The Humanitarian Newsletter October 28 - November 11, 2013 Humanitarian Spotlight: World Disasters Report 2013 90% of lives saved after a disaster


The Humanitarian Newsletter

October 28 - November 11, 2013

Humanitarian Spotlight:
World Disasters Report 2013

WDR Word Cloud

Word cloud of the WDR2013, generated using

WDR 2013

90% of lives saved after a disaster are saved by local people, yet 90% of these first responders are in the most vulnerable of positions without proper access to life-saving technologies. On October 17th, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) launched the 21st edition of the World Disasters Report which examines the profound impact of technological innovations on humanitarian action.

The Report highlights positive examples such as the commodity tracking system in Syria to monitor the distribution of supplies, and the use of Social Media in the Philippines to help prepare for Typhoon Pablo. However, while “new technologies are greatly increasing disaster-affected communities’ capacity for self-help,” the Report acknowledges that access to these technologies is “deeply unequal” and highlights the digital deficit faced by the most vulnerable populations.

In one example of technological innovation through social media, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) recently galvanized over 5 million people around the world to focus on the critical issue of persons living with disabilities in disasters in recognition of the International Day for Disaster Reduction 2013.

You can listen to the Web Seminar marking the World Disasters Report 2013 Launch here.

For more information about the World Disasters Report 2013, please visit:

*5 facts: Natural disasters in 2012 – Thomson Reuters

*World Disasters Report 2013 – IFRC

Background: Published annually since 1993 by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the World Disasters Report brings together the latest trends, facts and analysis of contemporary catastrophes and their effect on vulnerable populations worldwide. Initiated by the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, it convenes eminent researchers, authors and development and humanitarian aid practitioners to highlight contemporary issues on a yearly basis.

New York City Events


Tuesday, October 29, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Protecting the Rights of Minorities

Many human rights violations have a basis in discrimination, racism, and exclusion on the grounds of the ethnic, religious, national, or racial characteristics of the victim group. Rita Izsák, the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues, will discuss the UN Declaration on the Rights of Minorities, challenges in its implementation, and the most alarming human rights violations committed against minorities today.

Location: Room 302, Fordham Law School, 140 W. 62nd St. New York, NY 10023


Wednesday, October 30, 2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Human Rights and Humanitarianism: Contradictory or Co-dependent?

Humanitarian action is notoriously unequal. In some crises aid is abundant, in others horrifically inadequate. What, then, should be the driving forces of humanitarian action? Compassion? Political calculations? Religious imperatives? And is it helpful to insist on neutrality, independence and impartiality as the sole paths to effective aid in the face of so much evidence to the contrary? Is there any common ground at all for the multitude of humanitarian actors, ranging from international organizations and the traditional Western NGOs to fundamentalist activists and commercial entrepreneurs?

This conference will invite reflections on the role that a human rights-based approach can play in creating a common set of humanitarian norms and values that bridge these divides. And if that makes sense, should some rights prevail, and others be placed on hold?

The speakers at this conference will come from widely different backgrounds, and the positions they will take may not be harmonious, but the discussion is necessary – the more so since the humanitarian community currently faces a rapidly changing environment, requiring a fundamental revision of old certainties.

Please RSVP here.

Location: Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs
420 West 118th Street, 15th floor


Wednesday, October 30, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
"Syria’s Refugees: The UN and the Global Community Response"

The United Nations Association Brooklyn Chapter in collaboration with the UN Graduate Advanced Certificate Program of Long Island University will bring together an expert panel to discuss the UN’s and global community’s role in helping refugees with a focus on the civil war in Syria. Speakers will include Brian Hansford: Senior Public Information Officer, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Maryellen Fullerton, JD: Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School, and a representative from the NGO community. The event is open to 80 attendees on an RSVP basis.

