The Power of Many
Guidelines for Workshop Organisers.
The climate crisis and pandemics are two of the greatest threats in contemporary times with major humanitarian consequences confronting us now. These are global threats, but some of the most important responses will be at the community level. Our insights and action, locally and around the globe, are making an essential difference for people affected.
We recognise, however, that new approaches are needed to drive global change. We have a responsibility to use our reach and our resources effectively. To do this we must listen, think and act differently, and be open to learning and adapting along the way. We must use our collective voice to bring change.
Within the themes of Climate Change, Pandemics and Local Action, we aim to provide a platform to share experience on how we are tackling the humanitarian impact of these threats now, and also to draw insights for stepped-up action in the future. As set out by the International Federation of Red Cross Red and Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Presidents in their invitation, this event is also an opportunity to showcase how the Movement supports the power of local action to drive global impact, and for the Movement to put forward its contribution toward solutions to these global challenges.
The three themes of this Summit are deeply interlinked and converge in challenging and often, unpredictable ways. Within the frame of this event, we would ask you to share experience and raise questions; how working together we can achieve more, how collaborating with others can open new doors and how innovating can bring potential for new and greater impacts.
To inspire you in your preparations for the event, and especially to guide the design of workshops, below are some framings across the three themes that can help you prepare your submissions.
Submissions will formally open on the week of 13th September
Climate Change workshops
As an overarching theme, sessions might focus on implementing the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations, both to help communities adapt to a changing climate and to strengthen our environmental sustainability. Discussions can focus on specific challenges and solutions characteristic of given situations, such as armed conflict, urban environment or displacement.
Climate change adaptation and climate smart DRR (disaster risk reduction)
How is the Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) working with communities to reduce their vulnerability and exposure to the impacts of climate change? Sessions under this theme will explore actions to raise communities’ awareness of climate risks, how to use climate and weather information in designing projects and how to sustainably adapt to rising risks of climate change at the community level, by integrating adaptation into DRR programming, including through nature-based solutions and end-to-end early warning and anticipatory action. Sessions will explore how climate risks are being considered and addressed across all of our work – in longer-term programmes as well as preparedness, response and recovery.
Climate change mitigation and environmental sustainability
How is the RCRC greening its way of working and measurably reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions? Sessions under this theme will explore actions to avoid, minimise and manage the damage we cause to the environment and the climate, how to assess the environmental impact of all our work, including our programmes, procurement, logistics and premises. Sessions will also present emission reduction projects to offset unavoidable emissions.
Influencing investments, laws, policies and plans (local to global), leveraging evidence and climate science
How is the RCRC influencing local, national, regional and global policy to strengthen disaster- and climate-related laws, policies and plans? Sessions under this theme will explore how the RCRC is using its influence, leveraging evidence and climate science, to mobilize urgent and more ambitious climate action by governments, organizations and the private sector, including how National Societies are supporting their governments to meet their commitments under the Paris Agreement. Sessions will explore how the RCRC is successfully advocating for increases in finance for locally-led adaptation and resilience.
For this theme, Movement components can find inspiration through these tracks:
Community awareness, engagement and trust: How to get it right?
Working in partnership with communities is at the heart of the work the Movement does around the world. We know that meaningful and genuine engagement leads to trust and better quality of programming, which in turn reduces vulnerability and builds safer and more resilient communities. So what are the barriers that prevent more meaningful community participation and engagement? How can we work together to tackle them?
Learning from Covid-19: From global to local
Covid-19 is rapidly shifting the paradigm of pandemic response by highlighting the vulnerabilities and challenges of global mechanisms and the critical importance of local action. How can the Movement act faster in engaging communities, adapt better to local needs and realities, and maintain unfettered access to the most vulnerable in the next pandemic?
RCRC and One Health: the linkages between the health of animals, humans and eco-systems
Recognising the interconnectivity that exist between living creatures, can the Movement/National Societies (NSs) improve and/or upgrade the monitoring of ecosystem, animal and human health at the community level, and with community involvement, to be able to detect and contain earlier and faster potential health threats?
RCRC and health systems
The Movement plays a critical role in enhancing local preparedness for, and response to, epidemics and pandemics. As these actions must complement systemic responses, or ideally be integrated into health systems, what role do we play today and need to play in the future to enhance systems’ preparedness and resilience? And what enablers are required for that leap?
Local Action workshops
While there is no single definition, in the international policy space, “localisation” has been understood as increasing international investment in the leadership, delivery and capacity of local responders. Local action is already in the RCRC Movement’s DNA – our history is deeply rooted in empowering National Society volunteers, who play the crucial role of first responders, ensuring that humanitarian response is early, accessible and cost-effective. During the Planet Red event, our aim is to highlight the Movement’s existing strengths in supporting local action – both between international and national response and from capital to community levels – and to explore areas for improvement.
We would like to invite Movement actors to submit session proposals focusing on good practices, challenges and opportunities around the themes of localisation and the power of local action, inspired by the following “tracks”:
International-local partnerships that support local leadership:
Concerning partnerships both within the Movement and with external actors that enabled effective complementary responses and efficient local action, including illustrating how the Grand Bargain (GB) localization commitment of “making humanitarian aid as local as possible, as international as necessary” is being delivered.
Strengthening National Society development (NSD) as the enabler for improved capacities for community resilience and humanitarian action:
Concerning specific initiatives and/or good practices in NSD – especially in branch and local units development –, homegrown or carried out in partnership with international actors (within and outside Movement) that enabled community resilience and improved local preparedness, prevention and response capacity to humanitarian challenges, including those related to climate change and/or pandemics.
Localising to the community level:
Concerning decentralisation of decision making and the empowerment of branches/ local units and volunteers within National Societies and community members themselves to take action to improve their health, safety and well-being. This can touch upon experiences and lessons on issues such as those around power, leadership, and integrity.
Strengthening the auxiliary role:
Concerning how to strengthen the auxiliary role of National Societies with their public authorities (consistent with the Fundamental Principles) as a central pillar of the grounding of the Movement in (almost) every country and a critical aspect of domestic humanitarian capacity.
Views and experiences around “decolonising aid”:
Concerning RCRC experiences, views and initiatives related to recent debates that have arisen in the humanitarian sector about “decolonizing” relationships between international and local organisations including how it relates to the localisation discourse. This can also be about experiences and views on ‘decolonizing’ relationships between organisations and their own staff/volunteers from diverse racial, ethnic and national groups in the context of their humanitarian work.