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10th May 2016

Middle East in crisis: how the world should respond

Overseas Development Institute, 10 May 2016

The Middle East continues to be the crucible for numerous global crises but the international community has yet to develop an effective mode of engagement. In Syria, a conflict that started as a civil war is now fuelled by external actors while civilians on all sides suffer. Sectarian tensions are growing across the region, not least between Iran and Saudi Arabia, with a knock-on effect on human rights abuses, acts of terror and rising numbers of refugees and internally displaced people. Meanwhile nearly 50 years after the Six Day War, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict endures despite the Oslo and US-led peace processes.

This event co-hosted by ODI and The Elders explores the rights and responsibilities of actors in the region and beyond. Is the current international architecture of multilateral institutions robust enough to engage meaningfully with shifting dynamics among regional powers? What space exists for civil society to protect peace and human rights? What would force political leaders in the region and elsewhere to find the necessary courage to tackle the root causes of conflict and set aside national interests for the greater good?

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14th Apr 2016

Syria crisis response: lessons learned

Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluations (IAHE) steering group , 14 April 2016

The Syria crisis has entered its fifth year with no end in sight. The crisis has produced a wave of displacement of a magnitude not seen since World War II. More than 12 million people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance including 7.6 million internally displaced. But how effective has the humanitarian response proven to be?

Despite the magnitude, severity and impact of this crisis, there has been no system-wide evaluation of the humanitarian response. In lieu of this, the inter-agency Syria Coordinated Accountability and Lessons Learned (CALL) has conducted a mapping exercise of evaluative studies on the Syria crisis, followed by a Thematic Synthesis and Gap Analysis study to try to fill in some of our knowledge.

On behalf of the Inter Agency Humanitarian Evaluation steering group, ALNAP hosts a panel discussion on the findings of this major study, which highlights the lack of analysis around key themes and issues.

The event will take place at the Overseas Development Institute in London.

Register now at http://www.odi.org/events/4357-syria-crisis-response-lessons-learned

This event will also be live streamed.

John Mitchell - Director, ALNAP

Helen Wedgwood - Director, Evaluation Office WFP and IAHE SG representative
James Darcy - Author of Thematic Synthesis and Gap Analysis Report
Julia Betts - Peer reviewer of Thematic Synthesis and Gap Analysis Report
Jane Cocking - Humanitarian Director of Oxfam

About Syria Coordinated Accountability and Lessons Learned (CALL)

The inter-agency Syria Coordinated Accountability and Lessons Learned (CALL) initiative which was launched, in October 2013; was established by the Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluations (IAHEs) steering group and is managed by OCHA, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP and ALNAP. It has the following key deliverables: the Syria Learning Portal, the Common Context Analysis, a mapping exercise of evaluative studies on the Syria crisis followed by a Thematic Synthesis and Gap Analysis. For more information on the Syria CALL please visit http://www.syrialearning.org

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15th Mar 2016

Five years on, what next for Syria?

Overseas Development Institute, 15 March 2016

On 15 March 2016, Syria marks a sombre occasion – the 5th anniversary of the deadly conflict. Having claimed 250,000 lives and forced 12 million to flee their homes, to neighbouring countries or other areas in Syria, the five years of conflict has led to untold amounts of human suffering.

But five years on, Syria needs more than short term emergency aid. Is longer-term development possible in a place like Syria? Perhaps – in opposition held territory, for example, work is underway to support the creation of local government bodies. This gives local people the opportunity to rebuild their society, in the midst of civil war.

Bringing together leading humanitarian officials, Syrian aid workers and experts, this event will reflect on the impact of the war and look at how to help people in Syria survive – and even rebuild and recover – as the war continues.

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10th Feb 2016

Global migration: from crisis to opportunity

Overseas Development Institute, 10 February 2016

Every day, thousands of people embark on dangerous journeys to find a better life. Some are refugees fleeing conflict zones such as Syria, many others are in search of education for their children, jobs, better opportunities and freedom. All have aspirations and hopes for a better future.

