Choices Through Voices: Making the 'Participation Revolution' a Reality


This side event to the European Humanitarian Forum will feature the following high-level panelists:

  • United Nations, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Nigeria; Matthius Schmale
  • Jubaland State Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, Somalia, Mr Abdirahman Abdi Ahmed
  • Deputy Director General, IOM, Ms Ugochi Daniels
  • Président du Conseil Régional de Diffa, Niger, Mr Dalla Korodi

The importance of ‘ensuring populations impacted by crisis have the power to influence their situation and decisions (...) affecting them’ (ALNAP; ODI) is widely recognized in crisis response ever since the Grand Bargain in 2016 , both in human induced and natural disaster settings. This is not only to ensure humanitarian assistance reflects the needs of crisis affected groups but also to galvanize the motivations and agency of such groups to drive positive change and transition away from dependence on humanitarian aid. For populations impacted by violent conflict, ensuring active and inclusive participation can also be fundamental to enhancing local level capacities for peaceful co-existence and resilience to destabilizing factors in the future. Despite the Grand Bargain, in 2016, envisaging a ‘participation revolution’ in humanitarian crises, a recent review reports that this has not been achieved to the extent envisaged (ODI; 2021). The same report recommends retaining participation as an elevated theme for the Grand Bargain 2.0. In support of European Humanitarian Forum Pillar 3: Delivering together: expanding the resource base, addressing the root causes of crises and ultimately reducing needs, the online event will bring together the voices of those most impacted by crisis and those that have the influence to change the way we work. In so doing, with moderation from Jean Louis De Brouwer, Director of the European Affairs Programme at the Egmont Institute, it is hoped the event will provide recommendations on how we can draw on best practices to establish a common, practical approach to crisis response with participation at the centre. To this end, the panelists will be tasked with answering the following questions:

  • The problem: What is constraining collective efforts to mainstream participation in crisis response?
  • The solution: If the ‘participation revolution’ has not been achieved to the extent envisaged, what do we need to change to make this a reality, and put people at the centre of defining humanitarian needs and driving pathways towards peace, recovery and development?

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