NAHRI

UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS THEMATIC WORKING GROUP

2018-2019

GEG SERVED AS THE LEAD FOR THE UNDERSERVED POPULATIONS THEMATIC WORKING GROUP AS PART OF THE NORTH AMERICAN HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE INITIATIVE (NAHRI)

Background: The North American Humanitarian Response Initiative (NAHRI) advanced efforts to improve the effectiveness of cross-border response to disaster, including catastrophic disasters, in North America.  The goal of NAHRI was to establish a humanitarian diplomatic initiative for North American aimed at strengthening cross-border response to hazards. One of the key objectives included Forming Thematic Working Groups around central themes identified at the North American Humanitarian Response Summit (NAHRS):

  • Underserved Populations (chaired by the Canadian Red Cross)
  • Teams, personnel and their equipment (chaired by the Mexican Red Cross)
  • Supplies and equipment (chaired by the American Red Cross)

Thematic Working Groups were established as a part of NAHRI to carry forward innovative thinking and applied expertise in disaster planning, contributing to the successful outcomes of NAHRI, and a strong foundation of data for future humanitarian diplomacy efforts in the field.

The American Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross and Mexican Red Cross each served as a Co-Chair to one of the Thematic Working Groups based on existing organizational alignments to working group themes and core competencies of the respective organizations. Each included representatives of federal, state and provincial government entities involved in disaster preparedness, response and recovery in North America, as well as National Society representatives, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, disaster response practitioners, and policy experts. In addition to the Co-Chair position, each Thematic Working Group maintained designated Lead to advance NAHRI objectives.

Requirement: To lead a Thematic Working Group, with a primary role of undertaking evidence-based research and analysis related to emergent themes; ensuring the exposure, circulation and salience of such analysis; developing models to contribute to sustainability past the conclusion of the project grant; and working group administration.

GEG Contribution: GEG led the thematic working group specifically focused on researching Underserved Populations in cross-border contexts. The Canadian Red Cross chaired the working group and the University of Virginia provided additional research support. A final workshop was held in Québec, Canada where GEG’s research team presented current research and stimulated dialogue among participants regarding potential actionable measures and recommendations needed in order to further research and/or policy with respect to Underserved Populations in Canada, Mexico and the United States. It also provided an opportunity to share, learn and discuss best practice from practitioners, global leaders and the national societies, with regards to access and supporting underserved populations in North America. GEG provided a final working paper which synthesized research and outcomes of the final working group meeting.

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