A view inside the work of UN OCHA & Co.
From 04 to 08 February 2019 the Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Week (HNPW) took place in the swiss Geneva. The congress is the annual meeting-point of members from different departments of the UN, the industry, NGOs etc. Different accomplishments, developments and projects from the humanitarian field are discussed and exchanged throughout the week. Beside that contacts and networks are cultivated.
One special feature of this year: with the University Surge Support Group (USSG) students get the chance to present the insights from their bachelor, master and PhD theses. The aim of the USSG is an increased integration of research from universities in the humanitarian work. Therefore, several universities from all over Europe gathered, among them Ancona (Italy), Delft (Netherland), Geneva (Switzerland), Luzern (Switzerland), Münster (Germany), Warsaw (Poland) and Ẑilina (Slovakia).
The students had the opportunity to present their projects in three sessions on Wednesday, divided into three fields – Effectiveness, Efficiency, Sufficiency; Coherence, Connectedness, Coverage; Relevance, Accountability, Participation. Moderated by the initiator of the USSG and HumTechLab member from the TU Delft Kenny Meesters, several issues were covered in the presentations. Next to that a stand with posters was exhibited. With them was Kristin Jenssen from Münster University. Her bachelor thesis covered the topic of Vendor Managed Inventory. In particular, she examined the method in the context of the humanitarian supply chain and how it is applicable to its specific conditions. On Thursday the USSG and interested audiences discussed about the general approach of integrating universities and students in the work of humanitarian organisations.
As emphasized in the opening session on Wednesday one of the main topics of the HNPW 2019 was “connectiveness and cooperation”. It was discussed how big data and their analysis can help improving the work of the humanitarian field. Further topics were journalism, refugee help and airport readiness. Especially the integration of research was a huge topic which is a reason why we and the USSG are looking forward to next years’ HNPW in 2020.