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Case Study – Humanitarian Operations Programme training in Poland

Poland’s response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis stands out as a unique example of a locally led humanitarian response with an extraordinary level of mobilisation of the general population and involvement of non-traditional actors (private businesses, civil society, private citizens). Many local responders to Ukraine crisis in Poland were new to the humanitarian sector. The HLA’s Humanitarian Operations Programme (HOP) Core training aimed to fill the gaps in knowledge, systematise existing practical experience, and empower participants to create a more cooperative and capable humanitarian response network. The training covered the essential elements of setting up and running a humanitarian response such as conducting rapid needs assessments, proposal writing, conflict sensitivity programming, safeguarding in emergencies, wellbeing in emergencies, and gender.

This case study provides insights gathered after the HOP training in Poland in 2023. It is based on the feedback and reflections provided by three individuals who took part in the trainings, tracked for three months after completing the training. The second part of the study provides feedback from trainers, who took part in the HOP Training of Trainers (ToT) and later delivered the HOP Core training. The training took place in Warsaw, over 5 days and involved 21 humanitarian actors operating in Poland and Ukraine in local NGOs, INGOs, and civil society organisations.

This study supports the HLA to better understand the HOP training from the participants’ perspectives and highlights how local actors have put into practice knowledge acquired in the training. The study also helps to get a better understanding of the learning needs of less experienced humanitarian actors.

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