CHC 2014

Trends show humanitarian crises are more numerous than ever and consequently affecting more people. They are hitting increasingly urban populations and engaging ever complex global responses. Across the globe, disaster challenges and response capacities are shifting and Canadians continue to play a strong role in that evolving humanitarian system. Less than two years ahead of the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, we asked what contributions Canadians were making to the global humanitarian system, where their expertise was making a difference,and how could this be further leveraged to better address challenges moving forward? Canadians have much to offer and this conference showcased this Canadian expertise.

  • Read the CHC 2014 Outcomes document “In Brief: Adaptation and Innovation” for highlights.

  • Couldn’t make it in person? Follow portions of the conference are available online!

  • Want to learn more about our panelists’ perspectives and projects? Check out our blog – Relief to Recovery – to read their latest contributions!

Following up on the success of the first ever Canadian Humanitarian Conference (October 2013), the Humanitarian Coalition, International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crisis and Aid (OCCAH) and Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) collaborated to organize a second conference in the Fall of 2014. Given the level of interest expressed by the sector, an expanded conference format was proposed for 2014, with a focus on increasing content and meeting the high quality expectations of Canada’s most experienced practitioners. AKFC hosted the conference at the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat in Ottawa on December 4 & 5, 2014.


Conference themes:

Focused through the lens of Canadian experience and contributions, the CHC 2014 called for panels organized around the following themes:

1) Disaster Risk Management

Disaster risk reduction, disaster management, disaster mitigation and disaster preparedness are all directly interconnected with sustainable development. Disaster risk management involves many parts of society, many areas of government, and multiple actors from the professional and private sectors. Under this theme we look to panelists to showcase the latest Disaster Risk Management thinking, strategies, innovations and evolutions that have been experimented with in Canada and abroad.

2) Response: Relief, Recovery and Reconstruction

This theme is meant to showcase the challenges and innovations being implemented by a wide range of actors after disaster strikes, namely in relief, recovery and reconstruction operations. Under this category, the selection committee is particularly interested in panels that showcase how linkages can and are being made between relief, recovery and reconstruction in various fields of operation.

3) Ethics, politics and theory: Humanitarianism in the 21st century

Humanitarian action has evolved dramatically in recent history. From battlefields to international diplomacy, humanitarian action has been shaped by human development, technology and globalisation. What role has Canada played in this evolution and how will Canadian actors engage in the future? Panelists in this category will be assessed on their ability to showcase the future direction of humanitarian response based on trends experienced to date. These series of panels will help us better prepare for the future of humanitarian action.


Conference Objectives:

Who attended?
This conference invited humanitarian aid practitioners, those in government, academia and the private sector to share their expertise and contributions to improve humanitarian action before and after disaster:

  1. Humanitarian aid practitioners includes those from national and international non-governmental organizations, donors, the military, United Nations agencies and representatives from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
  2. Those in government means elected and non-elected officials from all levels of government which are involved in elements of disaster management and response, in Canada and internationally.
  3. Academics includes researchers engaged in disaster-related research.
  4. Private Sector includes (but is not limited to) managers, engineers, insurance agents, architects, technical experts, crisis mappers, logisticians, evaluators, and designers with experience or interest in humanitarian response applications.