On the 28th of November 2017, over 230 representatives from INGOs, local and national NGOs from the global ‘North’ and ‘South’, public sector officials, philanthropists, donors, academia and media met in London for the first World Humanitarian Action Forum (WHAF).

The Humanitarian Forum, with a variety of stakeholders including affected communities, the private sector, government representatives, INGOs, national NGOs and grassroots organisations found that multiple parallel humanitarian crises of the last decade imposed several challenges to the traditional humanitarian system post World Humanitarian Summit. One in particular, was that despite increasingly open political contexts taking shape across parts of the Southern hemisphere, civil society organizations (CSOs) still had a very limited influence on policymaking.

WHAF 2017 aimed to enhance partnership and coordination amongst humanitarian actors and provide an opportunity for participants to share effective humanitarian practices and responses, tackling pertinent issues especially those affecting local and national NGOs from the global ‘South’.

Key objectives

  1. Develop strategies for informing policy on key issues affecting humanitarian organisations particularly those from the global south
  2. Develop joint initiatives and campaigns for collaborative working at local, national and international levels

Added value of the WHAF

  • Managed by partners: The initiative is led by a working group consisting of several key partners. Steering groups set up for each roundtable develop the key issues affecting the sector
  • Action orientated: The Forum facilitates discussion around what needs to be done to improve efficacy in humanitarian work. These recommendations are translated into campaigns and initiatives
  • Collaborative approach: WHAF partners agree on joint campaigns and issues to address throughout the year thus facilitating improved coordination and cooperation in humanitarian work

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