Last week Michael Barnett, University Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, and Maryam Z. Deloffre, Associate Professor of International Affairs and Director, Humanitarian Action Initiative, co-hosted, with Community World Service Asia (CWSA), a half-day conference, “Beyond Despair,” at the Regional Humanitarian Partnership Week (RHPW) meetings in Bangkok, Thailand. The RHPW is organized by Asian Disaster Reduction & Response Network (ADRRN), CWSA, the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) and is the largest gathering of humanitarian actors in the region. In Beyond Despair, Barnett and Deloffre focused on the positive–how do humanitarian actors leverage their creativity and pragmatism to provide aid despite access challenges and structural barriers? Professor Barnett presented data from a survey conducted last year with Smruti Patel of Global Mentoring Initiative (GMI) and Political Science Ph.D. student Alex Vandermaas-Peeler, on the nature and sources of structural barriers – racism/colonialism embedded in attitudes and institutions, funding (and lack thereof), access constraints etc. Professor Deloffre then led a discussion on how humanitarian actors bypass these barriers to provide life-saving assistance. Over 250 practitioners, policymakers and academics from Asia, the Middle East and Africa attended the session.


The idea for Beyond Despair, is rooted in both Barnett and Deloffre’s ongoing research on localization, a policy initiative to reform the global humanitarian system by empowering local communities and populations affected by disasters to lead humanitarian action. Professor Deloffre teaches a graduate level course on the topic, IAFF 6138 Localizing Humanitarian Action, which is offered in the spring. Barnett and Deloffre collected narrative data at the workshop and will share findings with meeting participants as well as in future publications.

The second half of the Beyond Despair conference featured a panel discussion on Survival Strategies, how national and local humanitarian groups innovate and partner effectively to provide humanitarian assistance. Panelists included: Juliet Parker, director of Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP), who discussed the positive news from the recent State of the Humanitarian System report; Smruti Patel, founder of GMI, who described local and regional certification schemes; Nannette Antequisa, Executive Director, Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits (ECOWEB), Philippines, who detailed empowering partnership models; Takeshi Komino, Vice President of ADRRN, who discussed private-public partnership models, and Sudhanshu S. Singh, Founder and Director, Humanitarian Aid International, who highlighted his NGO’s survival strategies. Dr. Hanna A. Ruszczyk, Department of Geography, Durham University, served as the moderator.

The Asian Disaster Risk Reduction Network (ADRRN), Community World Service Asia (CWSA), International Council of Voluntary Agencies ( ICVA), the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), are collectively planning a Regional Humanitarian Partnership Week (RHPW) 2022, which will primarily be face-to-face, with some hybrid sessions, in Bangkok this December.

Please find here a ‘Save the Date’ announcement for you to plan your participation in this exciting and meaningful week.

Looking forward to welcoming you in Bangkok.

Community World Service Asia invites you to a 5-Day Workshop full of interactive learning experiences focused on Quality, Accountability and Safeguarding in Humanitarian Action from 4th – 8th of December 2022, in Bangkok, Thailand.

Kindly see the document below for more details and registration.

The application deadline for the Regional event is September 15th, 2022.

For more information, contact our Focal Point for this event Zainab Mir @


Reflection and empowerment through effective communication, action, and beyond…


As women we are preoccupied with everything around us that we often neglect, to our own detriment, ourselves. While women are “looking after” and “dealing with” matters, no one is reflective of their limitations and needs both personally and professionally. A change needs to happen at all levels in order to give everyone the space and opportunity to grow, flourish, and re-invent ourselves as part of this complex and dynamic world.


The world greatly needs the strength and leadership qualities of women. This transformation is about being provocative, working and treating each other as allies, and being agents of change.

This training is a holistic approach to leveraging the power of women. We are all unique beings and this course lends itself to that. It is an opportunity to facilitate, lead, take control, and think outside the box about real problems that impact women. It is bringing about real change, one conversation at a time. As your facilitator, I invite you to take on this challenge to be the best leader you can be through every stage of your life.


The answer to the problem is not about reflecting on the past or pre-empting the future, it is about the moment and the very best we do in order to change things right here, right now moving forward.


The methodology will be very participatory, allowing participants to be involved in a dynamic way at all times through presentations, debates, experience sharing, group work, learning pairs, writing workshops, design of programs and activities, etc. The course will be conducted in English.


When: 24th – 29th November 2019

Where: Windsor Suites Hotel Bangkok, Thailand

Fees: USD 800

Language: English

  • Participants are expected to arrive in Bangkok on November 23 and depart on November 29, evening and will be accommodated for maximum 7 days (6 nights)
  • All participants are invited to attend the half-day event on the 29th of November. More details to follow.
  • Two meals (breakfast and lunch), in addition to refreshments will be provided during the training. Participants will be responsible for their own dinner.
  • Participants are advised to please confirm any expense related information from Community World Service Asia to ensure all financial matters are clarified.


Kindly click on the following link for registration: Or fill out the attached application form and send it to Zunaira Shams along with your resume to ( by October 30, 2019.

