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Published: June 20, 2014

Launch of GISF Report – Tuesday 8 July, King’s College London

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Humanitarian Action in Fragile Contexts: New Actors in the Humanitarian Space

Tuesday July 8, 2014 – 17h30 BST at King’s College London, Nash Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus, WC2R 2LS

To register for this event, please contact Raquel Vazquez eisf-research@eisf.helpful.ws


EISF and the Humanitarian Futures Programme are pleased to invite you to a discussion on the key findings of our recent report The Future of Humanitarian Security in Fragile Contexts: An analysis of transformational factors affecting humanitarian action.

The transformation of the humanitarian landscape has already made a significant impact on the security risk management of INGOs and other humanitarian actors. Moreover, as contexts defined as ‘fragile’ increasingly draw the attention of the international community, humanitarian actors will need to give careful consideration to the impact of changes unfolding in fragile contexts.

While traditional humanitarian actors still dominate the international humanitarian landscape, new and emerging actors—non-Western or faith-based (I)NGOS, the private sector, and militaries among others—have already forced INGOs to alter their approaches to operational security in fragile states.

Speakers will address these and other questions:

  • How new actors influence INGO’s decisions regarding security risk management?
  • How do traditional humanitarian actors engage with these new actors?
  • What is ‘humanitarian space’ and whom do we share it with?
  • How do INGOs differentiate from each other to avoid risks which are linked to distorted perceptions?

The discussion will be led by Wendy Fenton, Coordinator of the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN), Humanitarian Policy Group at ODI. The author, Justin Armstrong, will join us for the Q&A. Confirmed speakers:

  • Michiel Hofman – Senior Humanitarian Specialist, Médecins Sans Frontières
  • Abduhraman Sharif – Operations Manager, Muslim Charities Forum
  • Joanne Burke (contributor) – Humanitarian Futures Programme


Read more about the report here: http://eisf.helpful.ws/resources/item/?d=7917



Michiel Hofman – Senior Humanitarian Specialist, Médecins Sans Frontières

Michiel Hofman joined MSF in 1993 until 1998 as Emergency Co-ordinator and Head of Mission for MSF in Liberia, DRC, Bosnia, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Brazil, South Sudan and Kosovo, returning to his former career as freelance journalist in between missions. Between 1999 and 2001, Michiel co-founded The Antares Foundation, a Dutch non-profit organisation which supports local NGOs in providing psycho-social support for staff working in high-stress environments.

Michiel returned to MSF in 2001 as Head of Mission for the Caucasus based in Moscow, and moved to Holland in 2003 as Director of Operations at the MSF head office in Amsterdam. Between January 2009 and January 2011, Michiel was Country Representative for MSF in Afghanistan, based in Kabul, where he oversaw the return of MSF activities after a five year absence. Since 2011 Michiel works as senior humanitarian specialist  for MSF based out of Belfast.


Abduhraman Sharif – Operations Manager, Muslim Charities Forum

Abdurahman Sharif is a graduate in Languages from the University of Sorbonne in Paris (France) and holds two Master’s Degrees, one in Languages from the University of Sorbonne and another one in Development Studies from the University of Pavia (Italy). He lived for many years in Italy where he worked for the International NGO CISP – Sviluppo dei Popoli, of which he is also an Associate Member, and has been involved in many awareness raising activities with the Somali Diaspora both in Italy and the UK.

Abdurahman speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish, Arabic and Somali. While at MCF he has overseen a growth in membership and helped shape the strategic direction of the organisation. In 2013 he was part of the International Visitor’s Leadership Program, an exchange programme run by the US State Department.


Joanne Burke – Humanitarian Futures Programme

Joanne contributed to the report on her role of Partnerships Manager for HFP. With a Masters in Human Resource/Organisation Development and a Masters in International Development Ms. Burke has extensive senior level experience in international humanitarian development. She is conversant with global initiatives and trends for disaster risk reduction, sustainable development, capacity development for humanitarian action, private sector engagement in humanitarian action.  Her employment experience includes five years with the Humanitarian Futures Programme (HFP), King’s College London, five years with the United Nations, ten years with U.S. Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, as well as experience working in the private sector, international non-governmental organisations.

Ms. Burke has worked on long-term assignments in Fiji, Pakistan and Somalia with field based experience in the Caribbean, Central America, East and West Africa and South-East Asia.  She is the author of several training courses on disaster management topics and multiple research reports on private sector engagement in humanitarian action. She currently works as an independent consultant


Justin Armstrong (author) – Research Associate, Humanitarian Futures Programme

Justin coordinates HFP’s research programmes and contributes to HFP’s policy work in a number of areas, including work with ECOWAS on their long-term DRR capacity, surveying the state of global policymaker’s readiness for future humanitarian challenges, the implementation of the EU’s Consensus on Humanitarian Aid, and the future of cash transfer programming in humanitarian action. Through his past work with Médecins Sans Frontières Justin Armstrong has extensive experience in contextual analysis in fragile and crises-affected states, and the planning, implementation and management of humanitarian response in Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia.


Wendy Fenton Coordinator of the Humanitarian Practice Network (HPN) at the Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI

Wendy has over 25 years of operational, management and advisory experience in humanitarian and development programming across a wide range of sectors primarily in Sudan and Ethiopia. She has extensive experience of working with both donors and NGOs. Immediately prior to joining ODI in 2009, Wendy worked as an independent consultant focusing on issues related to NGO programming, funding mechanism performance, and safety nets in fragile states.


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