Responding to disasters in conflict settings raises a number of challenges for humanitarian practitioners. Every year, 30 per cent of all disasters occurring around the world strike conflict-affected countries.
The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) research project, When Disaster Meets Conflict, is based on nine country case studies that explore the challenges, experiences, best practices and success factors for humanitarian aid in three different types of conflict scenarios: high-intensity, low-intensity and post-conflict.
‘Think-Tables’ are exploratory discussions with the aim of creating actionable ideas. The ISS, Centre for Humanitarian Leadership (CHL) and Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) have developed a Think-Table Toolkit to help humanitarian practitioners, researchers, and other stakeholders to run their own Think-Table to translate ISS’s research into action-oriented recommendations.
Using three different case studies, themes and accompanying questions, the Toolkit presents sample structured discussions of one hour and 3 hours duration. By promoting discussion among key stakeholders, it is hoped that the toolkit will help resolve the myriad challenges posed by responding to disasters in conflict-affected settings.
Research to action: The CHL, ISS and HAG Think-Table report
Late in 2020, the ISS, Centre for Humanitarian Leadership (CHL) and Humanitarian Advisory Group (HAG) invited experienced humanitarian practitioners and researchers to participate in a ‘Think-Table’, to unpack the findings from the When Conflict Meets Disasters research.
It was organised into three common themes: access, intervention design and safety and security. Within each theme, participants were asked to structure their thoughts around low–medium-, high- and post-conflict scenarios.
The old system is out of steam but changes often happen late and only out of necessity. The challenges ahead can only grow, so we need to keep pointing in the right direction hoping we can shape debates and influence both gradual changes and potentially more disruptive ones.
When Disaster Meets Conflict – further resources
The following videos provide further information on the ISS research and will help inform your own Think-Table: