I fled into the direction of the American Embassy. I smell death and I feel fear. At night I lay on the floor with a piece of cloth on me. Everyone for themselves, and God for all of us. Stand up, I said to myself, to do nothing is to cripple fast. People are dying like flies. He said: ‘STOP, I’m going to kill you.’ I pleaded for my life. Some kind of silence took over my life, all of the sudden, a man that I did not know said: ‘What is going on?’. I know you. And he said: ‘Please, let this boy live.’ Who is this man? I am happy that there are so many people that care about me. Open your heart and soul, just like me. I don’t need to hide anymore, I don’t need to be afraid.”




While humanitarian needs are substantial, resources for humanitarian aid are not keeping apace. How can we increase the efficiency of aid? And how can we reach people in need more effectively? Minister Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Aid) highlights the changes needed in the humanitarian aid system and she outlined her policy to achieve those changes. Ladies and gentlemen, Last autumn I was in northern Iraq. There I visited Syrian and Iraqi refugee camps. I’ve seen a lot of refugee camps in my time, but it’s something I never get used to. Time and again I am overwhelmed by their sheer size. Especially when I consider that every person in there, every woman, every man, every child, has their own tragic story of loss. I heard one such story from a woman who until recently had been working as a local government official. She had a good income, a roof over her head and a happy life with her family. Until she heard shouting in the middle of the night: ‘Get out of here, now, IS is coming!’ And so there she was with her children, having lost almost everything, crammed together with other refugees in an old gym building. And there are many more like her. Ordinary people, like us, with an ordinary life, like us, and an ordinary job, like us, who suddenly become refugees. Not because they want to, but be-

cause they have no choice. At the moment there are no fewer than four ‘L3’ emergencies in the world; the UN classification for the biggest and most serious humanitarian crises. There are now more refugees than at any time since the Second World War. Many of them depend on emergency aid to survive. But there’s a shortage of funds to help them – a shortage that has tripled in the last decade. So the Netherlands has decided to donate 570 million euros extra up to 2017. We are one of the world’s top ten humanitarian donors. In many ways, aid is working well, and all of you here today are doing a fantastic job. But it isn’t enough. The current humanitarian system can’t cope with the immense scale and complexity of the current crises. That’s why we’re here today: to think about the future of the humanitarian system. That system needs to be more effective. I believe there are three ways to achieve this. First, we need to strengthen the role and responsibilities of governments that are willing to protect people against the risks and consequences of disasters. We must invest more in the disaster management capacity of these local and national authorities. In some countries – like Syria – this is impossible, because there the government is part of the problem. But neighbors like Jordan and Lebanon are willing and able to play a major role. Let us help them, as much as possible, to do so.



At the same time, civil society is an important ally, especially in countries where governments cannot protect their own people. NGOs get to places others can’t reach, and so their work can be incredibly valuable. In war-torn countries they are often the glue that binds society together. So I’m very pleased about the new partnerships between Dutch NGOs in South Sudan and northern Iraq, for instance, where largescale projects are starting this year. The bigger the role of local authorities and organizations, the more complex – and crucial – it becomes to coordinate aid properly. This requires rapid decision-making, and effective and inclusive cooperation between all concerned. All too often there are parallel coordination systems: international and national. After Typhoon Haiyan had raged over the Philippines, the UN set to work with skill and zeal, but without taking enough account of the capacity already present in the country. We saw only

recently how big that capacity is now, with the impressive local response to Typhoon Hagupit. Last year the UN resolved to work towards a context-specific approach that would look at the capacity of local government and local players. I think that’s a step in the right direction. Second, it’s important to stimulate the local economy in crisis areas. More and more aid organizations have stopped providing their own supplies of food and other goods. Instead, they get them from local businesses. And increasingly, disaster victims aren’t given food packages, but cash or vouchers. This system is already widespread in Syria and Lebanon. Besides being much cheaper and reducing logistical coordination, it allows local markets to recover. Upsetting such markets by introducing free food is disastrous for local shopkeepers. What’s more, cash and vouchers give individuals more choice. People can decide what to buy

and where to buy it. In any event, there should be a greater focus on promoting refugees’ economic self-reliance. It should be easier for businesses to buy goods and services from refugees. At the same time, refugees should get more help with entering the market, for instance through training. Not just local businesses, but multinationals, too, are working more and more with emergency aid organisations in disaster areas. Unilever has been printing information about Ebola on their soap packaging, Vodafone set up a free mobile network after Typhoon Haiyan and IKEA is designing flat-pack shelters for refugee camps. I believe that such partnerships are part of the future of humanitarian aid. Because they benefit both the business community and emergency aid organisations. And even more important: they help people in need. Third, the aid sector needs to innovate. Hu-

manitarian organisations spend less than one per cent of their budgets on research and development. Businesses, on the other hand, often spend six to eight times as much. You can see why: donors want to see their money spent on saving lives – other types of spending are seen to be a waste. But that means there’s a lot of room for improvement in the working methods of humanitarian organisations. All kinds of new technologies are being ignored or underused. Take one of the biggest problems facing emergency aid: the lack of reliable information about disaster areas. There are huge opportunities in the rapidly-developing field of big data. Tweets, Facebook messages, text messages and satellite images from the disaster area can help create real-time crisis maps. Maps that contain all kinds of relevant information about the disaster area: the locations of evacuation centres, roads, hospitals and victims. And there are so many more good ideas, like text messages informing

