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Making local voices heard: the HLA at IHSA conference

On November 5 – 7, the HLA took part in the International Humanitarian Studies Association conference in Bangladesh, where Elisa Sandri, our Research & Evaluation Specialist, chaired the panel “Local humanitarian responses to Ukrainian refugees – the case of Eastern Europe”.

The researchers and practitioners from Ukraine, Poland and Romania presented their first-hand experiences and research about local humanitarian responses in Central and Eastern Europe, discussing their unique position in the humanitarian landscape and the challenges faced in the response.

During the panel, the participants were able to hear and discuss perspectives from Maryana Zaviyska from Open Space Works Cooperative, Agnieszka Kosowicz from Polish Migration Forum Foundation, Myroslava Keryk from Fundacja Ukraiński Dom, Sarian Jarosz from Migration Consortium, Andreea Vrînceanu from Agenția Metropolitană Brașov, and Marta Pachocka from Warsaw School of Economics.

I am thrilled we were able to organise this panel and roundtable discussion at this year’s IHSA conference, inviting practitioners and researchers to bring their perspectives to the table. I believe it’s crucial to put their voices at the centre of the reflection around local humanitarian aid.
Elisa Sandri, Research & Evaluation Specialist

This three-day conference provided a great opportunity to share quite a unique Eastern European case, with its new concepts, ways of working in a humanitarian response and experience with the wider humanitarian sector. Moreover, it gave participants a chance to extend their networks and make their work more widely known in the sector.

This year’s International Humanitarian Studies Association conference has been a great reminder that face-to-face discussions will always remain irreplaceable. It once again proved how important it is for humanitarians to get out of their bubble, as with the overlapping global crises, our critical thinking and reflection is needed more than ever. I am immensely proud that the Humanitarian Leadership Academy was able to invite incredibly inspiring frontline responders and researchers from Eastern Europe to share their experiences as new humanitarians, learn from others and seek new collaborations.
Pawel Mania, Deputy Director for Transformational Response

We are grateful to everyone who joined the conference and our panel online and in-person and are looking forward to meeting again at the 8th IHSA conference in two years.


Eastern Europe localisation Event humanitarian research HUmanitarian conference

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