Humanitarian knowledge to go2023-05-12T09:58:20+02:00

Humanitarian knowledge to go

Unlike development cooperation, humanitarian action is only active in acute crisis situations and strictly follows the four principles of humanity, impartiality, independence and neutrality. Is this really the case? Don’t organisations repeatedly come up against limits when it comes to adhering to the principles? And with the so-called humanitarian-development-peace nexus, is the boundary between development and humanitarian aid really so clear? What do these terms actually mean? If you would like to have a general overview first, you will find introductory content on this page.

Publications to go

In our publication series “To Go” we explain briefly and comprehensibly important aspects of humanitarian action, for example how the system works as a whole, the special role of the United Nations or the concept of the Triple Nexus, and provide recommendations for further reading on the topic.

Forgotten Crises - to go


In the current #Into Focus campaign, attention is being drawn to so-called "forgotten crises". But where does the term come from? What are the definitions and criteria? This to go -Paper introduces the topic.

Humanitarian action of the United Nations - to go


Humanitarian assistance is a core task of the United Nations. In this To Go paper, Sonja Hövelmann explains UN actors, their tasks, funding and challenges. [German]

Introduction to the international humanitarian system


Humanitarian aid - what is it and how does it work? Sonja Hövelmann explains this in her latest paper from the CHA publication series 'to go'. For all those who want to brush up on the basics - or who have always wanted to explain to friends and family what they do in their daily work.

Triple Nexus - to go


In CHA's new publication series "... to go", complex topics of humanitarian assistance are explained briefly and easily understandable. In this first issue, the much-discussed and at the same time often vague, undefined Triple Nexus is to be unravelled.

Understanding counterterrorism and humanitarian action - to go


Since 9/11, sanctions and so-called counter-terrorism measures have increased. This also makes the work of humanitarian aid workers more difficult. Former CHA intern Charlotte Faltas explains what counter-terrorism measures are all about and how they collide with humanitarian action in a new paper in the publication series "Humanitarian topics explained ... to go".


Some things are easier to grasp visually: The ideas for these videos originated in the seminar “Theory and Practice of Humanitarian Action” at the University of Tübingen, which Sonja Hövelmann led together with Martin Quack in the winter semester 2020/2021, and were developed by Frederic Auel, Isabel Josam, Theresa Ogando and Anastasia Rentzing. The explanatory videos created in the seminar were then graphically prepared, edited and finalised by Isabel Josam as part of a CHA internship during her studies. Unfortunately only in German for now – but we are working on it!

Humanitarian Topics explained: Localisation
Humanitarian Topics explained: Fundraising
Humanitarian Topics explained: International Humanitarian Law

Our offers for universities

It is possible that CHA research fellows give input or participate in discussions as part of seminars or lectures at universities. Write to if this is of interest for your class.

Humanitarian Takeaways

Too many browser tabs open, too little time for deep reading? We have a solution!
Humanitarian Takeaways is a collection of selected and summarised materials on a specific humanitarian topic. e.g. German humanitarian policy and strategy, digitalisation of humanitarian action, localisation, climate change & humanitarian action, antiracism and decolonisation, the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus, and gender equality in humanitarian action. Sign up, and approx. every two months Takeaways will land in your inbox!

February 2023 – German foreign and humanitarian policy

November 2022 – Digital Transformation

September 2022 – Climate Crisis

August 2022 – Anti-Racism in Aid Organisations

June 2022 – Localisation

April 2022 – Gender


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