people about Ebola. A machine that makes new bricks from earthquake rubble. Or solar-powered lamps like the WakaWaka Light. These are truly valuable inventions. Having such a lamp in a dark toilet in a refugee camp could mean the difference between safety and rape. But ideas like these haven’t yet broken through. They aren’t being tested enough, and applied on a larger scale. On the one hand that’s understandable: at a time of crisis you’d rather not be experimenting. On the other hand, this means that no true innovations or enhancements are being made. It all takes far too long. The need is great, and speed is of the essence. Innovation is important. But let me be clear: I’m not talking about innovation for its own sake. I’m talking about innovation that makes aid more effective. That doesn’t happen by itself. We must first go back to the key question: what do refugees and disaster victims really need? And then we must be prepared, above all, to share innovative

ideas. And here, too, coordination between organisations needs to be strengthened. In a few weeks’ time, for example, I’ll be hosting a meeting in The Hague about the use of big data to provide aid in a more targeted and effective way. At that meeting, UN organisations, donors, NGOs, businesses and universities will brainstorm to see how they can work together better in this field. But of course the other thing we need is simply more money. And here I firmly believe the answer lies in the market. Last autumn, for instance, I urged the World Bank to issue catastrophe bonds in the event of pandemics like Q fever, SARS and Ebola. This approach has been used before in big natural disasters. If there are no tsunamis, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions in a given period, investors get their deposit back with interest. If a disaster does occur, they guarantee to foot the bill. So when an epidemic occurs, sufficient funds are instantly available. Governments – especially in de-

veloping countries – usually don’t have the financial resources to cope in the wake of a disaster. The catastrophe bond system involves the capital markets and international financial institutions, making them part of the solution. These are some approaches for the short term. But I hope that today we will also have the courage to look at the long term. In the future, I believe true innovation lies in making emergency aid redundant. Experiments of this type are already under way. In India, for example there are projects that allow people to insure themselves against crop failure. It works like this. After a set number of days of drought or rain, the affected state receives a pay-out. The government then distributes the money among the population at risk. They can then arm themselves against impending disaster, for instance by reinforcing their houses or arranging transport to higher ground. This

prevents people falling victim to disasters, making emergency aid unnecessary. The challenge now is to run these experiments on a larger scale. In this area we are working closely with the International Finance Corporation. Of course, there will always be disasters that no one foresees. It’s the sad truth. And insuring against wars is a lot harder than against drought. But still, I believe working to make yourself redundant would be the real innovation in emergency aid. The World Humanitarian Summit is a good moment to set a new course together. Aid needs to be faster and more efficient. I see a greater role and responsibility for governments and business. And innovation is the way forward. Good intentions are not enough. Dare to think differently, out-ofthe-box. Don’t shy away from painful discussions. Let’s not only try to catch up. Let’s blaze a new trail! Thank you.



“Whether we like it or not, humanitarian aid is political as well. ” Ed Schenkenberg

From Relief

to Development



During major disasters, whole generations grow up with traumas and without opportunities to develop. They are known as the Lost Generation. Focusing primarily on providing relief aid, development activities often grind to a halt. Mark van Ommeren (medical specialist WHO) and Jan Pronk (former minister and special envoy United Nations) presented their visions: can we prevent the emergence of Lost Generations and how do emergency aid, reconstruction and development relate to each other in this context? “Emergencies are excellent opportunities to structurally change certain aspects of society”, states Marc van Ommeren, mental health expert at the World Health Organization (WHO). “When existing systems are in shock, the preparedness to change is higher among politicians. It also heightens media-attention, facilitating such change.” According to Van Ommeren, Sri Lanka for example shows how a disaster can bring meaningful change. After the tsunami ravaged parts of the country in 2006, humanitarian organizations and local authorities seized the opportunity to drastically reform the centralized healthcare system into a decentralized one, covering rural areas and significantly improving the health of Sri Lanka’s population. Van Ommeren’s argues that emergency

relief and development should go hand in hand: the first gives a helpful push to the latter in the so-called ‘two-pronged approach’. Yet, humanitarian organizations are often impeded to do so. For example, by short-term project contracts. Van Ommeren: “It makes it extremely difficult for us. How can one help people to overcome their mental difficulties within merely six months?” Another problem is the fact that linking emergency aid to reconstruction figures not high on the policy-agenda. Van Ommeren: “Although combining the two is conceptually very strong, it doesn’t sound sexy to politicians as an issue like ‘security’ does.” “Crises are political” Siding with Van Ommeren, also former Dutch minister and special UN envoy Jan Pronk argues that the responsibility for the efficacy of humanitarian aid mainly lies with decisionmakers. “All crises are manmade, caused by political choices made in both authoritarian regimes and the democratic western world.” According to the former politician, the two-pronged approach is desirable, yet insufficient when coping with the present-day societal problems. Pronk: “We are not at all on the right track. Processes of economic development increasingly lead to the exclusion of people,


“All crises are man-made, caused by political choices.”

Jan Pronk


societal polarization and environmental scarcity.” Accordingly certain groups of people are, and will be, increasingly vulnerable. Pronk refers to an example in India: pushed by powerful landowners, groups of small farmers were forced to leave their land and to migrate to vulnerable and unprosperous areas. “These people will be the first victims when serious problems arise and emergency situations occur. We are creating a lost generation”, warns the former minister. Needed: more pressure The solution? It is up to the world’s leaders to tackle these issues with adequate policies, argues Pronk. “Thousands of refugees are

drowning in the Mediterranean Sea while they are on their way to Europe. Yet, our government took the political decision to stop giving relief aid and support to the Italians who make an effort to save them.” According to Pronk, humanitarian organizations should put more pressure on political decision-makers and move them to rethink their social responsibilities. In addition, NGOs should return to their roots as to concentrate on the weakest groups of people by creating policies that aim to uplift the underclass and improve their resilience. Pronk: “This requires an activist and partial attitude, a giant shift from the current neutrality that humanitarian organizations embrace and uphold.”


