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Future of Humanitarian Surge

A workshop part of DEPP innovation week


20 November 2017





Womens community action group meeting in Bangladesh. Image: ActionAid

The 'Future for Humanitarian Surge' event will bring together decision makers and key humanitarian actors to create a vision for transforming surge capacity – ensuring the sector is able to respond to an increasing humanitarian need. 

Based on the evidence gathered across the Transforming Surge Capacity project, to date and from the wider sector, propositions on how surge capacity can be transformed will be shared – covering topics such as localised surge models, collaboration, and sustainability

Venue: Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9A.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Judith F. Greenwood, Executive Director of the CHS Alliance
  • Rudolf Muller, Director OCHA Geneva
  • Roselle Rasay, Executive Director Code NGO Network Philippines
  • Sonya Ruparel, Deputy Humanitarian Director ActionAid International
  • Dr. Glenn O’Neil, Co-author of the Transforming Surge Capacity Learning Report


Who can benefit from this workshop?

  • Humanitarian directors and surge professionals
  • A selection of reps from donors, UN agencies, partner organisations, and government
  • Colleagues from across DEPP projects and countries
  • Contacts from across the humanitarian community with a link to surge have been invited (e.g. HLA, ICVA, HumanSurge, Impactpool )


Agenda: Session 1 – Localised surge

As part of this session, examples and evidence on the latest approaches to supporting localised surge will be shared. Participants will be asked to consider:

How can we better build the capacity of local and national NGOs to lead in surge responses?
Which examples of localised surge have worked that could/should be taken to scale elsewhere?
How should global and regional surge policies be re-orientated to support locally led surge?
How can localised surge support our existing humanitarian commitments?

Session 2 – Collaboration on surge

As part of this session examples and evidence on the latest collaborations to support surge will be shared, including initiatives between INGOs, NNGOs, UN agencies, public sector, private sector and academic institutes. Participants will be asked to consider:

Where should organisations be giving priority to collaborative actions? E.g. coordination mechanisms, joint assessments, shared rosters, combined capacity building
How can collaboration across organisations create more financially sustainable surge models?

Session 3 – HR & wellbeing for surge

As part of this session we will look at the important role HR and programme teams can play in supporting staff to enable a more effective surge response. This session will be led with critical input from the CHS Alliance and ACF who have led pieces of work on HR Surge Good Practice and Wellbeing for the Transforming Surge Capacity Project. Learning from an online interactive HR Surge platform will also be shared.

Session 4 – Women in Surge

This session will look at the barriers and challenges women who are surged internationally face, but will also ask participants to discuss and agree propositions on what humanitarian actors should be doing to support this critical topic in future.

Session 5 – Capacity on surge

Through this session, examples of how organisations have responded to this gap will be shared. This will include the sharing of 8 open source modules developed by CAFOD as part of the Transforming Surge Capacity project with input from 11 humanitarian organsiations covering topics such as: what to expect on deployment, culture and diversity, women’s rights in emergencies, people management, working with others, and stress and wellbeing. Participants will be asked to consider:

What more agencies can be doing to support surge staff on behaviour skills for deployment?
To what extent can/should agencies collaborate on capacity building for surge staff?
What are the specific barriers to support capacity building for surge staff – how can these barriers be overcome in future?

Where can I find more information?

To download the full agenda, please click here

Find out more about the Transforming Surge Capacity project here.

The full details of Humanitarian resilience week can be found here.

Click here to join this event

Keep reading:

DEPP Transforming surge capacity