Workshop Outcomes - World Humanitarian Summit: Regional Business Consultation, July 2015, Auckland

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Humanitarian Action and Private Sector Contribution


Businesses predominately from New Zealand and Australia were invited to participate in a consultation event co-hosted by Deloitte New Zealand and The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in June 2015. Businesses were identified and invited if they had historically contributed to humanitarian action in the Pacific . Over 45 participants attended, 30 from the private sector representing 23 businesses. The remainder of the participants represented government department and non-governmental organisations who are undertaking humanitarian work.
Opened by Dr Jemilah Mahmood, the Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat, the workshop included a range of activities to better understand how the businesses were currently contributing to humanitarian action, the key issues in those contributions and what future activity might look like.

Type of Activities

The private sector has the skills, resources, networks, innovative practices and expertise to help reduce humanitarian organisations’ overhead and delivery costs and create significant impact on the ground. The degree to which this has been leveraged, however, varied across the businesses in attendance.

Participants cited a range of ways in which they currently contribute to humanitarian action. These are listed below in order of frequency of activity:

 Providing services, predominately in kind, that utilise the business’s skills and expertise in a way that is adjacent (or beside) to what the organisation does on a day to day basis. An example of this is utilising people’s skills in telecommunication technology to support a country to re-establish communications after a disaster.

 Providing funding, donations of goods or fundraising support to NGOs. In a couple of cases this also included supporting rebuilding efforts through volunteering time and resources.

 Providing services or product, predominately in kind, for humanitarian efforts that are the business’s core product or service (for example, an airline offering flights to transport humanitarian workers). In the graph below this is labelled ‘bread and butter’.

 Organisations that were in the business of providing humanitarian products or services within a forprofit model. In these cases humanitarian action is the market to which these business supply their products or services. In the graph below this is labelled ’core business’.

 Playing a coordination role by getting other businesses involved and supporting their humanitarian action.

 Supporting NGOS to build capability.

 Supporting staff that were affected by the disaster.