centre for humanitarian action

Interview with the new CHA Research Fellow Darina Pellowska

9. September 2020

Darina Pellowska has been a Research Fellow at CHA since July 2020. In this interview, the PhD student explains why the localisation debate – not only because of COVID-19 – has to be on top of the agenda and what a more participatory humanitarian debate culture could look like.

CHA Webinar on COVID-19 online

26. August 2020

Have you missed our webinar on “COVID-19 – comprehensive response or development reversal? Don’t worry – the recording is now online. Learn how practitioners in Somalia and Pakistan experience the COVID-19 response, what international policy experts demand and what the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is planning.

#WorldHumanitarianDay and 5 years “Wir schaffen das”: Interview with CHA Director Ralf Südhoff.

26. August 2020

On the occasion of World Humanitarian Day, CHA Director Ralf Südhoff gave several interviews on German civil and public humanitarian aid. What has the world’s second largest donor achieved? Why is a German Middle East focus justified? We have selected two radio interviews for you.

Interview with Dabagaï Dabagaï on the Triple Nexus

2. July 2020

Dabagaï Dabagaï, Country Director of Action against Hunger in Mali, explains in this interview why she finds the peace component of the Triple Nexus problematic and how COVID-19 affects her daily work.

4 questions on the Syria conference

27. June 2020

During #SyriaConf2020, that is currently taking place virtually, CHA Director Ralf Südhoff explains in this interview what indirect consequences the COVID-19 pandemic has on Syria, what chances Cash and Voucher Assistance (CVA) offers for the county and what consequences this has for German aid organisations.

Hunger as a weapon: joint webinar by Welthungerhilfe and CHA

24. June 2020

The systematic use of hunger in armed conflicts is increasingly used as a method of warfare. What is the legal framework regarding starvation crimes, and what does this mean for humanitarian aid organisations? On 19 June 2020, Welthungerhilfe and the CHA organized a joint webinar on this topic.


Interview with Charlotte Faltas on counterterrorism measures

27. May 2020

In this interview, CHA intern Charlotte Faltas explains the latest CHA research results on counterterrorism, what she is currently investigating in her master’s thesis and how she copes in the home office situation in times of Corona.

Recording of CHA webinar #TripleNexus online now

18. May 2020

The video recording of CHA’s webinar “The Triple Nexus – Threat or Opportunity for the Humanitarian Principles?” from May 14, 2020 is online. Watch it here.

Localisation and Shrinking Civic Space: new CHA paper online

15. May 2020

What does ‘local’ actually mean? And how do humanitarian actors cope with the increasing restriction of their space for action? Our new paper by CHA Fellow Dr Kristina Roepstorff is online – find out more.

Triple Nexus – humanitarian principles at risk? New CHA discussion paper by Marc DuBois

12. May 2020

The Triple Nexus – danger or opportunity for the humanitarian principles? In our new CHA discussion paper Marc DuBois outlines the potential of the Triple Nexus for principled humanitarian aid. The paper is available for download now.

“The Triple Nexus highlights many dilemmas of humanitarian action”. Interview with Andrea Steinke on the Triple Nexus

3. April 2020

In this interview, which is part of the interview series “Faces around CHA”, CHA Research Fellow Andrea Steinke explains what the Triple Nexus is about and what challenges the humanitarian community is facing.

What North can learn from South: From Ebola to Corona.

2. April 2020

Can lessons learnt from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa be applied to the current COVID-19 pandemic? “We have learned not to take any public health emergency as a joke”. Interview with Ishmeal Alfred Charles, Programme Manager at Caritas Freetown in Sierra Leone.

Triple Nexus – a donor-driven dynamic?

24. March 2020

Is the Triple Nexus a donor-driven agenda? CHA’s third discussion on the Triple Nexus, which took place on 10 March 2020, in cooperation with VENRO, focused on the European donor landscape. An event review.


Water as a weapon of war in Yemen

11. February 2020

Public health in Yemen is on the verge of collapse. A new study by Action contre la Faim (ACF) shows how the parties to the conflict have knowingly contributed to the collapse of the water sector in the war that has been going on since 2015. Water as a weapon of war? Unfortunately, this is true in Yemen.

Humanitarian action from the perspective of academia and practice. A few reflections.

10. February 2020

Scientists and practitioners in humanitarian action still do not get together enough. A joint event of the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV), the University of Siegen, and the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) on 4 February 2020 wanted to change this.

Challenge Shrinking Humanitarian Space. An event review.

31. January 2020

How can humanitarian actors operate in a restrictive environment in which provision of life-saving aid and the protection of people is criminalised? On 29 January 2020, the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) together with Groupe URD organised an event on Migration and Shrinking Humanitarian Space in Europe. This was exactly the challenge that was discussed.

“Especially local helpers are affected”. Interview with Kristina Roepstorff on the Shrinking Humanitarian Space.