“Relief and development go hand in hand; relief can lead to development, for example when national healthcare systems are pushed to improve after an emergency.” Mark van Ommeren



NINA BODE Ministry of Foreign Affairs “I work for the task force Women Rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where I’m responsible for the integration of gender in aid. I’d like to hear what the NGOs have to say, especially CARE. There’s a great combination of NGOs and government organizations present today, so I think we can exchange loads of knowledge.”

SANNE HOGESTEEGER Student International Humanitarian Action “I see a nice mixture of all kinds of people, students and parties today. Students are usually not invited to these kinds of summits, so I’m very happy we’re welcomed here. I’d like to talk to a lot of organizations and follow the discussions. I’m very curious!”

NATASJA GIANOTTEN Ministry of Foreign Affairs “Flying Food is a mutual project by partners TNO and Icco. We breed crickets around the Victoria Lake for Kenya and Uganda. We don’t just breed, we take care of the whole process: from breeding to marketing and data collection. The goal is to give around 4.000 farmers a better life, by teaching them how to breed and market crickets. Hopefully we can establish a learning centre there, combined with a wholesale shop with buckets and everything else the farmers need for the breeding process.”

“This meeting is brilliant. Websites have an increasing risk in our work, which is crisis intervention. We shouldn’t appear as a vague, big company, but we must expose all our strengths and weaknesses to both the donors and the public. It’s unfair that we only show the good things we do. While fundraising, we also need to discuss our failures. Throw our cards on the table. The most interesting thing for me today is the fact that after my talk, a group of university students came to talk to me. It makes me optimistic that a new generation, in a well doing country like this, decides to go for a humanitarian study.” JOOST VAN DER MEER Médecins Sans Frontières “I find it interesting to hear what the most important challenges in our sector are and which people dedicate their lives to those. We face a lot of them, like the increasing difficulty to give good aid in, for example, South Sudan, Syria or Iraq. I’d like to make clear what kind of challenges we’re facing from my perspective.”


TAMMAM ALOUDAT Médecins Sans Frontières

Innovations in

Relief Aid




STATEMENT Community based innovation is just a hype, it makes some technological innovations even impossible.

“Innovation is not a goal on itself, the focus needs to be on stakeholders.” “The community is the most important thing in innovation: you need to involve the stakeholders, the people, otherwise you create something no one really needs.” “Innovation is bringing the right stakeholders together. It is the process, technology is just an aspect of innovation.”

STATEMENT The way the humanitarian sector is funded makes it hard to really invest in technological innovations.

“There’s a lack of places where people responsible for innovation in charity can meet and exchange knowlegde.” “We need to scale up our technological innovations, and therefore we need investors.” “The costs of innovation aren’t that high, the risk and the implementation time is what keeps the sector from innovating.”

STATEMENT Invest in competition between NGO’s, competition is crucial for innovation.

“NGOs compete on funding, not on goals.” “Competition brings variety, so it’s important.” “Competition is good, but should make sense.”




In the afternoon, the session of the Innovation Market at the Humanity House is crowded. Graham Saunders of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) kicks off: “I am not an expert in the area of innovation, but I am a man of practice.” He highlights different examples of innovative projects of the IFRC, such as the Tuareg shelter in Mongolia and the Tarjeta RED in Chili. But Saunders stresses: “Innovation can vary from products to ideas, because it is a wide concept.” According to Saunders, the humanitarian sector is a small player in the field of innovation, but its visibility is high across the world. In his view, the humanitarian sector does not only need money coming from the private sector, but also their ‘brains’. The private sector invests a much higher percentage of its turnover on innovation, which improves their work. “This is where the humanitarian sector could learn from”, says Saunders. On behalf of the young organisation IKEA Foundation, Annemieke Tsike and Sossah de Jong explain their innovation policy. IKEA Foundation defines ‘innovation’ as a clear focus on the client and the improvement of the efficiency and quality of the products. “We must not forget that we are working with people”, stresses De Jong, “in everything you do, you have to think about the effects on your group of interest.” Furthermore, it is important to look at innovation from a more business perspective, where you have to look at in what you invest in. “The IKEA Foundation has to take risks as well’, according to Tsike, ‘we have access to resources and therefore we play an important role in the humanitarian sector in terms of innovation’. Saunders closes the session of the afternoon. ‘We have to work in a smarter way, more efficient. At this point, positive development is in progress and a lot of humanitarian organisations are working together, more than in the private sector. Unfortunately, this is not visible enough. We have to improve ourselves continuously’.



‘Did you know that 25 percent of all refugees is a woman in her fertile period, and that 20 percent of those women is pregnant?’, is the question of moderator Kirsten van de Hul to the audience which is full of students, aid workers and scientists. Using these facts, Van de Hul makes the topic clear, but the debate about gender at the Humanity House seems not to be the most popular debate during the Dutch Humanitarian Summit. This assumption is confirmed during the introduction by Jasveen Ahhuvalia. Humanitarian workers often react to the question if they are concerned with gender issues with answers like: ‘I do not have time to be engaged in gender issues, I am too busy with saving lives’. The four panellists, Jasveen Ahhuvalia (CARE International), Florika Fink-Hooijer (ECHO), Lara Quarterman (DFID), and Jelte van Wieren (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), talk about how to integrate gender within the humanitarian sector. Forgotten feminism The panel discussion about gender starts with an introduction by Jasveen Ahhuvalia about her experience with gender within the humanitarian sector. What is exactly wrong in the field of gender? First, Ahhuvilia emphasizes the small amount of resources available to examine problems around gender. Furthermore, she argues

that the word ‘feminism’ is being forgotten in our current language, and that therefore research will lag behind. There is not enough research and discussion on gender within the humanitarian sector. ‘Gender is a relative new subject within a bigger whole’, explains Ahhuvalia, ‘and we must cooperate to give gender a permanent place within emergency aid’. Required gender-marker at ECHO Thereafter, Florika Fink-Hooijer, talks about the importance of operationalising the policy documents to have a real impact in terms of gender. ECHO took initiative on the concept of gender and committed a required gender-marker for their executive partner organisations. ‘First, our partners were shocked’, explains Fink-Hooijer, ‘but now they see that it works’. With the marker they can analyse what actually happens around the concept of gender, and not only in the initial phase of the project. She also emphasizes the importance of transparency within an organisation: ‘It often occurs that humanitarian workers are involved in sexual abuse’, tells Fink-Hooijer, ‘and therefore ECHO invested in a system for complaints that pays attention to this’. Active role of humanitarian organisations The British Lara Quartermann agrees with


