Interview Wim Jansen, Director of International Affairs, City of The Hague & DCHI Board Member

DCHI can have an important role in creating an ecosystem in which innovations can be created and best practices are shared.”

Wim Jansen

My personal profile: Wim Jansen, and I am The Hague Municipality’s Director of International Affairs. Aside from DCHI being a clear priority for my city government, I also personally enjoy rolling up my sleeves and bringing people together. Faciliting and stimulating contacts between businesses, knowledge institutes, and (non)governmental organisations – with a view to improving the humanitarian ecosystem in the city – is something which gives me great energy.

Why is The Hague on the board of DCHI?

The Hague is known around the world for being the International City of Peace and Justice. The humanitarian sector is a crucial part of our DNA. It is therefore of utmost importance that we participate in initiatives such as DCHI, which aim to create synergies with other public and private sectors in order to strengthen and improve humanitarian aid.

While humanitarian aid has always been important, it has not always been provided effectively. As the world around us has become increasingly interconnected and interdependent, it has become clear for all involved in the sector that improvements need to be made. New techniques are necessary. The sector needs to step out of its comfort zone, so to speak. Innovations can help to make the provision of humanitarian aid more efficient. DCHI can have an important role in creating an ecosystem in which such innovations can be created and best practices are shared.

New techniques are necessary

The use and development of mobile devices in the humanitarian context is something that has really inspired me. Not only how they are used by the victims of humanitarian distasters – think of the image of the African migrants looking for cell signal which won the 2013 World Press Photo – but also by governments and humanitarian organisations themselves as a means to prevent disasters and respond to them faster.

“The sector needs to step out of its comfort zone.”

Wim Jansen

I hope that in ten years humanitarian aid won’t be necessary at all! Yet realistically, from my perspective, we will have created a world that is better off if the organisations responsible for providing humanitarian relief automatically find their way to platforms such as DCHI and use them to their advantage. Through increased collaboration between stakeholders I am convinced that more innovative solutions can be found. This will no doubt translate into faster and more efficient responses to humanitarian disasters as well as preventing them altogether.

I believe the strength of the current DCHI coalition is the rich diversity of its partners. We already have a unique combination of public and private organisations on board, who luckily all see the added value of cross-sector collaboration. Hopefully this list will continue to grow in the coming years!