MSF Sara Creta, 2016

In order to support a wide community of stakeholders for collaborative decision-making in more complex environments, but also to accompany the impetus for professionalization, it is necessary to develop a critical analysis of core humanitarian concepts.

  • The Humanitarian Encyclopedia will identify the core concepts both used to study humanitarian action and to engage in humanitarian response through collaboration with academics and practitioners.
  • The Humanitarian Encyclopedia will describe and analyse how these concepts are used in the humanitarian sector and understood across time, culture space, organisations and disciplines. It will not seek to create new norms but will bring much needed clarity to the core concepts, thanks to a cross cultural and transdisciplinary approach.
  • Through participatory research, humanitarian practitioners will be involved in the concept selection, concept analysis and development of the Encyclopedia services and products.
  • Co-creation and crowdsourcing will be an integral part of the process of developing the knowledge base. The Encyclopedia will take into account the knowledge developed to date while significantly expanding it, ensuring effective local and regional adaptation and adoption through field research and co-creation. It is essential for the Encyclopedia to interact effectively with the entire humanitarian ecosystem creating synergies as relevant. Many valuable initiatives are seeking to strengthen the sector, especially its impact and efficiency in the context of a growing diversity of actors. The aim is to avoid overlap with existing initiatives and ensure complementarity, through:
    • Building on the strengths of other initiatives, such as the Humanitarian Leadership Academy, ALNAP, Sphere, ACAPS, PHAP, CHS Alliance. They have the potential to bring value to the Encyclopedia with intellectual contributions, leverage of networks for dissemination and co-creation.
    • Offering complementary value with the potential to enrich many initiatives (e.g. standards setting, humanitarian education and training, evaluation expertise). It will do so by disseminating these initiatives’ knowledge base through the Encyclopedia platform and leveraging its research and tools to enhance their mission.