“We need women in leadership positions to really understand gender issues.” Jelte van Wieren


Jasveen, by saying that gender deserves an important place within the humanitarian sector: ‘We must not wait until sexual violence takes place before we fight it’. She also believes that the humanitarian sector gives this topic too little attention. In this case the British government gives a good example as it invests in the project ‘Action to protect girls in emergencies’ where technical Lara Quarterman people are committed to find new innovate solutions to gender-related problems. Jelte van Wieren confirms

the image that Ahhuvalia lines out, of how emergency workers often think about gender, that they experience no problems in that area. Van Wieren emphasizes: ‘People are often afraid to talk about these kind of subjects. When I visit humanitarian projects, I always try to look further than what you can see at a first glance’.

“ We all have a gender, this isn’t a women and girls issue. Women and girls need to participate, but it affects us all.””

‘Gender-reflex’ During the debate, it becomes clear that all participants agree on more coopera-


tion in this area. Ahhuvalia suggests to crein this field of study’. The debate is comate a general gender-marker which could pleted with a strong agreement among the be used by all organspeakers. ‘Everyone has a isations. Fink-Hooijer gender’, concludes Quaragrees and suggests terman, ‘this is not a girls to carry out a ‘gender or women subject. Girls reflex’, whereby genand women must play a der in all humanitarian role in the debate, but it projects and guidelines concerns all of us’. should be implemented. Van Wieren believes this is a clear and practical example of how gender can be implemented better in the humaniJasveen Ahluwalia tarian sector. ‘As a donor’, says Quarterman, ‘we often notice a lack of money that is available for research

“I’ve heard many

humanitarian actors say: I don’t have time for gender, I’m busy saving lives.”


SUPERVISORY BOARDS One of the side-events of the Dutch humanitarian summit concerned the role of supervisory boards in humanitarian aid. Supervisory boards of development and other organisations always face certain challenges, such as finding the right balance between upholding serious supervision while maintaining distance of everyday decisions and between supporting the organisation while maintaining a critical supervisory role. In humanitarian aid, in addition, supervisory boards have the challenge to supervise a field of practice that is far removed from the Netherlands and that is riddled by concerns of politics and security. During the side event, Evert Greup, former chair of the board of Warchild, Cees Breederveld, former director of the Netherlands Red Cross and Bart Romijn, director of Partos, shared their experiences and views with a mixed audience of humanitarians, supervisory board members, and students. It was a very open conversation, the first in its kind in the Netherlands, where these different people talked about the expectations for board members and the difficulties they encounter. One of the issues raised is that new board member rarely have an opportunity to be trained in the basics of humanitarian principles and practice. Participants to the discussion recommended such a training or other follow-up activities would be organised by the branch organisation of Partos.

The various

roles of the

United Nations




The first to speak is Arjan Hehenkamp, General Director at Médecins sans Frontières (MSF). In the recently published report Where is Everyone, MSF formulated various critical remarks towards the UN. “We found that most needs are not met in the first three months of most crises and Where is Everyone shows that the UN is at the heart of this humanitarian aid dysfunction.” Reason for this, explains Hehenkamp, is amongst others the following. “Many NGO’s rely heavily on the UN. If the UN can’t work somewhere, NGOs follow their security advice and will neither operate in the area.” Self-reflection is therefore crucial, argues Hehenkamp. “We ourselves are full of imperfections and failings. MSF is unable to always provide the quality of medical care that is needed in crises. And we’re so specialized in medical care, that we lose sight of what is happening in the communities.” According to the MSF-director, it is therefore crucial that the rest of the sector opens up more for self-criticisms. “Now, in our sector,

our conversations are far too polite and fail to address the actual problems people face in crisis situations.” And the UN? “It is an inevitable organization, but its cluster system is an Orwellian nightmare”, states Hehenkamp. “Overall, the UN shows very important principles and values, which we need to preserve. But if the UN stays on this self-destructing path of internal strife and lack of capacity, it will undermine itself.”

“The Least Worst Option” Also Sir John Holmes, former Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, takes the stage. “I feel like I should’ve worn my jeans instead of this boring grey suit, because I seem to encapsulate in myself this contrast between NGOs and the UN”, he jokingly says. “But”, Holmes argues, “We need the UN as a fundamental international institution. Most of the problems stem not from the institution itself, but from the failure of the member states to agree about what should be done.” Yet, the UN is hard to perceive as neutral, Holmes admits, and it is therefore in conflict situations bound to be seen as hostile. “But who else has the power to coordi-


The United Nations (UN) is a mediator, peacekeeper, donor, intermediary and supervisor of relief efforts. At times, these different roles conflict with each other and hinder the provision of adequate aid. How can NGOs offer an alternative to the UN in crisis situations?


