The cycle of workshops on WORKING IN EMERGENCIES for HOPE – Master in Humanitarian Operations in Emergencies, Managing Projects, People Administration & Logistic in the Field was held in Madrid from the 18th to the 20th of May, delivered by Elisa Paz and Elspeth Chapman (both Humanitarian Programme Coordinators at PLAN INTERNATIONAL IN SPAIN).
During the first day of the workshop held in Madrid, fellows had the opportunity to visit the Head Quarters of Plan International in Spain, where they met with Stefano Fino and Luis Garcia la Moneda (respectively Programmes Manager – Humanitarian Aid and Energy and Climate Change Program Manager at Plan International in Spain ). Fino and Garcia la Moneda presented the work Plan International does both at international and Spanish level. Stefano Fino’s presentation introduced elements of the structure and functioning of International programmes teams of Plan International in Spain, the geographical areas of intervention and the sectors with a particular focus on humanitarian operations and emergency response. Fellows were able to ask about the institutional reality and the humanitarian sector in general, clearing many doubts and satisfying their interest. Luis Garcia la Moneda, a project manager with great experience in climate change and renewable energy, introduced the work Plant International Spain does in this sector, presenting the operations the organizations conducts in general in the energy sector and in the humanitarian aid sector.
During the afternoon students met with Victor Manuel Velasco (Desk Pool of Emergency at Accion contra el Hambre en España), who introduced the institutional procedures and protocols for humanitarian response and emergency used by Accion contra el Hambre. He also presented a general overview of the current humanitarian crises around the world, sharing with the fellows his experience as desk officer of the pool of emergency and also recounting some of his experiences on the field in Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Philippines and other countries.
The second day, students started the specific part of the workshop “Working in Emergencies” with Elisa Paz and Elspeth Chapman.
The first part of the workshop focused on the humanitarian crises in course at international level, on the sectors of intervention and the main trends of the sector. The second part of the workshop was particularly appreciated by the fellows, during which the importance of gender perspective in the humanitarian aid was introduced. The topic was introduced in a dynamic and participative way, through different group and plenary exercises.
During the second day, lecturers also introduced the Humanitarian Response Plan, touching topics like the mechanisms and procedures through which the coordination on the field for the development and implementation of a humanitarian response plan is developed.
On Sunday, the lesson introduced two topics of great importance for professionals of the humanitarian and emergency sector: security and wellbeing on the field and the needs assessment. The lecturers talked about security and wellbeing basing the lecture on their professional and personal experience, an approach that was met with great enthusiasm by the students. After that, they focused on the needs assessment, a fundamental instrument to adequately and effectively approach the processes of humanitarian response in complex contexts like the one the fellows will need to face during their future professional experience in the humanitarian field.