As part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), world leaders pledged to facilitate the safe, orderly, and responsible movement of people by establishing well-managed migration policies. Yet with no plan in place to deliver on this goal, more and more governments are tightening their borders and restricting their migration policies, despite evidence that such moves do not deter people from moving, but simply compel them to take a more perilous route.

What would an effective global approach to migration look like? How can we respond to the aspirations of those residing in poor and conflict-affected areas? And how can the movement of people be recognised as an opportunity rather than a threat that needs to be contained and curtailed?

Peter Sutherland, the UN Special Representative for Migration, leads this event on what needs to happen to turn this global challenge into an opportunity for all.

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3rd Feb 2016

Civil Society Event - Supporting Syria and the Region

Bond for International Development, 3 February 2016

Bond is co-facilitating a civil society conference on 3 February, the day before the Supporting Syria and the Region London conference.

The civil society conference will raise awareness of the situation in Syria, with an emphasis on making the voices of Syrians heard and putting a spotlight on the experiences of Syrian people affected by the conflict.

The afternoon will channel civil society voices to heads of state attending the following day. The input and views of those working and living in the region will contribute to a long-term and holistic plan to support refugees inside Syria and in neighbouring countries.

Due to limited capacity, attendance is by invitation only, but the event will be live streamed and the discussions widely shared.

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8th Nov 2015

Resilience Development Forum

UNDP, 8 November 2015 to 9 November 2015

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will bring together key humanitarian and development stakeholders to collectively consider future directions of the response to the protracted crisis in Syria, now well into its fifth year. The Forum will include UN agencies; international financial institutions; donors; representatives of international and national non-governmental organizations; and the private sector, alongside senior representatives of Governments in the countries neighbouring the war-torn country.

Hosted by the Government of Jordan, on 8 and 9 November 2015, in the Dead Sea, under the title, Resilience Development Forum: Integrating Responses, Expanding Partnerships, the event aims to focus on the wide range of resilience-building responses required to address the devastating consequences of the conflict in Syria, and the impact on refugees and host communities in neighbouring countries.

The Resilience Development Forum (RDF) is organized within the framework of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), and the Regional United Nations Development Group. The scope of the RDF includes the six countries that are most affected by the Syria crisis – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, in addition to Syria itself.

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10th Sep 2015

Refugee crisis: what next?

Overseas Development Institute, 10 September 2015


Kevin Watkins - Executive Director, ODI


Mikaela Gavas - Programme Leader, Development Agencies and EU, ODI
Stephen Hale OBE - Chief Executive, Refugee Action
Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP - Secretary of State for International Development (2010-2012)
Sara Pantuliano - Director, Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI

Governments across Europe are struggling to respond to the greatest refugee crisis since the Second World War. Syria is at the heart of that crisis. Public demands for action are intensifying in the face of distressing images of suffering. But how should the United Kingdom and the EU respond to the challenges posed by the refugee crisis? And what role can Europe play in working for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Syria?

Ahead of a key meeting of EU leaders, the panellists share their reflections and outline proposals for reform. The event is streamed online.

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21st Jul 2015

PHAP Online Learning Series on Humanitarian Law and Policy – Qualification of Situations: case studies from recent practice

Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP), 21 July 2015

Read more and register at http://www.phap.org/ols-hlp-5

Join us on 21 July for an online learning session on the qualification of situations. Following on our introductory session on this topic, we will be looking at two case studies from Ukraine and Syria, which illustrate both the importance of carrying out a qualification assessment and the complexity involved in such an assessment. The case studies will be presented by two guest experts: Sareta Ashraph, Chief Analyst on the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, and Laurie Blank, Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University School of Law.

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17th Mar 2015

Syria crisis: how aid is changing

Overseas Development Institute, 17 March 2015

Chair: Lindsey Hilsum - Channel 4 News International Editor

Eva Svoboda - Research Fellow, Humanitarian Policy Group/ODI, co-author of Local and diaspora actors in the Syria response: a new aid model?
Rola Hallam - Medical Director, Hand in Hand for Syria
Rebecca Thompson - Director of Programmes for Partnership, Mercy Corps

As the conflict in Syria continues with little sign of abating, the humanitarian system has found itself stretched to the limit. Now more than ever, diaspora and local aid organisations are on frontlines of the aid response.