nate all these fragmented organizations? No one. Only the UN, because of its size, universal membership, position in the world and the mandate given to it by the member states.” Currently, OCHA tries to coordinate the different organizations. Is it doing this task well? “The comparison might seem a bit farfetched, but it’s much like Winston Churchill once said about the democracy: ‘it’s the worst form of government except for all the other forms that have so far been tried.’ I’d say, OCHA is the least worst option we have.” For example: most member states have a problem with humanitarian organizations working on their territory, but when NGOs are linked to OCHA, and thus the UN, member states refuse them less

easily. As a solution, Sir Holmes urges that the humanitarian organ of the UN should be set apart from the rest of it and the humanitarian sector needs to persuade the outside world of the importance of neutrality and independence Moreover, he adds: “the Dutch government should fund NGOs to ensure their survival and independence; so they can exist next to the UN-monsters.” How Strong should it be? “The UN is as strong and functional as the member states want it to be strong and functional.” Farah Karimi, Director of Oxfam Novib, joins the discussion, arguing


the UN is not financed in a sustainable way and we have to acknowledge that it’s a political body. “It is frustrating that the UN also is a political body, but it’s all we have. And we need a coordination system, otherwise we would have chaos.” What should be stressed during World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey in 2016? Karimi: “the importance of the existence of a body of coordination as well as of a clear division between the humanitarian side of the UN and the rest of it.”



Maite Vermeulen “I looked up the meaning in the dictionary, and found it on page 1888, sandwiched between ‘indecisive’ and ‘incomplete’. ‘Independent, I. adjective, adverb,’: ‘dependent on nobody, subordinate or subject to nobody, limited in behaviour by nobody, free, self-reliant.”

“Is no Dutch celebrity willing to travel to an Ebola-infected region? Then there’s no story, unfortunately.”

“Independent emergency aid is unfeasible in practice. But claiming to be independent is not an empty shell but a weapon.”








How will the Dutch aid organizations collaborate in the immediate future to deliver improved emergency relief around the globe? In the closing session of the Dutch Humanitarian Summit, the humanitarian declaration was presented and four influential figures from the humanitarian sector engaged in a conversation about the future steps to take. The day is completed with the video-presentation of the declaration, expressing the nine commitments of the ten Dutch humanitarian organisations for more effective aid. Following the introduction of these commitments, Bertrand Taithe (director Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute), Kathrin Schick (VOICE director), Pim Kraan (director Save The Children) and Farah Karimi (director Oxfam Novib) each take the stage to emphasize what they consider particularly important points. The four agree on the need for stronger collaboration between their organizations in responding to emergency situations. VOICE-director Schick emphasizes the importance of the role of the UN as a coordinator in order to adequately react in ad hoc situations. Oxfam Novib-director Karimi adds: “If we don’t take the point of collaboration seriously, we will lose a lot of support

of the public. Working together improves our efficiency, which is all the more important because we work with public funds”. Pim Kraan, director Save The Children, emphasizes the role of politics in the prevention of people falling victim to conflict and disaster needlessly, while Bertrand Taithe chooses to stress the importance of improving the response capacity of humanitarian organizations in case such conflict or disaster does take place. World Humanitarian Summit After all four have expressed their view on the brand new commitments, the declaration is symbolically presented to Robert Smith, representative of the UN’s World Humanitarian Summit. While describing the day as “an unprecedented gathering”, Smith also expresses his worries. “We are running harder and faster than ever, but we are still losing the race. We need to change our game, people shouldn’t think of humanitarian crises as occasional but as constant and affecting everyone around the world.” To deal with the world’s problems more coordination and collaboration is needed, according to Smith, and such efforts start at summits like this. “The summit is what we make of it. And what we do today is a great example of making it.”



Boris van der Ham “Don’t join the ‘spin’ of terrorists, religious maniacs or dictators. Human rights are a western toy nor a western privilege. Human rights are universal.”

“From the moment that Universal Human Rights were declared, they have been attacked on their universality. ”









DECLARATION We, the Dutch humanitarian organizations CARE Nederland, Cordaid, Healthnet TPO, ICCO/Kerk in Actie, the Netherlands Red Cross, Oxfam Novib, Save the Children Nederland, Stichting Vluchteling, War Child and ZOA; gathered at the Dutch Humanitarian Summit on 12 February 2015 in the Humanity House, The Hague, in the presence of the Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation welcome the World Humanitarian Summit, to take place in 2016 in Istanbul, as a key opportunity to bring about changes in the global humanitarian system; are concerned by the anticipated growing need for humanitarian assistance, due to increasing vulnerabilities, higher frequency and severity of disasters and conflict are convinced that it is essential to strengthen cooperation and coordination amongst each other and with national partners, UN , host governments, donors, and the private sector in stepping up the delivery of humanitarian aid . WE RECOGNIZE THAT:

during armed conflict, International Humanitarian law (IHL) is the relevant and universal body of law. Within this framework, states and non-state actors that are party to the conflict, have the primary responsibility to “respect and ensure respect of IHL, including responding to the needs of the victims; humanitarian emergencies have profoundly different impacts on women and girls as well as on boys and men, and existing gender inequalities may be exacerbated in times of crises; a growing number of refugees and internally displaced persons seek refuge in cities; urban refugees make up for more than 50% of the refugee population, and largely join the ranks of the urban poor; the coordinating role of the UN for humanitarian assistance may be compromised in complex emergencies where the UN is also involved in the political process and/or peacekeeping or peace enforcement operations, affecting the effectiveness of aid;

the number of crises and as a result humanitarian needs worldwide are growing. The humanitarian community is currently not able to deliver timely and effective humanitarian aid in a number of crises, especially in conflict situations; and many people in need cannot be reached with humanitarian assistance;

a large part of conflict affected people are below 18 and run the risk of missing their childhood and education, becoming marginalized, decreasing their capacity of contributing to peace, stability and rehabilitation or breaking the cycle of violence.