Location: Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus, Library Learning Center Room 124, One University Place, Brooklyn, NY 11201


Wednesday, November 13, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Iran: Silenced, Expelled, and Imprisoned Panel Discussion

Organized by the Center for Public Scholarship at the New School and Amnesty International, this panel discussion will focus on the ongoing imprisonment and persecution of students and scholars in Iran. The event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

To RSVP: Please email

Location: The New School, Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College Building, 65 West 11th Street, 5th floor, New York, NY 1011


Friday, November 15, 1:00 PM - 8:00 PM
"Global Rights & Local Challenges: Disability, Inclusive Education, and Rural Environments"

Global Rights & Local Challenges aims to connect scholars, stakeholders, and advocates in the field of disability rights, and to create fruitful discussion about the unique obstacles that confront people with disabilities in Rwanda and worldwide. This symposium will feature two interdisciplinary panels, exploring the connections between disability and poverty. Panelists will use case studies from the US and around the world to describe how rural environments and the need for overall educational development can hinder inclusive education for people with disabilities. This event will also feature a student photography exhibit that illustrate the social and economic obstacles that define disability in Rwanda and internationally, as well as a screening of the award-winning documentary “In The Shadow of the Sun.”

To RSVP for this event: Please contact David James Harvey at

Location: McNally Auditorium, Fordham Law School, 140 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023

International Events


Monday, November 4, 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM (GMT)
Partnering in Emergencies

This event, presented by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and commissioned by five UK-based INGOS – ActionAid, Cagod, Christian Aid, Oxfam GB, and Tearfund – features a panel discussion to launch the report Missed Opportunities. The report makes the case for strengthening local partnership-based humanitarian responses, presents innovative research, analyzes humanitarian partnerships in the work of the five agencies, and challenges the humanitarian sector to confront new structures and business models in the context of the changing nature of disaster risk.

To register: Please complete this form.

Location: This event can be attended in person or be streamed online. The event will be held at 203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ, United Kingdom.


Wednesday, November 6, 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Introduction to Water Supply in Emergencies Training Course

Introduction to Water Supply in Emergencies is one of four courses that are being run as a part of RedR’s WASH Week; other courses include WASH Essentials, Introduction to Hygiene Promotion in Emergencies, and Introduction to Sanitation in Emergencies. This course is aimed at those approaching water supply, sanitation, and hygiene promotion (WASH) for the first time. The cost of this workshop varies per day. There is a discount for early signup.

To register for this event: Please fill out this form.

Location: RedR, 250a Kennington Lane, London, SE11 5RD


Wednesday, November 6, 2:00 PM - 7:00 PM Book Launch: "Aid on the Edge of Chaos: Rethinking International Cooperation in a Complex World"

In his book, Aid on the Edge of Chaos, author Ben Ramalingam argues that a new approach to foreign aid is needed that could make foreign aid more relevant, more appropriate, more innovative, and more catalytic. This book launch will present the main themes and findings of Ramalingam’s Aid on the Edge of Chaos and provide an opportunity for discussion and debate with the author and other speakers from the international development world.

To register for this event: Follow this link.

Location: 203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ, United Kingdom


Friday, November 8, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM (GMT)
Risky Business: Maintaining a Presence in Dangerous Environments

As aid agencies move into increasingly complex and volatile environments, humanitarian organizations are struggling to strike a balance between ‘staying’ in insecure areas and ‘staying safe’. Although attacks on aid workers are on the rise, the delivery of aid in war-torn countries continues to grow in reach and quantity, alongside the amount and array of organizations involved in aid delivery. This panel discussion will focus on “paradoxes of presence,” arguing that the security ‘fixes’ in these cases often fail to address the complex dilemmas and hazards of humanitarian work.

To register for this event: Fill out this form.

Location: This event can be attended in person or be streamed online. The event will be held at 203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ, United Kingdom.


