Dear Colleagues,

As 2015 is coming to an end, I have been reflecting on our experiences this past year. We had twelve UNDAC missions, including floods in Malawi and Myanmar, a cyclone in Vanuatu and the earthquake in Nepal. Two years of consultations culminated in the launch of the INSARAG Guidelines, and along with the new OSOCC Operations course and Emergency Response Methodology training reflect our efforts to put the right tools in the right hands. It was also a year of building connections with the three organizations taking part in the Professional Dialogue meeting in Cypress and the second INSARAG Global Meeting in Abu Dhabi. Our operational partners who provide technical support during deployments grew with the signing of an MoU with the Fuel Relief Fund.

The year saw changes in the FCSS team and we welcomed two new staff members – Abdul Majid Rafihi and Claudia Hargarten. Majid is the focal point for UNDAC / INSARAG in the Middle East and North Africa, and is supporting the JIP project. Claudia is the focal point for UNDAC / INSARAG in the Caucuses and Central Asia, and is supporting Europe as well as UNDAC globally. For the first half of 2016, Ben Negus will temporarily relocate to the Pacific region and other shifts within the team will enable us to continue to meet the changing demands. Click here to get access to FCSS organization chart.

As I look ahead, 2016 holds the promise of more enhancements to UNDAC and INSARAG training and tools with a dual focus on ensuring system readiness to respond and improving the reach of our core methodologies. Through multi-lateral events such as the Triplex Exercise, Humanitarian Networks and Partnership Week (HNPW) and the World Humanitarian Summit, we will continue to focus on strengthening our networks and creating synergies among humanitarian actors. Our calendar of planned events is busy and the unplanned events will keep us on our toes. See here our calendar of activities for 2016.

There is no doubt that we have had many successes this year, but we also faced situations that forced us to stop and ask fundamental questions about how and why we do things. While our networks over the years have been able to address change and come out stronger, we are working in an increasing complex environment, where challenges often go beyond the individual networks. The Humanitarian Network and Partnership Week (HNPW) from 1 – 5 February will provide us with an opportunity to discuss across network the key challenges and lessons identified from recent emergencies and try to address with a common approach.  We hope that many of you will be able to join us in Geneva or share your views in the ongoing discussions. Here is the link to the website of the Humanitarian Network and Partnership week: http://www.hnpw.org/

Our successes are based in our ability to partner and cooperate to ensure and facilitate effective, timely, adequate response and the ability to collectively address and learn from key challenges. A critical reflection will be shared during HNPW in February, but for a sneak peek, check out the New Year’s Message  and a video on YouTube from me to colleagues in FCSS and partners.

Thank you all for your time, energy and dedication over the last year. We are looking forward to your continued support and cooperation in 2016

Warm Regards,

Jesper