there is a need to increase the capacities of the global humanitarian system to be able to scale up specially in complex emergencies;


it is important for all humanitarian actors to uphold humanitarian principles and standards and to implement aid in the most effective and accountable way;

humanitarian response cannot compensate for political solutions to prevent conflict and concerted efforts to reduce disaster risks; national and international communities must step up their efforts to prevent humanitarian needs through conflict prevention, conflict resolution and the eduction of disaster risks;

a gender-sensitive approach in emergencies saves lives, and the humanitarian system should promote gender equality throughout the humanitarian cycle; humanitarian aid is most effective if it is based on the ownership of those who receive the aid; aid should be provided as much as possible by local and national actors; and accountability to beneficiaries in emergencies should continue to improve; it is crucial to start reconstruction, including livelihoods, education and psycho-social activities as soon as possible during the emergency phase, in order to strengthen resilience, return ownership of service delivery and development to affected communities, and to improve the socio- economic situation of the population affected by the disaster or conflict; the role of the hosting government in responses to urban refugees is critical, that refugees also bring economic benefits for the city, and that the presence of a refugee population in a city offers opportunities for linking humanitarian assistance to sustainable development; technological innovations, process innovations and new forms of cooperation between NGO’s, governments and the private sector offer opportunities to the humanitarian world to save and improve the lives of many millions around the world; It is essential to leave no one behind in humanitarian assistance, noting that the role of children and youth is essential, as their experiences are the foundation for building the future.

Click the link-button to read:


SHORT DISCUSSION PAPER ROLES OF THE UN Click the link-button to read:

SHORT DISCUSSION PAPER URBAN REFUGEES Click the link-button to read:



the humanitarian community needs to find ways to maximise its collective rapid response capacity, balancing the strength of both national and international capacities;









On the 27th of November, 2014 a Round Table was organised by Antares Foundation, HealthNet TPO, War Child and War Trauma Foundation on the importance of psychosocial assistance in emergencies. The Round Table was a side event of the Dutch Humanitarian Summit and here you will the brief report on the Round Table. Every day we are confronted with images of unimaginable numbers of refugees around the globe. How can we help these people to be able to continue their lives after the loss of loved ones, with trust and safety destroyed? To answer that question, various NGO’s and experts came together for a round table meeting on November 27th, 2014. Crises and emergencies can have a significant impact on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of individuals, families and communities. They can have immediate as well as long-term consequences for socioeconomic recovery, human rights situation, security - and after conflicts – conflict resolution and peace building. Emergency aid is often focused on tangible and essential aid: a tent, food and water supplies. However, emergency aid will become more efficient and attain more long-term targets if accompanied by psychosocial support. When Mental Health and

Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is integrated in all emergency responses this will help ensure: • Reduced mental health and psychosocial problems • Reduced (gender based) violence and (child) abuse • Reduced ‘dependency’ among aid recipients • Increased care for vulnerable groups • Improved coping methods and resilience • Improved daily functioning • Improved use of available resources • Increased attention to human rights • Increased local ownership and community involvement • Improved coordination and efficiency emergency aid • Increased rehabilitation The need for psychosocial support during and after war and disaster situations should be given more precedence by Dutch policy makers and politicians. In order to elucidate this need, War Trauma Foundation, War Child, HealthNet TPO, Antares Foundation and Mental Health experts working at UNCHR, UNICEF and WHO met on the 27th November 2014 during a round-table con-


ference to speak with Dutch policy makers and members of the House of Commons. The presentations and discussions revealed that Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) enables self-efficacy through meaningful participation, it promotes dignity, and it strengthens the ability of people to support their children, families and neighbours in their communities. Psychosocial support also plays an important role in breaking the ‘cycle of violence’ in conflict-affected communities, as it strengthens social cohesion. Dutch expertise in MHPSS is internationally recognised. Dutch MHPSS experts have key positions in UN agencies; Dutch academics are respected for their research on the effectiveness and impact

of MHPSS programming, and a relatively large number of Dutch NGOs are engaged in MHPSS programming. The organisations concluded that the Netherlands and the Dutch have, because of their expertise, a unique position to promote the integration of MHPSS into Humanitarian Aid on an international platform such as the Humanitarian Summit of 2016. War Trauma Foundation, War Child, HealthNet TPO, and Antares Foundation therefore call for an approach where psychosocial aid becomes a crucial condition for emergency response: psychosocial aid should be a part of emergency aid and emergency aid organizations should commit themselves to

the implementation of psychosocial aid in all emergency responses because supporting people’s mental health and psychosocial wellbeing in emergencies is crucial to achieve longer term objectives such as rehabilitation and reconstruction.

No peace without peace of mind. Antares Foundation, HealthNet TPO, War Child, War Trauma Foundation: Members of the ‘Reference Group’ of the Inter Agency Standing Committee on Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies.



In the preparations for the Dutch Humanitarian Summit we took a three steps approach. The first step was the report of Dorothea Hilhorst and Eline Pereboom: Dutch Humanitarian Aid, Now and in the Future. This report was based on interviews and workshops with all participant organisations. The report then led up to a Round Table of the directors of the ten humanitarian organisations on the 3rd of October, 2014. At this Round Table the themes for the Dutch Humanitarian Summit were chosen by the directors. The last step then was the Summit itself on the 12th of February. On this page you will find a photo impression of the Round Table of directors.





Tineke Ceelen has been director of the Dutch Council for Refugees since 2003. Prior to that she worked for various relief organisations, among them the Red Cross. Her 2009 publication Hier en daar een crisis: Achter de schermen van de internationale hulpverlening gave impetus to a public discussion in the Netherlands on the usefulness and necessity of international development aid. In 2011/2012 Ceelen initiated a series of debates entitled Changing Humanitarian Aid, which resulted in the initiative for this humanitarian summit.

Lahpai Seng Raw founded Myanmar’s largest civil society group, Metta Development Foundation, in 1997. The group helps displaced people from war-afflicted zones in the country with healthcare, agriculture and peace projects in Kachin State. In July 2013 she received an annual Ramon Magsaysay Award, established to perpetuate former Philippine president Ramon Magsaysay’s example of integrity in government, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.



