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ELRHA-12pp Booklet-A5-FINAL-v6

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ELRHA-12pp Booklet-A5-FINAL-v6

Our vision

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ELRHA-12pp Booklet-A5-FINAL-v6

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Our mission

ELRHA is a collaborative network dedicated to supporting partnerships between higher education institutions and humanitarian organisations and partners around the world. Today we face humanitarian crises of increasing complexity and severity and, as we anticipate a future of increasing human vulnerability to global events, the need for expertise and research dedicated to finding solutions to humanitarian challenges has never been more pertinent.

Since our launch in 2009 ELRHA has become a valued entity to our diverse stakeholder communities; offering valuable services and specialised support to our stakeholders and creating a vibrant collaborative community dedicated to meeting the humanitarian challenges of today and those of the future. This brochure profiles ELRHA’s strategy and ongoing work, and illustrates some of the support services that we offer.

www.elrha.org

Higher education institutes represent a phenomenal resource that can and should be harnessed to support the humanitarian endeavour. ELRHA has been set up to help meet this challenge and aims to provide a bridge between the humanitarian and higher education communities.

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Who are our stakeholders? Academia ELRHA works to support universities, research centres and their students. We aim to make it easier for the higher education community to work in partnership with the humanitarian community by facilitating communication and research opportunities with humanitarian organisations, providing opportunities to explore core humanitarian challenges and research needs with the practitioner community, and supporting the dissemination of relevant research and training opportunities to the humanitarian sector.

www.elrha.org

“Researchers care about what they research and what happens to the outcome of their life’s work. We all wish to be able to answer the question “So what?” with a demonstration that, even in some small way, we have contributed to the common good. Working with ELRHA matters for Universities because it gives us an opportunity to see how our research and our skills in training may be translated into action for the immediate benefit of humankind.”

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“Working with ELRHA will help Universities keep their feet firmly on the ground, and ensure that we address real world issues and communicate in a way that allows the uptake of our research and skills, so helping us to access funds made available for these purposes”. Steve Cannon, Secretary of Aberdeen University


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Who are our stakeholders? Humanitarian actors International Non-Governmental Organisations and the UN agencies are perhaps the most visible actors in the humanitarian field. Often working at the forefront of large humanitarian efforts around the world, these organisations are primary stakeholders for ELRHA’s work. However, there are many other types of organisations and individuals who are engaged in humanitarian action that ELRHA also seeks to support, these include smaller NGOs and CBOs, national and local disaster management agencies and government departments engaged in emergency management and humanitarian efforts.

www.elrha.org

“The humanitarian sector is under pressure as never before, with growing donor requirements for accountability and transparency, new understandings of the complexity of humanitarian action bringing increasing expectations of the quality of responses, and a culture of austerity putting pressure on our budgets and capacity to reflect and analyse. At the same time, university courses on humanitarianism and relief are multiplying; disaster relief is a growth area of academic enquiry and researchers are taking great strides in areas such as hazard mapping and sociological analysis of urban risk. Yet agencies are often too overstretched to engage with, absorb or feed in to much of this work. It is critical that we put resources where they can do the most good; that research can inform, and be informed by, the work of practitioners. ELHRA is a vital conjunction of two spheres which have the potential to work together far more effectively than they can apart.�

Credit: Kate Holt.

Laura Hudson, FrontlineSMS

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Our objectives ELRHA aims to stimulate and support collaborative partnerships between academic and humanitarian communities to produce research and training that delivers measurable impact in the prevention of and response to global humanitarian crises. We work to achieve two principle objectives: Objective One: To bring together the research community and the international humanitarian community to create world-leading partnerships, which produce research that has measurable impact in the humanitarian field. Objective Two: To further enhance the professionalisation of the humanitarian sector by bringing together organisations, initiatives and universities from around the world with existing experience in training, capacity development and quality assurance for the humanitarian sector, in order to develop and test an internationally recognised humanitarian certification process.

Our UK focus While ELRHA works on an international level we have a particular focus on building collaborative partnerships with universities in the UK, where the wealth of academic expertise and the presence of some of the world’s leading humanitarian agencies combine to create a unique environment with the potential to provide a world leading centre for humanitarian research and training. Our work aims to support the development of this capacity, while at the same time ensuring that UK academia is effectively linked to our broader international agenda. Credit: Frederic Courbet / Panos.


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Building collaborative partnerships We create the space for greater communication and exploration of humanitarian challenges by bringing academics together with humanitarian policy makers and practitioners through workshops, conferences, research symposia and information sharing events. We provide small grant funding for collaborative projects and we coordinate with UK and international research councils and humanitarian donors to align our activities to international research themes so that new collaborative partnerships are well placed to compete for funding for research that will have a positive impact on reducing the impact of natural disasters and humanitarian crises.

Credit: Christian Holst Reportage by Getty Images for Save the Children.

We also make it easier for new partners to find each other through a specialised online ‘research matching facility’.

Credit: Tom Pietrasik.

In 2011/12 ELRHA will facilitate a working group of self-selecting universities and humanitarian employers to develop a common framework of core content and learning objectives for their post-graduate degree and short course programmes.

www.elrha.org

Enhancing postgraduate degrees for the humanitarian sector ELRHA’s recent study on humanitarian professionalisation highlighted a concern over the lack of coordination and cohesion between postgraduate degrees that have been created for the humanitarian sector.This means that it is currently difficult for humanitarian employers to recognise and rely on the training of graduates. Consultation with our academic stakeholders has identified a clear demand from universities for increased contact and coordination with the humanitarian community in the development and delivery of relevant university level courses for the sector.

