The Irish Humanitarian Summit

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Last month the Centre for Humanitarian Action hosted the Irish Humanitarian Summit.  The Irish Summit was a chance to affirm Ireland’s contribution to the World Humanitarian Summit, a global process designed to set the agenda for humanitarian action.

Developing the Irish contribution was a massive undertaking that involved consulting hundreds of different stakeholders, and analysing and synthesising their statements into something coherent that everyone could agree on (I assisted with consultation and did a lot of the analysis, but thankfully had no responsibilities for the final product). The Summit itself seemed to go pretty well–the speakers were great and the attendees I talked to said it was worthwhile.  At the summit I helped facilitate a breakout session that reviewed the DRR/resilience recommendations, a main component of the agenda.  Critiques were minor and mostly fell under the category of useful additions.   Whew!

The Irish Humanitarian community put in a ton of work to produce this agenda.  The final product is good, but I think what’s really important was the process of its creation: widespread consultations and transparent development of recommendations really helped build buy-in for the results.  I think this process was done right, and laid the foundation for changes in Ireland down the line.  Ireland, however, is just one country in a global process.  Given massive amount of resources being dedicated to the World Humanitarian Summit, I really hope outputs lead to improvements in the humanitarian system.

Concern produced a nice little video of the day.  I’m briefly featured at 49sec mark!


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