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Our blog: 'Mind the Gap'

For humanitarians moving forward

2020 hit us hard but what if …

By Ophelie Namiech, Mindset-PCS. 2020 hit us hard. We all agree on that. A global pandemic profoundly transformed the way we live, work, and think. The way we imagine our future. As humans. And as humanitarians. For the worst, and maybe, also for the better. COVID-19 shed lights on urgent global threats that have been lurking above our heads before 2020: rampant violence against women and girls, unstable livelihoods, soaring food insecurity, growing social and economic inequalities, climate change, and environmental degradation. Our planet, our humanity, have been hurting for a while. Maybe, a global shock was needed to highlight ...
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6 recommendations for start-ups to secure partnerships in the ‘aid’ world.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which sets out the SDGs envisions a “revitalized global partnership for sustainable development” based on the understanding that the UN and governments do not have the reach nor the resources to achieve the Goals alone. Engagement, especially with the private sector, is imperative for the 2030 Agenda to succeed. Our world faces increasingly complex and inter-connected challenges, such as: highest displacement rates on records, soaring global food insecurity, increased structural social and economic inequalities, climate change and environmental degradation, or global health  risks that affect us all. If we want to stand a chance ...
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How to effectively integrate innovation into NGO programming?

This was the core question Ophelie Namiech (from Mindset-PCS), Yau Ben Or (from Rural Senses) and David Githiri (from UNHCR Uganda) addressed this week at the Google for nonprofits summit. We are sharing the highlights and core messages from the session in this blog post as well as an attached list with key recommendations for NGOs! The article below and the attached list are joint contributions from Mindset-PCS, Rural Senses, and UNHCR in the framework of the Google for non-profit summit. * * * Innovation. This word has been buzzing around our humanitarian spheres for quite some time now. What ...
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Working together towards the SDGs: our new partnership with UNHCR

We are delighted to announce our latest partnership with UNHCR to explore private sector engagement strategies and alternative partnerships. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which sets out the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) envisions a “revitalized global partnership for sustainable development” based on the understanding that the UN and governments do not have the reach nor the resources to achieve the Goals alone. Engagement, especially with the private sector, is imperative for the 2030 Agenda to succeed, and for inter-governmental agencies and their partners to address the needs of the most at-risk communities and strengthen resilience in a meaningful, effective, ...
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Methods & Tools for Meaningful Community Engagement

There is a clear fatigue among communities in humanitarian settings towards the overwhelming and often imposing presence of humanitarian actors collecting information in times of crisis, often duplicating efforts, and limiting genuine engagement. It is crucial to address this major limitation by maximizing existing and trusting community and partners’ network, assets, and activities, as well as to adapt the way we work with communities. We recommend using community engagement methods that move away from the ‘traditional’ yet often counterproductive top down ‘focus-group discussion-only’ format which tends to create unbalanced relationships between interviewers and interviewees. We reviewed existing methods borrowed from ...
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World Humanitarian Day 2020

What drives humanitarians to continue save and protect lives despite conflict, insecurity, and risks linked to COVID-19: women voices from the field We are pleased to introduce you to amazing women humanitarians who are doing wonders all around the world to support their disaster-stroked or disaster-prone communities, and tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges! We selected these incredible women to pay tribute to their dedication, commitment, and inspiring vision. They are running around bringing positive changes in their communities, but we rarely read about them in the news. That is why we wanted to shed the lights on them today and listen to their ...
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World Refugee Day: Localizing innovation to address displacement challenges

Can innovation and technology help us do a better job in displacement settings? Our latest blog post explores good (and less good) practices with regards to innovation and technologies addressing displacement. It recommends more investment in localized innovation processes and solutions, while suggesting how to best capitalize on ‘external’ technologies. By Ophelie Namiech, Mindset-PCS. For the 20th anniversary of World Refugee Day, UNHCR released its global report on displacement: more than 1% of the world population is forcibly displaced today.[1] Yet, despite billions of dollars spent annually[2], the aid community has thus far failed to address the deep root causes ...
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Practical Best Practices on Humanitarian-Development Nexus

Last week, UNICEF asked Mindset-PCS to share best practices on humanitarian-development nexus. Here is a rapid overview of core recommendations. As the nature of emergencies changes and development challenges are more concerning than ever before, current ways of conceptualizing and providing humanitarian and development assistance are being challenged. There is a need to find faster, cheaper, more effective, and more sustainable ways to support and work with communities affected by crisis, displacement and structural vulnerabilities. In such context, the international community has been advocating to connect the once-separated humanitarian and development sectors. The ‘nexus approach’ requires humanitarian and development actors ...
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Where are the women from the Global South in humanitarian panels?

By Ophelie Namiech, Mindset-PCS. A few weeks ago, while preparing a panel on humanitarian funding, my colleague Karen and I received an uplifting message from a potential speaker: “I will be happy to join the panel provided that the panel selection will genuinely guarantee gender balance and diversity”. As we are striving to champion gender equality, diversity, and inclusiveness in all levels of our work, we were thrilled with such pledge. Yet, it was one of the rare times, in 13 years of humanitarian work, that I came across such a conditionality from a guest speaker. The humanitarian profession, compared to many other ...
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“SDG money: Exploring institutional fundraising pathways for innovation”

As part of Google’s SDG accelerator, Karen and Ophelie from Mindset-PCS facilitated a session**, on May 19, on “SDG innovation money: Exploring institutional fundraising pathways”, for 11 amazing start-ups. * * * The humanitarian and development sector is not an impenetrable fortress for start-ups as many may think. It offers (maybe hides?) a multitude of funding opportunities that may not be obvious to entrepreneurs who are often more familiar with traditional innovation funding mechanisms. In this session, we explored three concrete pathways to obtain innovation funding from institutional donors and (inter)governmental agencies: 1) grant-making; 2) direct partnerships (bilateral and triangular ...
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