Mark van Ommeren is an expert on mental health and psychosocial support in emergencies at WHO headquarters. He has played a key role in drafting a range of mental health and psychosocial normative documents currently used during disaster.

Jan Pronk is a former Dutch minister and was a member of the Dutch and European parliament. Pronk also held various position within the United Nations and in 2004 he was appointed special UN envoy to Sudan until 2006.


Tammam Aloudat is a medical doctor and public health expert in emergencies and conflicts with long experience with the Red Cross Red Crescent and MSF. He joined MSF (MSF OCA) as head of the Public Health Department after working for ten years in the field and at headquarters on emergencies in more than 45 countries. He now heads the Public Health Department at MSF OCA, which includes the medical experts and specialists that run and support MSF’s medical interventions in more than 60 projects in 25 countries.

Lilianne Ploumen has been Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the second Rutte cabinet since 2012. She was chairwoman of the Labour Party from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that, Ploumen worked for aid organisations such as Plan International, Mama Cash and Cordaid. She was director of Cordaid in the period 2004-2007.



Sir John Holmes is a British former diplomat who is director of the Ditchley Foundation. From January 2007 to August 2010 he was Under-Secretary- General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, appointed by United Nations Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon. Sir John Holmes currently became Director of the Ditchley Foundation and the chair of the International Rescue Committee UK’s Board of Trustees.

Arjan Hehenkamp has been working since 1992 for Médecins Sans Frontières and was involved in missions to Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Serbia, Ghana, Croatia and Sierra Leone. After returning to Amsterdam in 2004, he worked at its head office, for the past three years as general director.







Farah Karimi is general director of Oxfam Novib and a member of the Executive Committee of Oxfam International. Before taking up this position she worked for various welfare organisations at home and abroad. From 1998 to 2006 Karimi was a member of parliament for the GreenLeft party, where her portfolio included foreign policy, justice and defence.

Dr Bram Jansen is an anthropologist, specialised in research into conflicts, humanitarian aid and refugees. He has conducted field research in Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and Somalia. His doctoral research focused on the development of refugee camps into unintended cities with their own social order.



Yannick du Pont is a highly mobile professional in higher education development and the private sector in post-conflict societies. He is currently director of SPARK, an organisation that develops education and entrepreneurship so that young and ambitious people are empowered to lead their post-conflict societies to prosperity. Mr du Pont’s specialities include international relations, project development, negotiations and volatile environments.

Evert van Bodegom studied agricultural science at Wageningen University. He spent about ten years working in crisis situations in Mozambique, Cambodia and Kenya. For twenty years he has been working for ICCO and Kerk in Actie in Disaster Management, almost always in collaboration with national implementing partners in Act Alliance.


Professor Bertrand Taithe is a historian of humanitarian aid. He is a director of the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at Manchester University, which combines the research interests of colleagues in the humanities and opens a dialogue with humanitarian workers and medical practitioners. Bertrand is editor of the Manchester University Press series in humanitarian studies. He has published widely on medicine and war.

Thea Hilhorst has been Professor of Humanitarian Aid & Reconstruction at Wageningen University since 2006. Her research program focuses on fragile states, conflict regions and countries hit by natural disasters, among them Angola, Congo, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Afghanistan.



Pim Kraan is Chief Executive Officer at Save the Children Netherlands. He has worked in humanitarian affairs (Médecins Sans Frontières), disaster response (UN Disaster Response and Coordination) and civil military cooperation. He was Deputy Head of Mission of the Dutch Embassy in Singapore and worked for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Jasveen works for CARE International as the Gender in Emergencies Coordinator. She has over 15 years of experience working on Gender Equality, women’s empowerment and Gender based violence issues and expertise in gender equality programming in development and humanitarian settings. Her main focus is on mainstreaming of gender/SGBV in emergencies and the roll-out of the gender in emergencies strategy across CARE International.







Lara is Violence Against Women and Girls in Emergencies Specialist and works for the Conflict Humanitarian and Security Department Operations Team and the Department for International Development. Lara Quarterman completed a Master of Arts degree in Conflict, Development & Security at Lancaster University.

Florika Fink-Hooijer is Director for Strategy, Policy and International Co-operation for the European Commission. She has spent most of her career in the Commission on foreign external policy matters and in particular on crisis management and conflict prevention. Previously she was Head of Cabinet of Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, who is responsible for humanitarian aid, international cooperation and crisis response.



Cees Breederveld was trained as a paediatrician in the Academic Hospital of the University of Amsterdam, where he worked for ten years as a consultant in paediatric haematology. He moved to the field of hospital management and took assignments in several hospitals in crisis situations. He has been member of the National Board of the Netherlands Red Cross Society and was general director of the Netherlands Red Cross. After his resignation he kept on working as a volunteer for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva.

Perry Heijne is director of CARE Nederland. Heijne’s previous employer was TNT Express, where he pushed for environmental consciousness in the company as the Global Director Corporate Social Responsibility.


Jelte van Wieren is Head Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs Since 1991 he served in various positions in The Hague and abroad e.g. in South Africa and Kenya. Before joining the Ministry, he worked for the United Nations Environment Programme on the linkages between security and the environment. Jelte holds Master degrees in English and International Relations from the University of Groningen.

Ruben Maes works as a freelance journalist and moderator of conferences and debates. He is also a regular advisor for public participation projects. The topics of the debates range from cultural policy to international politics. In earlier years, Ruben currently works extensively in the Czech Republic, where he contributes to efforts to improve the quality of public debate and the involvement of young people in Czech society.



