Argusi Aid, Delft University of Technology, Wageningen University & Research, Municipality The Hague, Save the Children, Metropool Rotterdam Den Haag (MRDH), ZOA and many more within the Dutch Coalition for Humanitarian Innovation have joined forces in a new project. The aim of the project is to improve the impact and effectiveness of critical humanitarian aid in the first 72 hours after a large-scale critical event. More specifically, to ensure that Dutch (i)NGOs can provide the right critical, emergency relief items timely (within 72 hours) in an effective, timely and accurate manner. The project aims to identify the challenges faced and consider best-practices of the Dutch (i)NGOs. Understanding the challenges organisations face is key in developing, or providing innovative solutions. By first understanding the need, we hopes to put our knowledge and experience into practice and gather as well as facilitate the development of, together with others, innovative solutions.
An increasing number of people are facing the consequences of volatile events around the globe, whether due to natural causes or man-made crisis. Citizens and societies as a whole are increasingly facing risks that can cause physical, emotional and economical damage. The mounting frequency and intensity of these events, require the international humanitarian community to become more agile in responding to these events.
To prevent further physical, psychological, social and economic collapse, after such a critical event, fast and effective humanitarian interventions are needed. These interventions for example supply affected population with the critical relief items to address the most immediate humanitarian needs. Depending on the type of crisis these items can be food, shelter, medical and various other supplies. Furthermore, other forms of assistance are offered, such as medical staff, disaster response coordinators and experts. To ensure effective aid delivery, a key challenge faced is to provide the right critical relief items, to the right people at the right place in a timely manner, often within 72 hours (immediate rescue and response stages).
However, the circumstances in disasters present several challenges to humanitarian agencies. These challenges include identifying and understanding the needs and size of the affected population, coordination with other NGOs and governmental agencies, uncertainty about available funds, international and local logistical challenges, cooperation of (local) government for access.