With a keen local understanding of the conflict, the people and the area, diaspora and local aid organisations are uniquely qualified to know what is most needed, in which areas, and how to gain access to those in need. But why do they still struggle for recognition amongst the traditional humanitarian NGOs and donors?

Join us for a launch of leading new research on how diaspora and local aid organisations are changing aid responses in Syria, and how different aid organisations can collaborate to best serve those continuing to live under fire in Syria’s conflict zones.

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25th Nov 2014

From the Municipality Up: Engaging Local Government in Urban Humanitarian Response

ALNAP, 25 November 2014

Does your organisation effectively understand and engage local governments in urban response?

Are you interested in hearing more about how Oxfam & MercyCorps have worked with local urban government in recent responses?

Well look no further, we’ve got a webinar for you! For more information and to register please visit https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1160680020654182657

Complex as they are in their markets and communities, cities are also intricate in their levels/structures of governance. As centres of politics and commerce, as well as home for tens of thousands, national, regional &and local/municipal government structures all have a role. Recently, humanitarians have taken steps to engage National Disaster Management Authorities (NDMAs) (see http://www.alnap.org/ndma). But what about local government?

This webinar will present the experiences of two organisations who have engaged with urban municipal governments, and provide a space for discussion and Q&A on this topic.

Due to the massive scale of displacement resulting from the crisis in Syria, a fourth of Lebanon’s population are now refugees. With no formal camps, many refugees are in urban municipalities, placing huge strain on local government. Reflecting on this on-going crisis, MercyCorps will share their experiences learning from and supporting municipalities as they continue to respond to the needs of refugees and Lebanese host communities. For more MercyCorps' work, including a policy brief & guidebook developed from these experiences, please visit http://tinyurl.com/kklz4p6.

Four million people were dislocated when Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines. In Tacloban City, 14,000 families faced relocation. Due to a strict ‘No Build Zone’ & challenges finding land for relocation, urban municipalities found it difficult to address the needs of displaced households. Drawing on their work so far in Tacloban, Oxfam will present on their experiences engaging local government in this response, in efforts to address the growing IDP/relocation crisis. For more on Oxfam’s work on land tenure in this response visit http://tinyurl.com/qzllvgl.

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24th Jul 2014

Who, What, When, Where: Mapping for Urban Humanitarian Response

ALNAP, 24 July 2014

This edition of ALNAP’s Urban Webinar series focuses on the use of mapping in urban humanitarian response. It will address broader questions of how humanitarians can harness technology to help them understand complex urban systems, what different types of mapping are available to humanitarians and what needs to change in order to better integrate mapping efforts into humanitarian response. It will then highlight the experiences of REACH using mapping in remote and direct access assessments in the Syria response. Two presentations will be followed by a Q&A session, during which we invite the audience to submit questions in advance or in real time, as well as to contribute their own experiences of mapping urban response.

Gabriele Almon, World Vision International Fellow & GIS Specialist, will give a presentation on how the urban landscape is expected to change in the next 15 years, how NGOs can benefit from mapping this rapid urbanization, along with how the humanitarian industry leveraging urban populations to crowd-source life-changing information.

REACH have an enormous amount of experience with urban mapping as part of assessments in a variety of urban contexts, including the Philippines, Somalia, North Syria and Jordan. REACH will present their experiences using mapping in two scenarios: remotely managed multi-sector urban assessments in Aleppo, and direct access assessments with host and refugee communities in urban Jordan. You can read more about REACH here: http://www.reach-initiative.org/

For more information and to register: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4624774964080239361

