Foresight Project: The future of humanitarian action

Author: Lena Görgen (IRC), Sonja Hövelmann (CHA)
Date: 17.06.2022
Publication: Download (DE)

Humanitarian action is confronted with numerous challenges: Crises are lasting ever longer and the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is increasing every year. People fleeing conflict remain in volatile situations for longer, and the climate crisis threatens to multiply these needs once again. With the change of government in September 2021, there is a chance that Germany as a donor, but also German and international aid organisations as implementing partners, will rethink these challenges and find new approaches to solving them.

With this goal in mind, the Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) and International Rescue Committee (IRC), in cooperation with other experts, conducted a foresight project from July 2021 to December 2021 to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the formation of a new government to explore new ways of thinking about the future of humanitarian action from Germany. Strategic foresight techniques support creative and structured exploring of possible futures and are therefore a popular methodology for think tanks.

The aim of the project was to identify topics and influencing factors that are changing the future of humanitarian action. These were then grouped within four different scenarios, which were explored in a workshop with humanitarian actors.
Based on the results, key topics for room to manoeuvre in German humanitarian policy were identified. In a second workshop, options for strategy development were developed in a participatory manner on this basis.

The documentation [in German] summarises the findings from the workshops. The information, statements and representations contained therein are to be read in the context of the exercise and are not necessarily views of the institutions involved.