Wednesday, November 13, 9:30 - 5:30 PM and
Thursday, November 14, 9:30 - 5:00 PM

AidEx 2013

AidEx is an international humanitarian and development aid event. Held annually in Brussels, it includes a leading conference, exhibition and programme for practical workshops to help professionals within the community improve the efficiency and sustainability of aid. AidEx is completely free to attend and will offer thousands of professionals the opportunity to learn from and engage with other aid professionals and leaders in the humanitarian sector.

Location: Brussels Expo, Belgieplein - 1 - Place de Belgique, B-1020 - Brussels, Belgium


Tuesday, November 19 - Wednesday, November 20, 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Integrating Environmental Issues Into Humanitarian Action

This training course in Switzerland is aimed to help humanitarian workers build their capacity to integrate an environmentally-friendly approach into their programs. By the end of the course, participants will be able to identify links between conflict, disasters, humanitarian action, and the environment. Participants will analyze the environmental context to assess potential impacts and opportunities.

To RSVP for the event: Please email Anna Lear at

Location: Bocage Annex 2, Room 14 (19 November) and Room 2 (20 November), Palais des Nations, United Nations Office in Geneva, Avenue de la Paix 14, 1211 Genève 10, Switzerland

Chasing Chaos.jpg

Thursday, November 21, 6:00 PM
Chasing Chaos Book Signing

Please join us to celebrate the publication of "Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid", a memoir by IIHA Humanitarian Consultant, Jessica Alexander. At this event, Jessica will read excerpts from her memoir, prompting discussion and Q&A from the audience. Jessica will also sign copies of her book, which will be for sale at the event.

Please RSVP to:

Location: Cafeteria Atrium, Fordham College Lincoln Center, 113 W. 60th Street, New York, NY 10023


Friday, November 22, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Launch: The Contribution to Change Guide

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in conjunction with ALNAP and Oxfam, is holding this panel discussion to discuss the difficulties faced by most agencies in assessing the impact of post-disaster intervention, the partnership between an academic institution and an international NGO, and how The Contribution to Change Guide was conceived and field-tested.

To register for this event: Please follow this link.

Location: This event can be attended in person or online. The event will be held at 203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ, United Kingdom.

Online Events


Wednesday, November 13 - Thursday, November 14
The 2013 Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE) conference: budgeting in the real world

The 2013 CAPE Conference will look at how budgets actually work in the real world and explore the latest thinking on how they can deliver better development outcomes. Bringing together a distinguished array of global leaders and thinkers, the conference aims to shed light on two overarching questions:

How does budgeting and public financial management really work in practice?
What – if anything – can reformers do to strengthen budgets to improve development outcomes?

Location: In person attendance is by invitation only. Register to watch the live stream and participate online

Job Opportunities


Human Rights Watch – Human Resources Coordinator, New York

Human Rights Watch (HRW) is looking for highly qualified applicants for the position for Human Resources Coordinator to help support the HR activities for HRW’s operations in over 60 locations around the world. The HR Coordinator will liaise with HRW staff in headquarters and offices located outside headquarters, manage US staff’s immigration and visa issues, assist with international immigration issues, and assist in the drafting of documents as well as other responsibilities.


Medical Care Development International (MCDI) – Financial Administrative Officer, Equatorial Guinea

Medical Care Development International (MCDI) is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Financial Administrative Officer (FAO) for the Bioko Island Malaria Control Project, Phase III. This phase is a 5 year program, funded by the Government of Equatorial Guinea and Marathon Oil Corporation, which seeks to reduce morbidity and mortality caused by malaria on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. This phase is centered on indoor residual spraying, distribution of long-lasting insecticidal nets, vector surveillance, malaria diagnosis and case management, behavior change communication, and monitoring and evaluation.

Application Deadline: November 2, 2013


Save The Children – Humanitarian Health Advisor, London

Save The Children and Merlin are teaming up in order create a world class humanitarian health and nutrition capability, in order to improve the quality relevance and timeliness of support to children, families, and key partners. The Humanitarian Health Advisor will facilitate analysis of Save the Children and Merlin country programs and offer solutions for their transition to ensure that the resulting joint program forms a basis for optimal growth of the country health portfolio.