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14th Apr 2014

From Beirut to Baghdad: The Regional Impact of the Syrian Conflict

Brookings, 14 April 2014

After three years of conflict, fighting in Syria shows no sign of abating, with official talks in Geneva between the Assad regime and opposition forces coming to a halt. Over 140,000 Syrians have died and millions have been driven from their homes to other locations within Syria and across national borders. The conflict is also destabilizing neighboring countries. Tit-for-tat bombings between Sunni and Shia communities are once again a common occurrence in the streets of Lebanon. In Iraq, extremist groups have driven more than 400,000 people from the province of Anbar and the government is expanding its military efforts to reassert control. How can Iraq and Lebanon avoid a major spillover of violence, given the ongoing crisis in Syria? What role can regional and international actors play in ending the Syrian conflict and defusing growing tensions in the region?

To RSVP for this event, please send and e-mail with the names of attendees to dohacenter@brookings.edu.

For more information visit http://www.brookings.edu/events/2014/04/14-regional-impact-syrian-conflict

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9th Apr 2014

The situation of older and disabled Syrian refugees

HelpAge/Handicap International, 9 April 2014

The Syrian crisis has generated the largest refugee movement since the Rwandan genocide. Evidence from previous emergencies shows the needs of older people, people with disability and injury and those suffering from chronic diseases, often go unrecognised and unaddressed. Recognising this situation in Jordan and Lebanon, HelpAge International and Handicap International commissioned a study, which based on interviews with 3,200 refugees, provides a critical perspective on the numbers and needs of these vulnerable population groups, and the risks they face during displacement. The findings show that in comparison to the general refugee population, older, disabled and injured refugees, and those suffering from chronic disease have reduced access to both basic and specialised humanitarian assistance, face challenges caused by imprecise targeting and registration, and are disproportionately affected by the enormous psychological toll of the disaster.

This meeting is part of a series of ALNAP learning events that aim to capture experiences and help improve responses in the Syria crisis. It will offer an opportunity to establish a dialogue between donors, NGOs and other humanitarian actors to discuss whether the system is failing to deliver humanitarian assistance in an impartial manner. It will also provide a forum to discuss what measures can be taken in the future to ensure that the needs of these groups are not overlooked both in the current Syria crisis and in future emergencies.

For more information or to register to attend in person or online please visit http://www.odi.org.uk/events/3911-disability-elderly-syrian-refugees

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19th Mar 2014

The impact of humanitarian interventions from Syria to the Philippines - Time for a new approach?

International Medical Corps, 19 March 2014

International Medical Corps and the European Commission invite you to the launch of the First Responders campaign honouring the millions of unsung heroes around the world responding to global disasters every day.

Panellists include:

Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response

Ambassador William Garvelink, former U.S. Ambassador to Democratic Republic of Congo and senior advisor to International Medical Corps

Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council and former United Nations Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs

Dr Laura Hammond, Head of Department of Development Studies, SOAS, University of London

The panel will be followed by a reception.

Please RSVP to FirstResponders@InternationalMedicalCorps.org.uk

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21st Feb 2014

No End in Sight: Syria’s Refugees and Regional Repercussions

The Brookings Institution, 21 February 2014

As the third anniversary of the start of the Syrian civil war approaches, there is no end in sight for the massive humanitarian crisis engulfing that country – and the region. More than three million Syrian refugees have fled into neighboring countries, with over six million more displaced inside Syria. Many refugees have left loved ones behind and abandoned what’s left of their homes without knowing when – or whether – they will be able to return. But the refugee crisis is also a crisis for the governments of Syria’s neighbors. The presence of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey has had a profound impact on their natural resources, political dynamics, economies, social structures and traditions of hospitality.

On February 21, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and Mercy Corps will host a discussion to analyze the impact of Syrian refugees on countries in the region, and discuss the way forward in this crisis. Speakers will include Ambassador Antoine Chedid of Lebanon; Kelly Clements of the U.S. Department of State; Ambassador Lukman Faily of Iraq; Brookings Senior Fellow Kemal Kirisci, director of the Turkey Project; and Dina Sabbah of Mercy Corps Jordan. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

After the program, the panelists will take audience questions.