Graham Saunders is Header of Shelter and Settlements, International Federation of Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). As a UK trained architect, he specializes in the design, management, technical support and coordination of shelter and settlement relief and development programmes. As the interagency Global Shelter Cluster Coordinator, he is also responsible for overseeing the coordination ofthe humanitarian shelter sector in preparing for and responding to natural disasters at global and country level.

Annemieke works closely with the IKEA Foundation’s CEO, playing a key role in keeping strategic programmes, partnerships and operations on track. She is also responsible for the Foundation’s emergency support and in-kind donations. After graduating with her Master’s degree in International Law, she worked in South Africa and Ghana with local NGOs focusing on human rights. She contributed to the Ghanaian Commission on Human Rights & Administrative Justice.







Naema Tahir read Dutch and International Law in Leiden and worked for various Dutch ministries, and as protection officer with the UNHCR in Nigeria. Up until 2009 she worked as a lawyer, specialised in economic and social law, at the Council of Europe. She is a committee member of Human Rights Watch Nederland. She made her writing debut in 2005 with the non-fiction collection Een moslima ontsluiert, and was a columnist on the current affairs television programs Buitenhof and Altijd Wat during 2011-2012.

Minka Nijhuis has been a freelance journalist and author for over twenty years. She contributes to, among others, Trouw, Vrij Nederland, De Groene Amsterdammer and various magazines and radio programs. Nijhuis works mostly in conflict regions and countries that are difficult to access, including Birma, Kosovo, East Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan. She specialises in slow journalism and narrative, investigative reporting.



Richards fled the war in Liberia. In the Netherlands he studied at the School of Performing Arts in Arnhem and acted with various theatre companies. He has also incorporated his experiences into dramatic works. Richards established the New Dutch Connections foundation in order to perform his works, offer new perspectives and engage in dialogue.

Maite Vermeulen studied Liberal Arts & Sciences at University College in Utrecht, and Conflict, Security & Development at King’s College in London. In 2005 she won the BBC Young Writers Award. She then worked as a journalist for Het Parool, NRC Handelsblad and nrc.next. Maite Vermeulen now covers conflict and development for De Correspondent. For this online platform she spent half a year studying the ‘emergency help machine’ and asked herself howit could be improved.


Boris van der Ham studied history for two years at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and graduated from the Maastricht Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1998. He is currently an entrepreneur, speaker and writer. In addition, he is chairman of the Dutch Humanist Association. From 2002 to 2012, Van der Ham was a member of parliament for the Democrats 66 party. With his colleagues he runs Hamled, a consultancy firm that advises on strategy and communication.

Evert Greup (1956) has been CEO of VvAA Group and Kempen & Co, and Supervisory Board member at, amongst others, War Child (2005-2014). He currently is a board member of several private foundations, as well as a public one (AMF Foundation), supervisory board member at privately owned companies, and advisor to individuals and companies. Being a board member at War Child has had a profound influence on his life; it brought home the world’s realities and the duties for those living in good circumstances.



Since 1 September 2014, Ed Schenkenberg has been the Executive Director of HERE-Geneva, an independent organisation looking at the gap between policy and humanitarian practice. HERE’s delivers reports and studies which aim to influence policy, fuel debate and dialogue, and change behaviour. Ed brings to HERE 22 years of experience in humanitarian affairs. He has worked with DARA, a Madrid based humanitarian research and evaluation organisation, and ICVA, the Geneva-based humanitarian NGO network. He has worked extensively on a range of issues such as humanitarian principles and standards; coordination; and protection. He has also participated in many high-level forums and coordination bodies with governments, UN agencies, the Red Cross / Red Crescent Movement, and NGOs.

Kathrin Schick has more than 20 years of experience in the development sector. Since 2001, she is the Director of the VOICE network, bringing together more than 80 Humanitarian NGOs in Europe. She worked in organizations such as the Norwegian Red Cross and Norwegian People’s Aid, as well as for the Directorate for Immigration of Norway, focusing on refugee issues and programs in South America. She subsequently gained field experience in Guatemala as Protection Officer for the UNHCR and consultant for CARE International. As Deputy Secretary General of the SOLIDAR network, she worked for seven years mainly on EU development policies and education campaigns. Her educational background is in Social Anthropology and Business Administration from Oslo University, Norway.







Bart Romijn, since 2014, is the director of Partos, the Dutch branch association for development cooperation with approximately 115 non-governmental member organizations. After receiving his degree in Wageningen, Romijn worked in the early 80’s with Greenpeace and the European parliament. In 1988 he founded the not-forprofit consultancy Aidenvironment, a social enterprise avant-la-lettre, of which he was the director for 15 years. He subsequently spent ten years as director of Warner Strategy and Fundraising, supporting civic organizations and initiatives in their strategic positioning, organizational strengthening and fundraising.

Robert Smith is the Head of the World Humanitarian Summit secretariat’s Geneva office, coordinating the European-based representatives, actors and stakeholders in the consultative process. Previously he was chief of OCHA’s Common Humanitarian Action Planning Section. Before he worked with Oxfam, CARE, IRC, WaterAid and other NGOs in emergencies and development, mostly in Africa. Robert completed a Ph.D. in Development Studies at the University of London and has published three peer-reviewed articles in top social-science journals.

PETER HEINTZE Peter Heintze, senior advisor NCDO & secretary of the Worldsconnectors, is an enterprising networker and manager, working to promote the public and political debate about global citizenship. As director of the Evert Vermeer Foundation he transformed the annual Africa Day into an event with NGOs, the private sector, various cultural activities interspersed with serious debate with two-and-a-half thousand visitors. Before all this Peter was a journalist for fifteen years, mostly as (foreign) reporter and editor of the Dutch public broadcasting corporation.


Profile for Visuele Notulen

Visuele notulen of the Dutch Humanitarian Summit 2015  

Visuele notulen of the Dutch Humanitarian Summit 2015  

Profile for cre-aid