13. January 2020

Kristina Roepstorff has been a Research Fellow at the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) since September 2019, where she heads the project on Shrinking Humanitarian Space. In this interview, she explains what Shrinking Humanitarian Space is and the challenges it poses for humanitarian action.

The honest broker?

9. December 2019

The volume of humanitarian aid in Germany has multiplied in recent years. What is Germany’s new role and strategy in humanitarian aid? The Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) together with the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) invited to a high-level round table on December 6.

Triple Nexus in Mali. An event review.

29. November 2019

Everybody is talking about the Triple Nexus. But what exactly does it mean in practice to bring together humanitarian action, development and peace work? On November 28, the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) hosted its second event on this subject. This time, Anaïde Nahikian from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and CHA-Research Fellow Andrea Steinke discussed the case of Mali.

Sea rescue and Shrinking Humanitarian Space

29. November 2019

Since the arrest of Carola Rackete, captain of Sea Watch 3, in June 2019, the topic of sea rescue has been on everyone’s lips. One thing is clear: Humanitarian workers are increasingly being hampered in their work – one also talks about the Shrinking Humanitarian Space. On November 28, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and SOS MEDITERRANEE organised an event in Berlin. Kristina Roepstorff from the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) participated as a panelist.

Humanity overboard

7. November 2019

How the rescue at sea in the Mediterranean was criminalised step by step – this stands for a Shrinking Humanitarian Space also in Europe. A guest contribution by David Starke, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Germany.

CHA Projects 2019-2021

30. October 2019

CHA has published its work programme for 2019-2021. Three projects are to be realised. Thematically, the focus is on the policy and strategy capability of German humanitarian actors, the Triple Nexus and the Shrinking Humanitarian Space in the Global South and in Europe.

Climate change and humanitarian action

22. October 2019

Droughts, floods, displacements. At the Humanitarian Congress 2019, which took place on October 17 and 18, 2019, at Urania Berlin, humanitarian actors* discussed the challenges of climate change and its impacts on humanitarian action. CHA was present with its own stand and a panel discussion on the situation in Syria, facilitated by CHA Director Ralf Südhoff.

CHA hosts Syria briefing with UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator

18. October 2019

With the entering of Turkish troops in North-East Syria at the beginning of October, hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced. Experts speak of one of the most worrying events since the outbreak of the Syrian war. CHA organised a webinar on the humanitarian situation with Panos Moumtzis, a senior UN-representative in the region.

CHA panel at ALNAP Annual Meeting

17. October 2019

The aid that humanitarian actors are most prepared to deliver is not always the most suitable one to effectively meet the needs of people in crisis. How can this be changed? CHA-Director Ralf Südhoff facilitated a plenary session on this issue at ALNAP’s 32nd Annual Meeting.

Job Post: Research interns (m/f/d)

16. October 2019

We are looking for part-time or full-time research interns to join our team in Berlin-Mitte. Deadline for Application: 31 October 2019.

Three years into the Grand Bargain: where do we stand?

2. October 2019

Three years after the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, it is now time to reflect: Have there been the changes to humanitarian assistance for people in emergencies promised at this summit? What, for some, may be a debate over technical, sector-specific reforms, is a question of life or death for more people than ever before.

Counterterrorism laws and sanctions regime

20. September 2019

Aktion gegen den Hunger and CHA invited to a confidential round table on September 19, 2019. NGOs were able to discuss how the counterterrorism legislation of international donors affects humanitarian aid and their project work. An event review.

CHA wins tender concerning Triple Nexus evaluation

22. August 2019

CHA has won a tender from Welthungerhilfe for an evaluation concerning the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus. The evaluation fits into the CHA project “Nexus in Practice” and includes several case studies.

Better strategies for German humanitarian assistance – DW radio interview

15. August 2019

Deutsche Welle has interviewed Ralf Südhoff for a broadcast of an English radio show, in which he speaks about the following: Where does German humanitarian assistance stand? What could be Germany’s global role? What do German public & civil actors need to look at? What can think tank CHA contribute to these issues?

Sea Rescue and Criminalisation of Migration in the EU

24. July 2019

In the “Monday on the Couch” event on 22/07/2019, organised by the Bosch Alumni Network and the CHA, speakers and the experienced audience discussed the topic “Refugees, Activists and Humanitarians – all criminals?”. A review of the event can be read here.

Job Post: Junior Communications Officer

23. July 2019

We are looking for a part-time communications officer to join our team in Berlin-Mitte.

Article “The Innovation of Humanitarian Action in Syria”

11. July 2019

Aside from the current war in Yemen, the Syrian conflict that broke out in 2011 is still considered the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. ln the face of the continuing plight of more than 13 million Syrians, innovative humanitarian action in the region, which is constantly changing, has made the crisis a “laboratory” for the future of humanitarian action from United Nations agencies and civil society. At the same time, in the Syrian conflict humanitarian action has rarely before been so hampered, attacked and disregarded in its principles, which signifies major challenges and conflicting goals worldwide.

