PHASE 1:  Selecting the entries of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia

The first question addressed by the project was: What are the central concepts of humanitarian practice?

129 concepts have been selected forming the Humanitarian Encyclopedia entries.

An analysis of a wide range of dictionaries, Encyclopedias and handbooks showed that most of these documents fail to justify and explain the selection of entries. In other words, they mainly give a subjective point of view – in terms of preference of use and interest – often representing the preferences of a specific humanitarian organization or scholar.

To ensure that selected concepts are relevant for a range of humanitarian practitioners, the entries of the Humanitarian Encyclopedia have be identified and selected through a multi-method and participatory approach, seeking to identify concepts drawing on specific terminology used by humanitarian practitioners and giving them a central role.