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Humanitarian System Overhaul Vital To Better Responses To Current Crises

IRIN: Imagine a humanitarian system based on humans
Christina Bennett, head of the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute

“…[W]hat would it take to really overhaul the humanitarian system so it can better respond to the scale and needs of current crises? … Begin with a back-to-basics approach to humanitarian work. … Second, operate through the networks that people already use to connect, communicate, and self-organize. … Finally, move away from an extractive, charity-based form of humanitarian action to a humanitarian social economy — one where affected people form part of the means of production, and humanitarian organizations support business cooperatives to advance economic opportunity, skills development, and entrepreneurship. In recent years, we’ve heard countless calls to change the way we work. But what does this mean in practice? We must think differently … We must operate differently … We must fund differently … We must collaborate differently … Finally, we must behave differently … Now is the time to change our approach, our work, our behavior and compel the system to adjust and adapt so it not only survives, but it thrives” (6/1).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.