Elizabeth Ferris
Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement
The Brookings Institution


H.E. Antoine Chedid
Ambassador of Republic of Lebanon to the United States

H.E. Lukman Faily
Ambassador of Republic of Iraq to the United States

Kelly Clements
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
U.S. Department of State

Dina Sabbah
Deputy Chief of Party
Mercy Corps Jordan

Kemal Kirisci
TÜSIAD Senior Fellow and Director, Turkey Project
The Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution, Saul/Zilkha Rooms, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC

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21st Feb 2014

The Syria Crisis, Displacement and Protection

Forced Migration Review, 21 February 2014 to 19 May 2014

Call for articles : FMR 47
Due out August 2014
Deadline for submission of articles: Monday 19th May 2014

FMR intends to produce an issue of the magazine in August 2014 focussing on ‘The Syria crisis, displacement and protection’. With no obvious sign that the crisis inside Syria will die down in a manner or time that is predictable, and with the possibility of related or spin-off conflicts spreading further across the region, it is too soon to be definitive in offering prescriptions for responses or solutions. However, a pattern of needs, lacks and problems has already emerged and it is not too early to offer observations that could be of value in increasing the level of protection for the displaced and in shaping assistance to both the displaced and the countries and communities that are ‘hosting’ them.

The FMR editors are looking for practice-oriented submissions, reflecting a diverse range of opinions focusing on the Syria crisis, and specifically on issues of costs and impacts, and on protection for people displaced by the Syrian crisis. Submissions will address questions such as the following:
- What are the specific risks, vulnerabilities and impacts for the refugees and places and communities of displacement inside or outside Syria?
- How are refugees and host populations coping with the costs and impacts of displacement in areas such as livelihoods, housing, employment and food security?
- What strategies and development programmes are being implemented to mediate the macro- and micro-economic impacts of displacement for refugees and their host countries and communities?
- How are specific protection risks faced by different groups of refugees being addressed by host governments and humanitarian actors?
- How have relations or tensions between displaced and ‘hosts’ affected displaced people and hosts?
- Does it matter that many refugees from Syria are irregular, uncounted or unregistered?
- What are the implications of the fact that countries involved have not signed the Refugee Convention or its Protocol?
- What about specific vulnerable groups such as women and girls, children and young people, the elderly, people with disabilities, etc?
- Have assistance and protection programmes of ‘traditional’ and non-traditional humanitarian actors been appropriate? Have non-traditional donors brought new approaches?

We are particularly keen to reflect the experiences and knowledge of communities and individuals directly affected by these questions.

PLEASE NOTE: This will be a short issue of FMR and we will only be able to accommodate a limited number of articles. If you are interested in submitting an article, please email the Editors in advance of writing (and as soon as possible) at fmr@qeh.ox.ac.uk with a proposed outline.

Authors are reminded that FMR seeks to include articles with a gendered approach or a gender analysis as part of them. And we are keen to reflect the experiences, knowledge and voices of affected communities and individuals. Please consider writing for us even if you have not written an article before. We would be happy to work with you to develop an article.

Maximum length: 2,500 words. Your article, if accepted for publication, may well be shortened but you will of course be consulted about any editing changes. Please see guidelines at www.fmreview.org/writing-fmr

For more information visit: http://www.fmreview.org/syria
Marion Couldrey & Maurice Herson
Forced Migration Review Editors

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6th Feb 2014

Palestinian Refugees in Syria: The Crisis in Yarmouk

, 6 February 2014

Nidal Bitari, a former resident of Yarmouk camp and independent researcher, will be discussing his upcoming report in the Journal of Palestine Studies on the Palestinian community in Syria. With all of Syria engulfed since Spring 2011 in spiraling destruction, the fate of the country's small Palestinian populations receives scant attention. His report focuses on that community through the lens of Damascus's Yarmouk camp, the largest Palestinian concentration in the country. Starting with the 2011 Nakba and Naksa day demonstrations, Bitari examines how the camp has lived the turmoil, highlighting in particular its determined efforts to preserve its neutrality and the factors that ultimately led to the fatal entry of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) into Yarmouk in December 2012. Christopher McGrath of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) will discuss the rapidly deteriorating situation in Yarmouk Camp, home of the largest Palestinian population in Syria, in Damascus due to the current siege on the camp. They will present the impact of the civil war on Palestinian refugees in Syria, who are increasingly caught in the midst of the violence between government and opposition forces.

