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What is humanitarianism, and who is a humanitarian, in 2023?

21 November 2023, 6:00 pm–9:00 pm

event details in writing

Join us on Tuesday 21 November for the launch of ’s new MSc in Humanitarian Policy and Practice.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to

All

Availability

Yes

Cost

Free

Organiser

Daisy Harvey

Location

Gideon Schreier Lecture Theatre
Bentham House
4-8 Endsleigh Gardens
London
WC1H 0EG
United Kingdom

We are pleased to bring together a panel of experts in humanitarian policy, research, and programme implementation to reflect on the present and future of humanitarianism, the global humanitarian workforce, and the value of’s MSc in Humanitarian Policy and Practice.

Your panel

  • Xand van Tulleken (Chair) - TV Presenter and Humanitarian Aid Specialist
  • Prof Maria Kett – Professor of Humanitarianism and Social Inclusion, and Programme Director for the new MSc Humanitarian Policy and Practice
  • Chris Porter - Humanitarian Head of Profession at the UK Government’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) – Chris is speaking in a personal capacity, but drawing on his wealth of experience.
  • Tariq Riebl - Global Programme Strategy and Innovation Director at the Norwegian Refugee Council.
  • Mouna Khaity - Gender and Global Health Researcher
  • Dr Israel Balogun - Commonwealth PhD Student, .

Join us as we grapple with the question of what humanitarian action looks like now, and how it must change to remain fit for purpose in the future. As we untangle the distinction between humanitarian institutions and systems on the one hand and humanitarian values on the other, we will explore what needs to change structurally and politically while safeguarding a commitment to transnational solidarity and care.

We will explore the question of who constitutes a humanitarian, a title that continues to distort the true diversity of the humanitarian workforce in humanitarian imagery and storytelling.

These questions sit at the centre of discussions that have shaped the development of ’s MSc in Humanitarian Policy and Practice. As such, the panel will also explore how pedagogical approaches can equip people who share a commitment to humanitarian values with the critical mindset and adaptive skills needed to act ethically and effectively in an increasingly crisis-prone world.

Event information

  • 18:00-18:10ԳٰǻܳپDz
  • 18:10-18:30Short presentations from panel
  • 18:30-19:00 Panel discussion
  • 19:00-19:15 Q&A
  • 19:15-21:00 Networking drinks reception

About the speakers

Please note: The views and opinions expressed by our panellists during this event are their own and do not reflect those of their institution.

Xand VT
Dr Xand Van Tulleken - Doctor, writer and TV Presenter

Xand is one of the BBC’s leading science presenters, having worked on many flagship health & science programmes. His main interests and expertise lie in public health, medicine, humanitarian aid and anthropology. Alongside his twin brother Chris, Xand presents CBBC’s Operation Ouch! The series has been a huge global success, involving self-experimentation and lab work to find weird and wonderful ways of showing children what goes on in hospitals, and inside our bodies. Xand is also the resident doctor on BBC One's ongoing flagship daytime show, Morning Live. In the US, he has been a health reporter for CNN.Xand studied medicine at Oxford University, specialising in Tropical medicine. As a junior doctor he worked in the genocide in Darfur and this inspired a passion for the politics and medicine of conflict zones which led to his Academic appointment at Fordham in the US.

Israel
Dr Balogun Israel Adekunle - Commonwealth PhD Student,


Israel has extensive work experience across development, peace, and humanitarian nexus. He has worked with high-profile institutions and NGOs, including the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), the United Nations, CBM International, Humanity and Inclusion (formerly Handicapped International), Christoffel Blinden Mission (CBM), the World Bank, UNICEF, WHO, and Save the Children International. His work in these sectors spans three continents and more than ten countries, focusing on disability inclusion, disability-inclusive Disaster Risk reductions, peaceful coexistence, and gender inclusion. He led the process for the first Disability Audit in a Humanitarian setting conducted by the British Government under the Northeast Transition to Development Initiative (NENTAD). He also facilitated the passage of the National Legislation and Policy on Disability in Nigeria. He helped shape the Policy to include disability within sexual reproductive health (Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Madagascar, Uganda, and The Girls' Education Challenge (GEC) Education in Ethiopia.

Chris Porter
Chris Porter - Humanitarian Head of Profession at the UK Government’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)

Please note Chris is speaking in a personal capacity, but drawing on his wealth of experience.


Chris Porter is Humanitarian Head of Profession at the UK Government’s Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). He leads FCDO’s external recruitment and retention of humanitarian advisers.He also facilitates technical support to these experts and wider FCDO teams in order to promote the use of evidence in policy and programmes. He was previously DFID’s humanitarian and resilience adviser covering Kenya and Somalia and has twenty years’ experience elsewhere with DFID, UN OCHA, UNHCR and as an independent consultant.

Maria Kett
Prof Maria Kett - Professor of Humanitarianism and Social Inclusion, and Programme Director for the new MSc Humanitarian Policy and Practice

An anthropologist by training, Mariahas extensive expertise in disability-inclusive humanitarian responses. Maria has undertaken research in countries across Africa and Asia, leading on a number of research programmes on disability and international development and is author of over 140 publications. Maria also leads on the humanitarian-focused work for the . She regularly serves as a consultant for numerous bilateral and multilateral donors, including the UK FCDO, the World Health Organisation and the United Nations. Maria is the Programme Director for the new MSc Humanitarian Policy and Practice.

Profile:

Tariq
Tariq Riebl - Global Programme Strategy and Innovation Director at the Norwegian Refugee Council


Tariq Riebl is an experiencedHumanitarian Response Director, having worked on conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics in more than fifteen countries around the world since 2006 for the United Nations, the International Rescue Committee, Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

His work has covered many of the largest crises of the past years, including the Yemen civil war, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa and DR Congo and the droughts of the Horn of Africa and West Africa, amongst others.Besides his operational work, he has been an outspoken advocate on a range of humanitarian policy issues, both through public lobbying and silent diplomacy.

Before his time in the humanitarian sector, Tariq worked on business ethics and corporate social responsibility in Washington, DC, for a non-profit organization consulting multinational corporations.

He has a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and completed his undergraduate studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Mouna
Mouna Khaity - Gender and Global Health Researcher


Mouna is a researcher and humanitarian worker with 12 yearsof experienceworking in the Syrian conflict and other conflict settings. She was recognised because of her activism and exemplary work in the Syrian context by EU International Partnerships on Women's Day 2019 as one of the women who are building a better future for all.

Mouna is a Pharmacist who graduated from Damascus University. She holds two master’s degrees, the first is an MSc in Clinical Biochemistry from Damascus University and the Second is an MSc in Global Health and Conflict (winner of both Chevening and St George’s Scholarships).

Mouna has extensive work experience across development, peace, and humanitarian nexus. In the Syrian context, Mouna worked as a frontline healthcare professional and co-led the effort to establish and govern an alternative Medical Education in the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta. Additionally, she has extensive experience as a women's rights defender and human rights advocate, she mainly focuses on accountability, transformative justice, victims-centered approach.

Mouna has worked as a research consultant/assistant researcher with prestigious universities in the UK such as King's College, , and Oxford, and with different Syrian NGOs.

Public Health Voices

‘Public Health Voices’ is an event series, open to all, which aims to engage with and showcase the importance of interdisciplinarity in public health research and training. Find out more about the Public Health Voices event series.