Application Deadline: November 3, 2013


Unite For Sight – Program Manager, Connecticut

Unite for Sight is looking to hire a Program Manager to help lead their four program divisions. The Program Manager will engage in high impact front-line global health programs. Ideal candidates for this position have an understanding of the best practices in global health, a bachelor’s degree, and a strong academic record in any major. Applicants should have superior writing, analytical, and communications skills.


International Rescue Committee - Regional Director (CASAMENA), New York

The International Rescue Committee is looking for a Regional Director for their Caucasus, South Asia,, Middle East, and North Africa (CASAMENA’s) growing country programs. The Director will lead the program with a focus on this region, playing a pivotal role in regional advocacy, fundraising, communications, and media engagement, and reporting to the Vice President of International Programs. Applicants should have 10 or more years of senior management experience, as well as extensive field experience leading humanitarian programs.


Watchlist on Children & Armed Conflict – Advocacy Officer, New York

The Advocacy Officer’s role is to advance Watchlist’s priorities with the Security Council, UN missions/agencies, the General Assembly, and other international organizations. The Advocacy Officer is an expert voice on issues of concern to children affected by armed conflict. Applicants should have a Master’s degree in international affairs, international law, or a related field, with a minimum of 5 years work experience and at least 3 years of progressive non-profit work experience with humanitarian issues and advocacy.

Application Deadline: November 8, 2013, or until position is filled.


Humanitarian Accountability Partnership International (HAP) - Head of Certification, Geneva, Switzerland

The Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) is recruiting a qualified candidate to be responsible for leading and managing its certification scheme, strategy, and policy development. S/he will ensure that HAP Certification inspires public confidence and trust, ensuring an appropriate balance of openness and confidentiality in procedures. The Head of Certification will retain overall responsibility for all HAP contracted audit services.

Application Deadline: November 8, 2013

Internship Opportunities


International Rescue Committee - Child Protection Case Management Intern, Various Locations

The International Rescue Committee is looking for a qualified candidate to be the Child Protection Case Management Intern. The intern will support the child protection technical advisor in finalizing the work of the case management taskforce for 2013 and into 2014, collecting and collating feedback on the relevant documents as well as supporting the organization of trainings. Applicants should be graduate students studying in a relevant field, with knowledge of the field of child protection in emergencies. Applicants should have excellent organizational, analytical, writing, and interpersonal skills.


American Red Cross - International Humanitarian Law (IHL) Team Leader, New York

International Humanitarian Law (IHL) is the body of law that places basic limits on how war is waged. It seeks to limit the destruction caused by war and protect the life and human dignity of those out of combat, such as civilians or wounded soldiers. The American Red Cross is seeking IHL Action Campaign Team Leaders to facilitate hands-on, experiential activities among a small group of youth between the ages of 13 and 18 years old. The aim is to teach youth that “Even Wars Have Limits” and to develop them into critical thinkers, problem solvers, and compassionate global citizens.

For more information and to apply: Please follow this link.

The Application Deadline has been extended to: October 31, 2013


EMEDEX International - Media/Marketing Intern, New York

EMEDEX International is seeking applicants to support web and media presence through publishing press releases and progress updates online and in print, through maintaining and expanding the organization’s presence on social networking sites, and actively working to improve our visibility. The position requires the candidate to proofread and edit documents, transcribe interviews, edit audio/video files, build slideshows, and research photographs from international photo database for use in EMEDEX publications, in addition to several other tasks. The duration of this internship is 3-6 months, and the time commitment is 3 to 5 hours a week.


Council on Foreign Relations – Center for Preventative Action Volunteer Intern, New York

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is looking for interns in a variety of fields, including International Relations, International Law, Human Rights, History, and Public Policy. The volunteer duties of the intern include providing research, analysis, and administrative support on CPA projects related to the UN, conflict prevention, and US national security policy, in addition to other tasks.

