A. Humanitarian Dialogue


Through the Humanitarian Dialogue, the 32nd International Conference provides an opportunity for participants to discuss current and future humanitarian challenges and to collaboratively develop solutions.

Discussions were facilitated in an open and innovative format, drawing on inputs from vulnerable populations, staff and volunteers, policy makers and academia collected through the Voices to Action online platform (www.voicestoaction.org) and hub events in Austria, Bangladesh, Honduras, Lebanon and Liberia. The aims of this multi-stakeholder dialogue are to connect Conference debates to ground realities, and to seek and promote measurable impact toward the next, 33nd International Conference.

Voices to Action Report

Topics of discussion

Disaster risk and climate change

There is a close interrelation between disaster risks and climate change. Impacts of climate change include an increase in the frequency and severity of the hydro-meteorological events. Some types of extreme weather and climate events have already increased in frequency or magnitude, and this trend is expected to continue over coming decades. Climate change is altering the face of disaster risk, not only through increased weather-related risks and sea-level and temperature rises, but also through increases in societal vulnerabilities – for example, from stresses on water availability, agriculture and ecosystems.

The thematic dialogue aims to:

  • Explore how to increase the impact of global frameworks related to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation at the local level (in particular Sendai Framework, SDGs and COP21), with a focus on:
    • Resourcing and funding
    • Governance and accountability
    • Understanding disaster and climate related risks
    • Decision making for planning and investment
  • Generate new ideas and solutions to tackle challenges through the actions of RCRC, governments, other partners and the humanitarian sector

Risk in urban settings

The majority of the world’s population is now urban with 54% living in cities and urban areas or 3.9 billion as of 2014. Urbanization is expected to grow to 66% of total worldwide population by 2050 or 6.3 billion, adding an additional 2.4 billion people to cities. Nearly one third of these newly urbanized residents will reside in high-risk, informal settlements and slums, experiencing very high levels of vulnerability and low levels of resilience to natural hazards and other environmental challenges, including climate change and technological hazards, conflict and urban violence.

The thematic dialogue aims to:

  • Achieve a deeper and more inclusive understanding of urban risks context and factors
  • Develop and recommend ways and means for the improvement of multi-stakeholder cooperation and partnerships for urban resilience and risk reduction

Community-centred resilient health and care

Health and well-being are fundamental socio-economic pillars of society. Health is a basic human right and a driver of social and economic development. Healthy living and care in the community involves the creation and maintenance of health: a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. The importance of healthy living and care in the community have been restated in the SDG #3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.“

The scope of this session focuses mainly on healthy living and care in the community. It goes beyond a disaster situation for example the Ebola crisis. This session is set-up as a simulation in which participants experience interactions and interdependencies of different parts and actors in the system with a specific focus on the role of communities.

The thematic dialogue aims to:

  • Help participants understand different roles & responsibilities within the health and community systems supporting healthy lifestyles
  • Gain insight on key blockages and develop breakthroughs to solve them
  • Translate this experience into new insights or relationships that will guide real action

Migration: moving forward: innovative perspectives for improved and coordinated protection of migrants

The Movement, by virtue of its expertise and its presence along the migration routes, is able and committed to contribute to addressing the humanitarian needs of vulnerable migrants. States should maintain and increase their efforts and abide by their obligations to protect the dignity and ensure the safety of all migrants and to grant to migrants, in line with relevant international law and national legislation, appropriate international protection and access to relevant services. There is a critical need that States, the Movement, civil society and other stakeholders pursue their efforts in working in a complementary manner to address efficiently the humanitarian needs of migrants along the migration routes.

The thematic dialogue aims to:

  • Provide a unique space for an informal, innovative and open reflection on present and future challenges related to migration
  • Examine ways and means to overcome the existing obstacles to provide more effective and coordinated protection of migrants
  • Stress States’ role and Experience, through this exercise, the importance of multi-stakeholder cooperation, collaboration and cross fertilization of ideas

Overcoming Today’s and Tomorrow’s Humanitarian Challenges in Insecure Environments

By reflecting on several diverse and challenging scenarios involving armed conflict and other forms of collective violence (not reaching the threshold of an armed conflict), the discussions will reveal current and anticipated challenges and their humanitarian consequences and impact on both affected people and communities as well as humanitarian personnel (including both staff and volunteers) trying to gain safe access to them. From these, ideas for solutions and key areas that require further discussion or research will be generated to help us overcome these challenges in future in order to reach more people more effectively.

This thematic dialogue aims to:

  • Discuss and describe the main trends and current/future challenges related to the consequences of these situations on people and communities as well as local and   international humanitarian organizations and their people in insecure environments.
  • Exchange and identify ideas on solutions to current and future challenges.
  • Define key areas requiring further discussion or research in order to help overcome these challenges in the future.


B. Vision Lab


The Vision Lab was designed as a high level forum with limited participation where participants moved beyond presentation, reaction and consultation to a totally different mode of work: one of genuine listening, learning and collaboration.

The outcome of the Vision Lab is an “Idea Chart” – a menu of solutions that have the potential to maximize our impact at local and global level, be it within the International Movement of Red Cross and Red Crescent and beyond it.

On day 1, It begun by un-packing the way the participants (States, the Movement, other humanitarian actors and partners) impact their constituencies – the scope and scale of their work, the nature of their shared ambition, the roles they play and how they interact with one another. They also considered how the Movement brings to life its Fundamental Principles through its operations, advocacy, staff and volunteers. They concluded the day sharing feedback from the thematic dialogues on “Disaster risk and climate change” and “Risk in urban settings” and by taking a first look at the solutions identified to better achieve their shared humanitarian aims.

On day 2, the participants built multiple alternative models of how their work can impact the world by building menus of solutions that have the potential to maximize their impact. They incorporated the conclusions of three additional thematic dialogues on “Community-centered resilient health systems”, “Migration” and “Insecure environments”, and begin to build a so-called “Idea Chart” which can serve to stimulate ideas for even more effective work at local and global level.

On day 3, they refined this Idea Chart and then look out many years in the future to see how these practical approaches they were designing and the application of the Fundamental Principles might impact their ability to achieve their shared humanitarian aims. A brief summary of the discussions was be shared in the closing plenary session.