For more information and to register visit http://www.thejerusalemfund.org/ht/d/EventDetails/i/44139

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31st Jan 2014

Call for contributions to Field Exchange Syria edition

Emergency Nutrition Network , 31 January 2014

The Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) is a UK registered charity established in 1996 to strengthen the evidence regarding effective nutrition interventions in humanitarian situations and to use this evidence to inform policy and programming. One mechanism to document lessons and share experiences is through ENNs longstanding publication, Field Exchange (available at www.ennonline.net).

The ENN is planning a special issue of Field Exchange on the Syria crisis, due out in September 2014. The Field Exchange editorial team are currently identifying content for the edition through interviews and a trip to the region (Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey) in the first quarter of 2014.

The special edition will include nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions, i.e. from allied sectors such as health, water & sanitation and hygiene and agriculture. The special edition will also focus on cross-cutting issues and themes including assessment of need and vulnerability, coordination and institutional architecture of the response. We will feature programming involving refugees, displaced persons and host populations both within Syria and in the surrounding countries.

We welcome any ideas for articles, research, evaluation and news in the edition. For further information or any suggestions, contact: Marie McGrath, Field Exchange co-editor, email: marie@ennonline.net

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9th Jan 2014

Humanitarian Crises in 2013: Assessing the Global Response

Brookings, 9 January 2014

Throughout 2013, international humanitarian actors have faced major challenges responding to conflicts and natural disasters across the globe. Tens of thousands of people died in Syria and millions were displaced while international actors struggled to get access to desperate people. While escalating violence in such diverse countries as South Sudan, Iraq, Yemen and the Central African Republic may have received less media attention than Syria, these situations also posed particular challenges to the international community. At the end of 2013, the international community was mobilizing a major relief effort to respond to Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, a storm that affected more than 14 million people and displaced over 5 million. Beyond the headlines, there were dozens of long-standing conflicts and smaller disasters that impacted the lives of millions of people and overwhelmed the capacity of local responders to meet the security, food and health needs of victims. The slow and sometimes inadequate response to these emergencies raise challenging questions about the capacity of the humanitarian aid system to meet the needs of people most affected by these and other disasters.

On January 9, the Brookings-LSE Project on International Displacement and Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will host a discussion looking back at 2013 and assess how well the international community responded to crises in 2013 with a particular focus on Syria – a high-profile crisis – and the Central African Republic – a low-profile crisis – as well as the particular thematic issue of access to health care during crises. Panelists will include Sophie Delaunay, executive director of MSF in the United States; Antoine Gérard from the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs; Iain Levine from Human Rights Watch; and François Stamm from the International Committee of the Red Cross. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, will provide introductory remarks and moderate the discussion.

After the program, the panelists will take audience questions. This event will be webcast. Join the conversation on Twitter at #2013crises.

For more information and to register please visit https://www.cvent.com/events/live-webcast-humanitarian-crises-in-2013-assessing-the-global-response/registration-16d06f3557204599bb8e0949f5f9620b.aspx

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13th Dec 2013

What are we learning from responding to Syria?

Disasters Emergency Committee, 13 December 2013

Please note the Response Review is now available to read before the event. You can find it here: http://www.alnap.org/resource/9267.aspx

***Please note this document is available for your reference however is under embargo. Please do not quote or cite it or disseminate widely until the launch event on Friday, 13 December***

The scale and gravity of the ongoing crisis in Syria remains deeply troubling for the humanitarian community. The provision of humanitarian assistance and protection to millions of highly vulnerable people in Syria and the need for basic services to host communities in neighbouring countries has presented the humanitarian community with one of its greatest ever challenges.

