On 19 July, PHAP and ICVA organized an online event exploring how peace actors see their role in the “humanitarian-development-peace nexus” – including both what humanitarian and development actors can learn from peacebuilding and how peacebuilding efforts can better work towards shared outcomes with other actors in the nexus.
This fourth session of the learning stream on the "nexus" featured Scott Weber of Interpeace, who provided an overview of peacebuilding work in ongoing emergency contexts. Anna Chernova from Oxfam UK shared some of the experiences of Oxfam and how they have been integrating peacebuilding in their work as a multi-mandated organization. Rabia Nusrat of International Alert shared her perspectives on how humanitarian organizations interact with peacebuilding in emergency contexts in Asia.
Scott Weber, Director-General of Interpeace emphasized how the expansion of existing crises combined with potential coming ones on the horizon means that it is critical that we focus more at prevention. While humanitarian work remains important, the solutions are not humanitarian, but rather political and developmental. However, he also pointed out that humanitarian actors have an important role to play to further the prevention agenda. In his view, this did not mean that the humanitarian community should be forced into partnerships with political and development actors, but it was critical that humanitarians understand the footprint left by humanitarian action on the dynamics of trust and resilience.
In her presentation, Anna Chernova, Senior Humanitarian Policy Advisor at Oxfam UK, shared what they have learned from their research with regard to the humanitarian response in Yemen. Working on gender justice and equality in parallel to humanitarian programming is absolutely critical in order to have a chance to resolve the conflict and promote long-term stability in Yemen. She highlighted the importance of looking forward and not focusing on what humanitarian actors have to offer, but instead what the communities need. Describing Oxfam’s approaches to peace work, she highlighted how they are aiming to avoid silos and linear approaches to aid to instead follow a systems approach and integrating power and context analysis.
Rabia Nusrat, Regional Projects Manager at International Alert, pointed out that humanitarian actors are already engaged in highly political activities. But even though this leads to challenges to the principles of neutrality, it is possible to “think politically without being political.” She also mentioned that the challenge of limited consistency of how humanitarian operations approach issues of political sensitivity, which poses problems for creating active strategies linking such activities in a peacebuilding framework.
If you missed the event, you can now find the audio and video recordings of the presentations and Q&A session at phap.org/19jul2018
Register now for other upcoming sessions:
22 August - All In Diary: Launching the sixth edition
11 September - Donor perspectives on the humanitarian-development-peace nexus