Triple Nexus in Practice: Minutes of the Roundtable

3. July 2019

The minutes of the Roundtable discussion about the Triple Nexus (Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus) on 12/06/2019 can be read here.

Meeting with Christos Stylianides, ECHO

1. July 2019

On 28 June 2019 a meeting took place in Berlin between Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, IFHV’s Executive Director Professor Pierre Thielbörger and CHA Director Ralf Südhoff. The discussion focused on the nexus approach, in particular the link with education, as well as upholding IHL and Europe’s major role in defending shrinking humanitarian space.

Mark Lowcock visits Berlin

11. June 2019

CHA welcomed on 5th of June Mark Lowcock for a frank discussion on how humanitarian action can save more lives by anticipatory approaches and timely financing mechanisms.

Job Post: Research Fellow

21. May 2019

We are looking for a full-time research fellow to join our team in Berlin-Mitte. As fluency in German language is required for this position, we kindly refer to the German announcement for more detailed information.

Critical article on German humanitarian aid

14. May 2019

Interesting article in the German magazine “welt-sichten” on the deficient strategy of German humanitarian aid. CHA director Ralf Südhoff is being quoted as he warns the Federal Government and aid organisations to “continue like this”. Apart from Südhoff, three other experts that have been invited to the hearing of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid in the German parliament on 20/03/2019 have been interviewed.

Help without causing any harm – new RBB radio interview

15. April 2019

CHA director Ralf Südhoff reports on his personal background in the field of humanitarian action. By presenting some of the conflicts he was confronted with in his previous positions, listeners gain practical insights into the dilemmas of humanitarian principles. He also takes a stand on important topics such as sea rescue and arms exports and shows how the work of the CHA can contribute to improving humanitarian action.

A successful event at the GFFO

5. April 2019

The event for the presentation of the SOHS 2018 report and the launch of the new strategy of the German Federal Foreign Office on humanitarian assistance has attracted an audience of approximately 180 people. We appreciate this huge interest and would like to look back to the event with a picture gallery.

From start-up to global player

4. April 2019

On the occasion of the presentation of the new strategy of the German Federal Foreign Office on humanitarian assistance, an article written by CHA director Ralf Südhoff has been published in German daily “Tagesspiegel” on 04/04/2019.

Video: Humanitarian Assistance in a Changing World on 04.04.19

4. April 2019

How did the humanitarian system change in the last three years? And what are the German answers to those challenges? Watch a recording of our symposium here.

What is keeping humanitarians up at night?

24. March 2019

Humanitarian aid workers are often confronted with difficult decisions on moral issues and humanitarian principles. During our opening event on 19/03/2019, Directors from Médecins sans Frontièrs, Caritas Germany and Diakonie Emergency Aid spoke about humanitarian aid challenges and dilemmas in times of multiple conflicts. Listen to the recording on rbb Inforadio (in German).

Video: CHA at the Bundestag

21. March 2019

CHA director Ralf Südhoff was invited to an expert hearing of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid in the German parliament on 20/03/2019. Seven experts layed out their views on the latest quadrennial report German humanitarian assistance abroad by the German Federal Foreign Office. Watch a video of the hearing here.

Full House at the CHA opening

20. March 2019

We are pleased about the numerous guests who took part in our yesterday’s opening event. In addition to Minister of State Niels Annen, directors of German aid organisations and international guests discussed the question “Humanitarian Aid in crisis – Germany only a small giant”.

Against all principles – “welt-sichten”-interview

28. February 2019

The crisis in Venezuela is a prime example of how humanitarian action should not be provided and can even have dangerous impacts. The US approach violates the humanitarian principles and undermines the work of aid organisations, criticises CHA director Ralf Südhoff in an interview with “welt-sichten” magazine.

Humanitarian helpers, conflicts of objectives and dilemmas – RBB radio interview

17. February 2019

Humanitarian aid workers face a number of dilemmas, especially when they want to provide aid in crises and war zones. How do they uphold the principle of impartiality when they have to cooperate with conflict parties? How do they remain neutral? And what does it mean to be independent when state donors finance their aid? CHA director Ralf Südhoff raises questions that humanitarian aid workers and the CHA deal with.

“We can address issues that aid organisations shy away from” – interview on founding the CHA

23. January 2019

What can the CHA do that others can’t? Why is its independence so important? Why is it wrong to claim that aid always reaches the target group? And why are German humanitarian actors internationally still frequently perceived as newcomers? Director Ralf Südhoff answers those questions in an interview with Greenpeace Magazine.

Inaugural visit to the Federal Foreign Office

9. January 2019

On Wednesday, 9 January 2019, CHA founding director Ralf Südhoff and colleagues visited the Federal Foreign Office and met the head of the Division for Humanitarian Assistance / Operations and her team. The aim of the meeting was to present the CHA and to sound out future cooperations and possible joint events. The current challenges of humanitarian aid and the new report “State of the Humanitarian System” (SOHS) were also discussed.