From 26-27 October, OCHA/CMCS co-hosted and participated in the US Naval War College Civilian-Military Humanitarian Response Workshop.
The workshop brought together humanitarian practitioners and leaders, academics, and military leaders to explore contemporary challenges in international naval support to humanitarian responses, including natural disasters, complex emergencies, and routine security cooperation activities. The humanitarian-focused workshop was also designed to assist international maritime forces, humanitarian organizations, and academia to develop robust research, professional education, training, and development agendas to improve civilian-military coordination during humanitarian responses.
The goals of the workshop were:
1. Enhancing the response capacity of humanitarian actors, international militaries, and other relevant organizations by supporting a community of practice in civilian-military issues and promoting information sharing that informs policy and processes during humanitarian crises.
2. Expanding and enhancing a network of practitioners, academics, and leaders who routinely work civilian-military engagement in the humanitarian space.
3. Highlighting key opportunities for professional education, training, and development for decision makers to identify best practices associated with overcoming cultural, policy, technical, and legal challenges for coordination and information sharing.
4. Developing a comprehensive research agenda on civilian-military coordination considering international approaches to effecting solutions.
The workshop focused on five working groups to develop solutions to challenges in each area. The working groups were (1) Naval integration into humanitarian response operations; (2) Pandemics; (3) Global health engagements and support to vulnerable populations; (4) Climate change and urban response challenges; and (5) Information and communication technologies. Concrete recommendations were made in each working group to improve humanitarian civil-military interaction, including the development of a humanitarian – military information sharing gateway that will support improved information sharing.