Applicants will be notified if their participation is confirmed as application forms are received. Please make sure you include contact information (postal address, e-mail or phone number) you will access during those dates. Payment of the tuition fee will confirm the course registration.


Training Objectives:

  • To learn the fundamentals of leadership, communication, and change/transformation;
  • To analyze personal, professional, and social relationships;
  • To better understand emotional intelligence and how it works;
  • To share, discuss, and analyze experiences that will advance talents and skills Who can attend?
  • Participants will need to have at least three years of employment experience in the humanitarian or development sector;
  • Requirement to attend all five days of the course and the half-day event on the 29th of November;
  • Be willing to complete and/or share elements of a self-assessment/evaluation

Program Details:

  • DAY 1 – The Modern Leader
  • DAY 2 – Make Your Impression
  • DAY 3 – Networking
  • DAY 4 – Taking Care of Yourself
  • DAY 5 – Putting Your Best Foot Forward


5 days



When: 08.30 AM Tuesday, November 19 to 12.00 PM Wednesday, November 20

Where: Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel 8/2 Rangnam Road, Thanon-Phayathai, Ratchathewi, 10400 Bangkok

Organized by the CHS Alliance, the CHS Exchange provides the opportunity to debate and discuss how the CHS can make aid work better for people in crisis. For more detail and registration please visit:

The CHS Alliance General Assembly (Members only)

When: Wednesday afternoon, November 20 to Thursday, November 21

Where: Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel 8/2 Rangnam Road, Thanon-Phayathai, Ratchathewi, 10400 Bangkok

The physical General Assembly of CHS Alliance members is an important opportunity for the membership to agree on the collective way forward, in our commitment to the CHS and making aid work better for people.

For more details and registration, please visit:


When: Tuesday, November 26 to Friday, November 29

Where: Bangkok, Thailand (Venue to be decided)

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), The International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and Asian Disaster Reduction and Response Network (ADRRN) are holding a range of events, including thematic sessions, in a collaborative manner during the four days. For more details, please be in touch with the organizers.


When: 09.00 AM to 12.00 PM Friday, November 29

Where: Windsor Suites Hotel 10/1 Sukhumvit Soi 20, Sukhumvit Road, Bangkok, Thailand.

A collaborative event will be organized by Community World Service Asia, OCHA, ICVA, ADRRN, Act Church of Sweden, CHS Alliance and Sphere. It will include the launch of the updated booklet on Quality and Accountability for Project Cycle Management. This user-friendly booklet is designed especially for field practitioners working in the humanitarian and development sector to improve quality and accountability of their projects towards communities. The revised version aims to introduce advance tools to use at each stage of the project cycle, allowing enhanced practical implementation of quality and accountability. The launch will be followed by a stimulating panel discussion by panelists representing a range of experiences on accountability towards affected populations.


Connie Cheung brings a different kind of energy and approach to workshops in an effort to bring out the authentic leader in everyone. Each participant will have the opportunity to reflect, listen, and lead as a unique individual. Connie’s goal is to facilitate a training that will enable participants to: checking-in, build and/or recalibrate the foundation from where they will continue on their journey wherever they are in life.

Connie’s career is grounded in emergency management. Through the years she has complemented her career by actively coaching, mentoring, and addressing issues related to workplace wellness, which include mental health and well-being. Her aspirations are to encourage people to embrace change and reinvent themselves.

Click here to download the brochure and invitation letter.


HHR Asia 2017
Building resilient organisations in a changing humanitarian sector

During crisis, humanitarian organisations may experience an abrupt change in the ways their operations are run. Download our flyer and join HHR Asia to find out how to increase your organisation’s resilience so that you will be prepared when challenges arise.

Together, we will: 
  • Explore the concept and the principles of organisational resilience;
  • Work with key stakeholders to identify strategies and practical ways to support organisations to become resilient;
  • Network with other HR and humanitarian specialists from Asia with the intention to establish a strong Asia-based HR practitioners’ network;
  • Share our respective experience at a lively and interactive Market Place;
  • Participate in a World Café group discussion on how to strengthen individual and organisation resilience.
As a result of the conference we aim to identify:
  • Characteristics of resilient organisations, leaders and aid workers;
  • The role of HR in building resilient organisations;
  • The balance between duty of care and high performance especially when funds are limited;
  • Key challenges of organisational resilience.
Why organisational resilience?

Disasters continue to test the resilience of many humanitarian organisations, and Asia is the most disaster-prone region in the world. In cases of major crises organisations with limited or no prior experience in humanitarian response often experience an abrupt change in the ways their operations are run. It is not only about continuing work and recovering from the disaster, it is the ability to effectively manage change and thrive during the change process and beyond. The aim of this year’s HHR Conference is to improve the ability of participating organisations, both individually and as a community, to find, select, prepare and retain human resources for emergency and non-emergency operations.


Our early-bird discount fee of GBP 550 for residential and GBP 400 for non-residential places is available until 27 October, after which the conference fee will go up to GBP 650 and GBP 500 respectively.

Please note that this is the postponed HHR Asia Conference which was originally scheduled for May 2017.