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Aidex 2017, The Global Humanitarian & Development and Event, 15-16 November, Brussels

Let’s talk about humanitarian-development

by: Anastasia Kyriacou 04 Aug 2017

One of the UN’s latest initiatives, NWOW drives forward the concept that sustainable solutions can only be achieved if crisis response and prevention is discussed within a wider context of long-term development needs. AidEx, the leading platform for international humanitarian aid and development professionals exists to help facilitate these very discussions.

Earlier in the year UN policy-makers gathered in Copenhagen for a workshop which was established to help push forward the New Way of Working (NWOW) agenda; a UN initiative advocating cross-sector collaboration to produce collective outcomes, through ‘addressing prevention and a more sustainable response to crisis and displacement.’ This engenders a response that ‘takes its starting point in the short and long term needs of those displaced and the communities, which host them’.

Discussion around improving the nexus between the humanitarian and development sectors is an increasing trend, marked by former UN Secretary Ban Ki-Moon’s shared report ‘One Humanity; Shared responsibility’. Within this, an Agenda for Humanity was proposed to help meet people’s immediate humanitarian needs – while at the same time reducing risk and vulnerability; a frame for humanitarian and development actors to work side-by-side and develop strategies to achieve this common vision, without undermining humanitarian principles.

The report states that, ‘to measurably reduce vulnerability, barriers to working toward a common result must be broken down, and collaboration incentivised and enabled at a systems level.’ This new initiative recognises that in order to strengthen the connection between the humanitarian and development sectors and transcend the humanitarian-development divide, there must be a general change in attitudes, institutional approach and funding. But it is only by connecting humanitarian and development actors that the two sectors can collaborate; an imperative to achieving sustainable development goals.

Which is why at the heart of AidEx there is a mission to nurture a community of humanitarian and development actors by bringing them together under the same roof; to connect, learn, source, and engage with people at all levels across the emergency and development fields – making AidEx an ideal platform to facilitate NWOW’s principle notion of collective outcomes.

Both sectors pursue a shared fundamental agenda to prevent crises and sustainably reduce people’s levels of humanitarian need. This common vision can only be achieved by the development and humanitarian actors working in tandem. Ultimately cross-collaboration starts with conversations – so let’s get talking.

AidEx holds its seventh flagship conference and exhibition at Brussels Expo in Belgium for two days between 15 to 16 November this year. You can register for free here.

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