CERAH addresses Red Cross Red Crescent International Conference

11.12.2019

Distinguished delegates, Ladies, and Gentlemen,

CERAH, the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action, is grateful for this opportunity to express its appreciation on the conference theme “Act Today, Shape Tomorrow”.

The humanitarian landscape is becoming more and more complex and dynamic; we are dealing with a series of new simultaneous issues including urban crises, protracted displacement, attacks on humanitarians and more. We need to act effectively and immediately, to address these.

Building the capacities of local humanitarian actors is key to this. Often, they are the first responders to emergencies so it is crucial they have access to the best training, knowledge, evidence and tools in order to address such crises.

For this reason, the humanitarian sector needs an inverted-pyramid-of-knowledge approach – putting local humanitarians at the centre of what it developed. Indeed, at CERAH we shape our courses with the view that local humanitarian professionals are the main beneficiaries.

CERAH has dedicated the last 20 years to the training of humanitarian professionals and building an educational network of key humanitarian organisations, including ICRC and MSF.  With this network and as a joint centre of the University of Geneva and Graduate Institute, CERAH has brought relevant, up to date, expertise to humanitarian professionals.

From CERAH’s experience, we have observed an increasing trend in diversity of geographical, cultural, linguistic, and professional profiles in the humanitarian field.  In 2018, an estimated 570,000 people worked in some 4,500 organisations.  We try to reflect this diversity in our student intake and our research projects, including our Humanitarian Encyclopedia project that reviews the key humanitarian concepts and language used to develop greater consistency and understanding among stakeholders.

Today, CERAH is playing a leading role in this new humanitarian landscape. In fact, we are adapting all our courses and training to match the exact needs of frontline humanitarian professionals. In addition to our Geneva based courses, we are also committed to delivering our courses in affected countries combining online and face-to-face training.

CERAH believes that better understanding, skills and capacity can improve accountability, leading to better results for those affected by crises.  Those working in areas prone to crisis and disasters need this empowerment.  With this in mind, CERAH will continue its effort, jointly with others, to shape a better tomorrow, for humanity and humanitarian professionals.

Thank you.