Sans prejudice, this is my first post since I defended my PhD thesis or better yet, when I became a Doctor of Public Health-not that I know a lot in public health, but rather evidence of never ever quitting. Believe me, it crossed my mind not once or twice. The journey was characterised by the infamous imposter syndrome:-the 2nd non incurable disease after relgiblindasia (nomenclature coined by myself, this is a form of blindness caused by exotic religion). I would, as hell knows, author a bible about my PhD experience: From being lied to by my first University over their potential to provide adequate support needed (and I lost money having quit 2 months into the programme), to studying (literally on a toilet seat), sublimation of supervisors (folks call it ghosting! Damn, how times have changed), rejection by potential supervisors over ‘incompatibility reasons’ (Whatever the dickens that is), missing my own life (I lost count of how often I told folks I preferred not to be asked how I was doing) to FINALLY…*Congratulations upon…successfully…*. I called my parents about it and some real friends…and what a calm night that was. Enough shit! 4 years, 4 bloody years, It’s done. Or is it?
Between 1st and 3rd October, we had the East Africa Disaster Management in Kigali:- a town for which I’m able to catch 2 birds with 1 stone: First, ofcourse the work mission takes precedence but also I normally take the chance to see 2 of my favorite folks I have studied and worked with for longer years than I can count. Major take-homes were around the opportunities (read curses) brought about by the emerging wave of oil in the region, Community Resilience Fund at Branch Level- Community level:- alittle bit like VSLA Approach, Airlines, climate induced and economic migration.
That paved way to the participation in the Global Meeting Localisation Workstream of the 23-24 October 2014, Brussels following a series of regional consultations with the African one taking place in Addis Ababa. Just as a background, Under Workstream 2 (“More support and funding tools for local and national responders”), the Grand Bargain has established localisation as a key normative principle of humanitarian action (GB Independent Report 2019). GB signatories’ self-reports show that many of them are actively taking steps towards meeting one or more of the six localisation commitments. There has been a great deal of piloting of various approaches, research into best practice and barriers, as well as internal policy changes among signatories. The co-conveners (Switzerland and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC)) convened this global meeting at EU ECHO to discuss progress to date, identify which barriers and opportunities are most amenable for group action to resolve/seize, and set out strategic directions for the localisation agenda to move forward. This meeting followed from a series of inter-agency missions to “demonstrator countries” in Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific, where good practices were shared, priority issues were identified, and planning propositions made on how to move the localisation agenda forward. What I liked a lot is the push to have further recognition of Women-led organisations, elimination of Capacity Building in favour of Capacity strengthening and or Capacity exchange (I’ve not been a fan of this word either as far back as when I first heard of it) and extension of Localisation agenda to the South Americas. In my view, mindset shift amongst all actors is key. Who is a donor? Who is an INGO? Who is a local NGO? What are their respective interests? It wont be easy to find the responses at breakfast, but the fact that one of my favourite humanitarians Jemilah Mahmood got Localisation agenda to feature at the World Humanitarian Summit 2016 is the a right step to the forthcoming miles. Overall progress, is slow and ad hoc; a tipping point for major system change is not yet achieved. When I came back, I had a chance to debrief internally but also the Humanitarian Platform in Uganda;- a C4C group with ToRs is being established, thanks to Oxfam and Im really looking forward to seeing how we roll on country wide. We have a finishinertia in the humanitarian sector (a tendency to start things/ideas, usually without finishing, scaling up and sustaining them). I have a colleague who is obsessed by the word *Pilot programmes*, but atleast a pilot flies and lands the plane. Most pilot programmes never really land:-hopefully this is a good pilot trained and operating Uganda Airlines.
Speaking of the devil, I took my first flight about Uganda Airlines…that’s right! Uganda Airlines is BACK! And who doesn’t like Comebacks? My man Thierry Henry loves Comebacks and Comebacks love him too. The never-afraid-to-express-himself, Monsieur Hnery has joined Impact as their HeadCoach. Probablement, that will help him become our Arsenal Manager since we were sold you know what it is:-a Good Ebening! Ah, the Airlines…yes, it took me to Nairobi and I was able to co-facilitate alongside the legends in the game:- Corrine Trahenne, Sandra Dúrzo, Antonella Vitale and Dipti Hingorani at the Africa Regional Shelter Technical Training 28th October 3rd November 2019. My most curious topics were around the PASSA, Spehre standards on Shelter, Local building practices, Technical and support education, Settlements and infrastructure planning, Design, implement and build an emergency shelter. I also missed my flight back:-but I won’t say more because there is more that’s not your business! Haha!
Between 11th-15th November 2019, through our collaboration with the IFRC DRR Law Unit, I participated together with our DRR Law Project Officer in A Disaster Law Policy workshop towards Climate Smart Policy Frameworks that leave no one behind in Abuja, Nigeria. With a number of countries, regional and continental bodies developing laws and policies related to DRR, it can be said millions of times that such policies must be backed by evidence, appropriate funding mechanisms (in this case considering innovations like CBI and FbF), gender in DRR, youth and children, and getting communities at the heart of all the actions. After the 5 day event, a team of regional ‘’experts’’ (and dang I don’t feel that word too) graduated from the championship to the premier league:-and I look forward especially to peer support within the region, considering we’re championing disaster law legislation in Uganda, through the Partners for Resilience Programming.
It’s been quite a roll-coaster of events. The challenge is to make sure I (like most of you all) keep the eye on the ball, make carefully timed tackles, interceptions, passes and provide as many opportunities as possible to score goals. This is a challenge real humanitarians (read pracadaemics) prepare their entire lives for.
Safer Christmas break inadvance (if you can)