It is critical that all the experience from agencies is recorded as systematically as possible and acted upon so that improvements can be made both in real time and for future emergencies. Lack of access has undermined the ability of teams to conduct evaluations and other learning exercises and it is a very welcome sign that the DEC has now completed a review of DEC agencies response to the crisis.

The report covers some of the crucial areas of humanitarian action including agency strategy, needs assessment and approach, implementation and monitoring, coordination and accountability. It is one of only a few evaluations that have been completed and it presents an important opportunity to review what has happened and discuss what can be done to improve the situation, now and in the future.

Evaluation reports such as this will help form a more complete evidential basis which is currently being captured on the Syria Evaluation Portal managed by ALNAP. This will provide the basis for a more complete analysis in the future.

The lead author of the Syria Response Review will present key findings and challenges and there will be a response from two Humanitarian Directors of DEC agencies as well as an independent specialist.

For more information and to register please visit http://www.odi.org.uk/events/3762-syria-response-learning

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3rd Dec 2013

Mapping the Education Response to the Syrian Crisis

INEE, 3 December 2013 to 15 December 2013

In response to member demand, INEE is currently mapping out the education response to the Syrian crisis. Help us get a clear picture of the situation and education services offered in Syria proper as well as in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Northern Iraq/Kurdistan and Egypt.

This survey is an attempt to capture the full range of educational work carried out in response to the Syrian crisis since the beginning of the conflict. This includes all education activities related to access and learning environment, teaching and learning, teachers and other education personnel, and education policy.

Please feel free to contact Ryan Burbach at ryan@ineesite.org to share reports, data and other information not captured here, or to request information on INEE tools and services.

We thank you in advance for your contributions to this effort. To analyze and compile this information in a timely manner, we ask that the survey be completed by December 15, 2013. Survey results will be synthesized in a report, which will be shared through the INEE website and listserv.

Tzvetomira Laub

On behalf of the INEE Working Group on Minimum Standards and Network Tools

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28th Nov 2013

Responding to the humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Syria: have we failed the test?

Overseas Development Institute, 28 November 2013

Since the civil war began in Syria in March 2011, an estimated 100,000 people have been killed, five million have been displaced within Syria and over two million – half of them children – have fled to neighbouring countries. Humanitarian agencies have struggled to reach people in desperate need of assistance in both government- and rebel-controlled areas, hampered by ongoing conflict and government-imposed bureaucratic restrictions. During the almost three years of conflict, 22 Syrian Red Crescent volunteers and a number of Syrian medical personnel and other relief workers have been killed and several aid workers have been kidnapped.

The difficulties of operating in Syria have exposed some of the deeply entrenched weaknesses of the international humanitarian system and its apparent inability to respond adequately to the needs of civilians in the midst of such a complex and volatile conflict. What are these weaknesses and gaps and how can international, national and local humanitarian actors try to address them?

Chaired by BBC Syria Correspondent Lina Sinjab, who has reported on the Syria crisis since the revolution began in March 2011, this event will launch “Humanitarian Exchange: the conflict in Syria”. Speakers will examine the challenges of humanitarian access and action in Syria, the growing role of local activist networks and diaspora groups and the controversial debate over the legality and ethicality of cross-border aid.

For more information and to register please visit http://www.odi.org.uk/events/3815-syria-conflict-humanitarian-refugee-response/

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22nd Nov 2013

Crisis in Syria: Conflict & Refugees (short films and panel discussion)

The Refugee Council, 22 November 2013

The Refugee Council, in collaboration with the Refugee Law Initiative at the School of Advanced Study, is hosting a film screening and panel discussion entitled 'Crisis in Syria: Conflict & Refugees'. Four short documentary films on the Syrian crisis will be shown, followed by an expert panel discussion.

The panel discussion will include: Roland Schilling (UK representative, UNHCR), Olly Lambert (Filmmaker), Maurice Wren (CEO, Refugee Council and panel Chair), Sonia Koury (Syrian refugee doctor) and further speakers (TBC).

