Peace & Stability Journal Peace & Stability Journal, Volume 6, Issue 4 - Page 8

Introduction Explicating each of these challenges and how they might be overcome must be a key deliverable in any overall training strategy designed to educate future practitioners in the best modes of planning, resourcing, designing and executing complex FHA missions that are surely in our future. Accordingly, WG1 fleshed out recommended ways-ahead in each of these areas, while also addressing ways to strengthen institutional capacities to track FHA competencies and to forge productive engagements with existing course offerings in both the governmental and non-governmental spheres. Foreign Humanitarian Assistance (FHA) is fundamentally about saving lives and relieving human suffering. While these core goals are foundational for any FHA mission, the drivers of need in specific cases – whether chronic deprivation, sudden-onset natural disasters, complex emergencies or ongoing conflicts – may vary enormously, as will the range of actors who play key roles in these challenging missions – be they planners, logisticians, host nation officials, civilian relief organizations, UN field agencies, affected local communities or US congressional appropriators. In addition, the sheer complexity of the tools Mapping Vulnerabilities and Preparedness for performing key tasks poses enduring challenges for orchesThe task of anticipating urgent humanitarian needs is never trating FHA operations in an effective, efficient manner. easy, and clairvoyance is never a good safeguard. To be sure, PSOTEW Work Group (WG)1 drew together an impressively countries in disaster-prone regions are very conscious of hazwide range of civilian and military experts to consider how best ards, but future predictions based entirely upon the legacies of to craft a training strategy focused on disaster preparedness and the recent past are not always sufficient for scoping preparedness (e.g., Haiti’s earthquake vulnerability was not widely unhumanitarian response. derstood, either in country or regionally). In this domain, FHA Drawing upon their experiences from diverse operating venues, training should stress the value of: while also gleaning lessons from FHA responses to West Africa’s • Base-line vulnerability assessments by host-nations, as well Ebola outbreak in 2014-15 and Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake as current assessments conducted by country teams, to include in 2010, our skilled participants generated valuable grist for crafting a comprehensive training pedagogy that will benefit fu- sharing information and close coordination with Geographical ture practitioners and, indeed, the communities whose survival Combatant Commands (GCCs) in every area of responsibility (AOR) to ensure share understanding and unity of effort; will depend on timely humanitarian action as a crisis unfolds. • County and regional-level reviews of disaster preparedness and response plans, to include identifying priority needs as well With these purposes in mind, the WG’s discussion focused as areas where risks have, or can be, reduced through national particular attention on three interconnected challenges that future practitioners will definitely need to study as part of their resilience programming; • Appreciation of, and preparedness for, hybrid hazards, to training repertoire: include foreign consequence management as well as infectious disease outbreaks. • First, there’s the “situational” challenge – in essence, rigorous risk mapping. What types of geological (e.g., earthquakes) The FHA training program of instruction (POI) in this area or meteorological (e.g., typhoons) events are most prevalent should identify the best USG sources for such assessments. The in various global regions, and how might anthropogenic (e.g., POI should also highlight cases where positive steps toward rigindustrial waste) or biological risk factors (e.g., communicable orous assessments have already been taken while also explicating disease) as well as socio-cultural violence, result in so-called the sensitives and challenges that may arise in partnering with “hybrid” hazards and/or massive human displacement? host nations on mapping out these hazards and/or preparing for • Second, there’s the “instrumental” challenge – that is, understanding the tool box. What kinds of capabilities are vital in their onset. mounting effective FHA operations; how should their use be sequenced; and which actors have the requisite legal authorities, Studying the Actors and their Tools resources, and responsibilities for acquiring, maintaining and While rigorous hazard mapping is essential, FHA practitioners utilizing these instruments? also need a more detailed understanding of the responder com• Third, there’s the “interactional” challenge – specifically, forging mutually beneficial partnerships in meeting humanitar- munity at the national, international and non-governmental levels – specifically, what are each entity’s core expertise; reian goals. How should various stakeholders seek to coordinate sources that can be brought to bear; preferred modus operandi; their FHA efforts – both at the headquarters and field levels – in order to p