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Case study of a collaborative partnership

www.elrha.org

Integration of the science of high probability unpredictable hazards into Disaster Reduction Programmes: Lessons from West Sumatra School of Environmental Sciences, University of Ulster | Concern Worldwide | The British Geological Survey

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In 2009/10 ELRHA supported a collaborative project between the University of Ulster, Concern Worldwide and the British Geological Survey. This new partnership came together for one year to carry out a collaborative research project to generate greater understanding of how humanitarian agencies access, absorb and respond to scientific research pertaining to geophysical hazards and explore how this could potentially lead to the implementation of mechanisms that could deliver more robust mitigation and preparedness procedures. The objective was to holistically explore how an indigenous NGO,“KOGAMI� in the tsunami-threatened city of Padang, West Sumatra, has accessed and absorbed scientific research pertaining to developments in forecasting high probability unpredictable geophysical events; examine how this information had been delivered to communities in the

area; and assess the degree to which communities have used this information to increase their resilience.

Outcomes: The project produced an in-depth case study of the ways in which science is used by KOGAMI, providing wider lessons for the humanitarian community.The project stimulated debate amongst the scientific and humanitarian communities in the UK leading the collaborating partners to propose and gain support for the formation of a new science-humanitarian consultative committee which would work to formalise and systematise information flow from natural hazards science to international humanitarian and development agencies. A two year NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship has also been created through the project.The Fellowship will work to enhance knowledge exchange between the humanitarian and earthquake science communities by implementing initiatives such as an earthquake information dossier to inform NGO programming and supplement community-based approaches to assessing risk, and a codeof-conduct for scientists whose work has implications for disaster risk reduction.


Credit: Jason Tanner.

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‘The Emergency Capacity Building Project (ECB) asked ELRHA to ‘advertise’ for experts in impact measurement via ELRHA’s matching facility. The response was swift and yielded some really interesting contacts that ECB might not otherwise have identified. We’re very grateful!’ (Rachel Houghton, The ECB Project)


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Information and support We provide our stakeholders with a range of tailored information and support services

Mapping the expertise on offer within UK Higher Education ELRHA has profiled the extraordinary resource that UK Higher Education offers the international humanitarian sector by extensively mapping the taught courses and centres of research expertise that are available in the UK against recognised humanitarian disciplines.

www.elrha.org

We have identified 90 universities offering a combined total of just over 300 post-graduate

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courses that have value to the humanitarian sector. We have also profiled 71 centres of expertise in the UK. The online map is available on our website as an open access resource.

Research matching Our research matching facility is the first facility that offers humanitarian agencies and higher education institutions the opportunity to search or advertise for research and project partners. If you are looking for either an academic or a humanitarian research partner you can either search our list of partners or fill out a ‘Partner Request Form’, which we can then share with our stakeholder community and use to create an advert on our website.


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Information and support Humanitarian careers advice A career in the humanitarian sector can be as challenging as it is rewarding; but for many individuals hoping to work with a humanitarian agency, just getting that crucial first job is a huge challenge in itself. ELRHA provides practical and realistic advice to students, graduates and professionals hoping to start or develop their career in the humanitarian field.We also profile access schemes and internship opportunities with humanitarian agencies.

Training opportunities ELRHA profiles a range of humanitarian training opportunities; from entry-level courses and internships for those seeking to start their career in the sector; to specialist courses on technical areas such as nutrition and logistics; to advanced professional courses for senior humanitarian personnel.

Funding advice and opportunities Major global issues such as climate change, global security and innovation are being

prioritised by research funding bodies in their current strategies. These grand research challenges sit alongside an increased focus on the uptake of research by end-users and the impact that research has on wider society. In the humanitarian community there is a correlating demand for innovation and evidence-based programming; thus providing motivation and significant opportunity for both communities to see value in working together. ELRHA aims to provide advice to our stakeholders on what funding is out there and how to access it.We also provide support to new collaborative partnerships seeking to develop new research proposals on humanitarian themes and regularly profile new funding opportunities in the sector through our website and e-bulletins. Credit: Adam Dean.


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How is ELRHA managed?

Contact details:

ELRHA is an independent project hosted by Save the Children on behalf of the humanitarian and higher education sectors. The project is directed through the project stakeholder’s network with oversight provided by an independent steering committee.

Enhancing Learning & Research for Humanitarian Assistance (ELRHA) Save the Children Phoenix House 3rd Floor 8 Cathedral Road Cardiff CF11 9LJ

Website & E-Updates For more information about ELRHA and the services we provide please visit our website at: www.elrha.org ELRHA stakeholders are sent a monthly email update on all our news, activities and opportunities.To sign up for these updates please send an email to info@elrha.org with the heading 'sign me up'.

info@elrha.org www.elrha.org

Supported by:

Cover images: Main image - Marco Di Lauro for Save the Children/Reportage by Getty Images. Left to right: 1. Jason Tanner. 2. Christian Holst/Reportage by Getty Images for Save the Children. 3 & 6. iStock. 4 & 5. Save the Children. 7. Jason Tanner.

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About ELRHA