In a year dominated by a global pandemic, the importance of the need to analyze and improve our institutions’ ability to respond to humanitarian crises has never been greater. Working with the NWCF, The Widgeon Foundation recognized this need and responded with a generous gift in support of the U.S. Naval War College’s Civilian-Military Humanitarian Response Program (HRP).
HRP helps to improve the U.S. Navy’s and international militaries’ effectiveness in conducting humanitarian assistance and disaster response operations through innovative education, research, and simulation activities. It partners with leading universities, humanitarian organizations, and agencies to advance civilian-military coordination during humanitarian response in complex emergencies and natural disasters.
On September 18, 2020, the Fourth Annual Civilian-Military Humanitarian Response Workshop was held in collaboration with Brown University’s Center for Human and Humanitarian Studies (CHRHS). It brought together approximately 200 distinguished, international academicians, humanitarian practitioners and military officers—all leading experts in the field of humanitarian assistance. The Workshop focused on three critical issues facing humanitarians and militaries in conflict and/or crisis settings: aid worker security, humanitarian access, and protection of civilians.
Currently, five research efforts are being pursued as a result of the 2020 Workshop. Research teams have been set up to conduct the work over the next seven to twelve months with reports due prior to next year’s workshop. Funding from The Widgeon Foundation is helping to underwrite this research and will support not only the compilation of the 2020 research findings, but also those of past years. The five research areas that were identified during the Workshop for continued study are:
• Humanitarian Leadership in Urban Communities: An Exploratory Study on the Role of Community Leaders in Humanitarian Coordination during the COVID-19 Pandemic in the Philippines;
• China and The Future of HA/DR Operations in Great Power Competition;
• Enhancing Sustainable Humanitarian Response Through the Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Framework;
• Civil-Military Climate Change Issues: Setting the Agenda and Developing the Discourse;
• International Military Response to COVID-19: A Survey.
The U.S. Naval War College and the Naval War College Foundation are grateful to The Widgeon Foundation for its current and past support of the Humanitarian Response Program and other College and Foundation initiatives.