Managing Humanitarian Emergencies seminar in Collbató: Skills to apply to business world
NGOs, non-profit entities and volunteers respond everyday to emergencies suffered by the victims of wars and conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics and nutritional crises. They all have to make difficult decisions in complex settings and contexts. In order to show how they deal with these critical situations, the latest edition of International Weeks in Collbató, held in March, featured a seminar entitled Managing Humanitarian Emergencies –one of several 24-hour electives on offering to EADA’s master participants in order to complement their training at the business school–.
The course was designed and delivered by David Noguera, with 15 years working experience in humanitarian aid, an EADA professor as well as co-founder and director at ReAcció Humanitària –an institution that organises training, team building and furthers awareness concerning humanitarian emergencies–. Noguera introduced participants to the main components required to respond to humanitarian emergencies. In his opinion there are two priorities: “On the one hand, to reduce the mortality, morbidity and suffering of populations in precarious situations. On the other hand, to identify the major threats, such as malaria, Ebola or cholera cases as well as the most vulnerable people who are likely to be affected by them”.
According to David Noguera, in humanitarian crises there are several hard and stressful moments in which it is necessary to make tough choices that involve not resolving all the problems at the same time
In addition, Noguera comments that “there are several hard and stressful moments in which it is necessary to make tough choices that involve not resolving all the problems at the same time”. In his opinion, “the first step is always to focus on the main causes of mortality and morbidity and then the next step is to reach the entire population”.
Key benefits of the course
Furthermore, the course designer points out that “EADA’s participants learnt how to manage humanitarian crises and how to apply this to the business world”. More specifically, Noguera refers to four key benefits:
-Shared values: Raising awareness of your individual and corporate social responsibilities.
-Improving team work: As in the field, divide up roles and responsibilities in order to achieve goals in a fast, flexible and reactive way.
-Enduring and solving crisis situations: Facing crises affecting people’s lives is the daily challenge of humanitarian organisations.
-Learning about humanitarian action: As a professional field or as a matter of interest.
To Noguera, “participants learnt a lot of useful skills for their career such as communication skills, leadership, relationship and team work”. He goes on to add: “By doing this, we acquire tools, specific knowledge and learn about different ways of managing highly independent teams focused on achieving results, that are extremely operational and very strongly identified with the principles and policies of the organisation”.
EADA’s participants acquired tools, specific knowledge and learn about different ways of managing highly independent teams focused on achieving results
In addition to this, “they all acquired a better understanding of how the real world is because for some days they were out of the bubble or comfort zone they are used to”. This is currently the main goal of ReAcció Humanitària: “Contributing to making people in more countries more aware of these critical situations and also getting more people to join our effort in improving the lives of the people who are suffering the most”.
In the following video David Noguera tells us about how to manage humanitarian emergencies in complex settings and contexts: