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Multiple challenges, from urbanization to climate change to protracted refugee situations and extreme violence are forcing the humanitarian system to rethink its approach. Several reports have noted that it may not be fit for purpose. The recent findings from the World Humanitarian Summit along with the Sendai Framework and Sustainable Development Goals offer an opportunity. Building a more resilient future is a must if we are to make any progress towards these goals and frameworks and address these threats. This invites us to blur the boundary between development and humanitarian practice to more effectively meet the very objectives of humanitarianism and finally making it fit for purpose. Without engaging this humanitarian/development nexus, the outlook seems bleak.
From funding, to architecture to actors and their mandates to the very tools we use, this panel will explore the range of levers at which we may transform humanitarian practice along this traditional divide. Along with ideas, this panel will also highlight good practice that can serve as guideposts in the evolution of the humanitarian system. Without these endeavors, we may fail at a critical moment in humanitarianism. Adapting to the changing reality of humanitarian crises by addressing this boundary is mandatory.
Specific questions and issues this panel will seek:
1. How does current humanitarian practice enhance or hinder the resilience of vulnerable populations?
2. Should humanitarian organizations change their mandates and operations to address complex challenges and more appropriately localize crisis response?
3. Does a focus on resilience necessitate a wholly new model of funding and architecture for the humanitarian system?
4. What does coordinated development and humanitarian practice look like: Are there opportunities for joint tools, funding and methods in disaster preparedness and building resilience through social protection, peace-building and poverty alleviation programs?
5. What best practices and tools in crisis response seem to address the development and planning deficits that underlie vulnerability to these crises?