The Council on Foreign Relations accepts internship applications on a semester basis.


MADRE - Internships, New York

MADRE is looking to hire several types of interns including a Humanitarian Aid Campaign Intern. The Humanitarian Aid Campaign Intern would be responsible for maintaining donor and inventory databases, engaging in ongoing aid campaigns, and researching women’s human rights issues as background for student outreach and new campaign launches, as well as other tasks. MADRE is accepting applications through rolling admissions on a semester basis.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to:

Application Deadline: November 15, 2013


National Coalition of Syrian Revolution & Opposition Forces - Spring Internship, Washington D.C.

The National Coalition of Syrian Revolution & Opposition Forces has openings for 2 interns at its United States Representative Office in Washington, D.C. This office serves as their official liaison the United States government and foreign policy community on matters relating to the pro-democracy movement, including coordination and delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid to Syria. Candidates should have an excellent academic record, superb writing skills, and strong communication skills (verbal and written). Reading and writing fluency in Arabic is preferred. This is a paid internship.

Application Deadline: November 29, 2013


International Justice Project - Communications/Social Media Internship, New Jersey

The International Justice Project is a non-profit organization focused on advancing human rights through law. They are currently looking for interns to assist with the growth and development of their social media, website, and other communications. Interns will work with senior and other staff to develop priorities for communications, social media, and website strategy.

Application Deadline: February 1, 2014

Call for Papers and Panels

United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) - SECOND CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - Research Areas 2 and 5

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) is issuing a Second Call for Abstracts as part of the development of the 2015 Global Assessment Report (GAR15). The GAR15 will be published prior to the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015, in which governments will adopt a successor framework to the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA).

The purpose of this Call for Abstracts is to encourage more research investigating the degree to which the HFA has been fit-for-purpose in affecting change in the management of disaster risk, and in so doing, contribute to both the formulation of the successor framework to the HFA (the HFA2), as well as the development of indicators for effectively measuring the impact of the forthcoming framework.

For more information, please visit:

Submission Deadline Extended: November 15, 2013

ALNAP call-for-panels-cover

Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP)
CALL FOR PANELS: Engagement of crisis-affected people

ALNAP invites representatives of communities affected by crises, humanitarian practitioners, academics, and other suitably qualified individuals and organisations to propose and organise panels at the Network's 29th Annual Meeting. Panels should focus on new learning and emerging best practice related to the topic of the meeting Engaging crisis-affected people in humanitarian action.

Download the Call for panels.

Submit a panel via this online form by December 2, 2013.

IIHA Humanitarian Programs

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International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA 40)

New York, June 2013

International Humanitarian Affairs Minor: The IIHA has established the International Humanitarian Affairs Minor, available to undergraduate students at Fordham College Lincoln Center and Rose Hill. This interdisciplinary minor offers students a comprehensive understanding of issues central to contemporary humanitarian affairs. The Minor offers an in-depth analysis of the humanitarian field, enabling students to acquire theoretical knowledge and practical experience.

For more information about the International Humanitarian Affairs Minor, please visit our website

Masters in International Humanitarian Action (MIHA): The IIHA and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS) have joined together to offer a comprehensive Master’s program that combines the experience of long-time humanitarian professionals with the academic strength of Fordham faculty. The program combines the experience of seasoned humanitarian professionals with the academic strength of Fordham faculty from the School of Law and the Graduate Schools of Business and Social Service, who provide students with the political, historical, legal and ethical contexts of past, present and future emergencies.

For more information about the Masters in International Humanitarian Action, please visit our website

Upcoming IIHA Training Courses

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Humanitarian Negotiators Training Course (HNTC 11) Barcelona, October 2013

The Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA) at Fordham University, working with external humanitarian partners, offers programs throughout the world at both the graduate and undergraduate level. Through these programs, IIHA trains students for careers in the humanitarian field by combining an academic approach with the shared practical experience of faculty, external speakers and students.

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