COVID-19 & humanitarian response

No crystal ball needed – evaluating the COVID-19 response : Though this pandemic is entirely new, it is highlighting existing issues raised by previous evaluations. It follows that the lessons of COVID-19 evaluations are predictable. And these lessons need not be learnt in several months but can be understood right now. 
READ THE FULL BLOG, written by Ed Schenkenberg.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, humanitarian organisations have focused their efforts on addressing and mitigating the impact of this mega-crisis. The scale of this crisis has overwhelmed existing public health capacities even in the most developed countries.

The devastation in parts of the world has sounded an alarm, warning against the impact of the pandemic on communities in some of the least developed countries, where the next wave of the virus will strike. The outbreak is likely to be catastrophic without, and perhaps even with, concerted action. The pandemic has profound immediate, medium- and long-term implications on the work humanitarian organisations.

With this in mind, HERE organised a series of reflections with four leading humanitarian thinkers and practitioners, discussing their immediate response and expectations for what this crisis means for their current ways of working and models for the future. The four video interviews were followed by a livestreamed debate – trying to figure out a way through this crisis together.

The four participants were:

Christina Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, START Network (London, UK)

Kostas Moschochoritis, Secretary General, Intersos (Rome, Italy)

Raphael Gorgeu, Deputy Director of Operations (Operational Positioning and Advocacy) Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Operational Center Geneva (Switzerland)

Cécile Aptel, Director Policy, Strategy, and Knowledge Department at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC, Geneva)

Panel discussion

A panel discussion on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for humanitarian response

Ed Schenkenberg moderated the discussion with four humanitarian experts, debating

– how the unprecedented crisis is transforming the way humanitarian organisations work,
– how the localised response creates opportunities and risk,
– how the crisis may impacting humanitarian funding, and
– how the humanitarian coordination architecture could help improving the complementarity among organisations.

Watch the full debate between the four experts below.


Watch the interviews conducted prior to the panel discussion by clicking on the trailer descriptions below.

Read the written summaries of all the interviews by clicking on the posters.