Date and time: Friday 22nd November, 6.30 - 9.00pm (refreshments will be served).

Location: Chancellor's Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HU.

To book your free tickets please RSVP to rebecca.lancaster@refugeecouncil.org.uk

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25th Oct 2013

XV. Humanitarian Congress Berlin: 'No Access! Who Cares? How to reach people in need'

Médecins Sans Frontières, Médecins du Monde, German Red Cross, Berlin Chamber of Physicians and Charité Universitätsmedizin, 25 October 2013 to 27 October 2013

The Humanitarian Congress Berlin is an international platform for exchanging information, experiences and ideas of humanitarian aid. Each year the Congress brings together experts from medical, humanitarian and international organisations, politics, media as well as a large number of students from different subject areas.

With around 700 participants and speakers from around the world in 2012, the Humanitarian Congress has established itself, in the course of its existence, as an important forum in the world of humanitarian aid. The congress offers a unique mix of medical and political keynote speeches and debates. Besides that, a number of workshops inform about the most recent (medical and logistical) developments in humanitarian assistance.

To meet the needs of a growing number of partipants, the congress will - once again - be held at the premises of the Virchow-Klinikum in Berlin-Wedding. This year's main theme is "No Access! Who Cares? How to reach people in need".

The Two and a half day event will take place from 25 -27 October 2013 and will be held in English. It is organised by Médecins Sans Frontières, Médecins du Monde, the German Red Cross, the Berlin Chamber of Physicians and the Charité Universitätsmedizin.


XV. Humanitarian Congress Berlin
"No Access! Who Cares? How to reach people in need"
Venue: Berlin-Wedding, Virchow-Klinikum
Date: 25th-27th October 2013
The conference language is English.

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18th Sep 2013

Syria’s Humanitarian Crisis and Its Political Implications

Brookings, 18 September 2013

The mounting civilian casualties in Syria and the displacement of millions of Syrians – with prospects of more casualties and displacement – make this the most daunting humanitarian crisis facing the world today. Over two million Syrians are presently registered as refugees in neighboring countries like Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon, which are struggling to meet the needs of Syrian refugees arriving at their borders. Five million Syrians have been internally displaced and delivery of humanitarian aid inside the country is incredibly difficult. The destruction and displacement have political implications for the region and for the international community.

On September 18, the Brookings Foreign Policy Program hosted a discussion on the humanitarian crisis in Syria and its political consequences and launched a new policy brief, "Syrian Crisis: Massive Displacement, Dire Needs and a Shortage of Solutions." Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, introduced the policy brief, provided insights based on recent travel to the region and moderated the discussion. The head of U.S. delegation at the International Committee of the Red Cross, François Stamm, provided perspectives based on their work inside Syria. Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, offered comments on both the immediate and long-term political effects of the humanitarian crisis.

More information on the event including an audio recording is available at: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2013/09/18-syria-humanitarian-crisis

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8th Jul 2013

Humanitarian Café: Syria

DARA, 8 July 2013

DARA held its first Humanitarian Café event, Syria: Challenges in Delivering Effective Humanitarian Response on June 13th. The event featured a presentation of first impressions from UNHCR’s recent real-time evaluation and a briefing on ACF Spain activities in Syria.
- See more at: http://daraint.org/2013/07/08/4533/humanitarian-cafe-syria/#sthash.fFCwhbeS.dpuf

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15th Jun 2012

Syria crisis: the humanitarian response

Overseas Development Institute, 15 June 2012

This event was convened to discuss the humanitarian implications of the crisis in Syria, reflect on the current response of the international community and consider its impact on civilians caught up in the conflict. The roundtable assessed the ability of humanitarian actors to assess and respond to needs on the ground.

These issues took on added urgency following the suspension of the UN mission in Syria, reports of another massacre in Qubair and international envoy Kofi Annan’s warning that Syria is drifting toward civil war. The discussion shed light on the challenges confronting aid agencies and the moral dilemmas the humanitarian community faces in efforts to address humanitarian needs in accordance with humanitarian principles.

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