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Global Humanitarian Policy Forum 2014

Ongoing course

On 3 and 4 December 2014, humanitarian practitioners, academics, private-sector representatives, international organizations, non-governmental and government representatives gathered in New York for the 2014 Global Humanitarian Policy Forum, convened by OCHA’s Policy Analysis and Innovation Section.

The Forum commenced with a public, high-level Symposium that debated the concept of humanitarian interoperability.

The Humanitarian Symposium (webcast may be viewed here: featured a diverse group of participants, including:

  • Mr. Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy-Secretary General (opening remarks)
  • Ms. Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humantiarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
  • Ms. Alicia Bala, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN
  • Mr. Camilo Buitrago Hernandez, National Director of Social and Humanitarian Assistance, Special Administrative Unit for Assistance and Comprehensive Reparation of Victims, Colombia
  • Ms. Nancy Lindborg, Assistant Administrator, United States Agency for International Development
  • Ms. Amina Mohammed, UN Special Advisor of the Secretary-General on Post-2015 Development Planning
  • Mr. Robert Piper, UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel
  • Ms. Laura Trevelyan, Anchor and Correspondent, BBC News America (Moderator)

In addition, the Symposium was followed by a day and a half of closed-door working level discussions around the same theme. The objectives were to:

  • Build a common understanding of the term "interoperability";
  • Identify the systemic issues and priority research, policy and operational gaps pertaining to interoperability on which the international community should focus;
  • Identify initiatives to be taken by different actors to foster interoperability as a way to enhance the effectiveness of global humanitarian action.

Participants were asked several key questions about how to create an interoperable humanitarian system, including "Who is involved?", "What resources to be used?", "What standards to follow?", and "How to make the system accountable?" The answers to these questions, along with the full set of challenges, opportunities, and recommendations, can be found in the full report.


Analytical summary: Enhancing Cooperation, enhancing effectiveness

UN Deputy Secretary-General opening remarks for the Third Annual Global Humanitarian Policy Forum, 3 December

Global Humanitarian Policy Forum 2013, Summary Report

Humanitarian Data and Trends 2014

Saving Lives Today and Tomorrow [interactive]

How to Register

Watch the recording at