Humanitarian Response Review - Unicef

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Humanitarian Response Review

An independent report commissioned by the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator & Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

August 2005

Humanitarian Response Review Team of Consultants

Costanza Adinolfi – Team Leader David S. Bassiouni – Rapporteur Halvor Fossum Lauritzsen – Member Howard Roy Williams – Member

The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

New York and Geneva, 2005

Humanitarian Response Review Team of Consultants

Costanza Adinolfi was for 30 years an official of the Commission of the European Union before retiring at the end of 2004. Within that organization she held various management responsibilities in the fields of administration, external relations and environment. She most recently served for five years as Director General/Head of the Department of Humanitarian Aid, during which time she was actively involved in the reform process to improve the response of the European Commission (and European Union) as a major global donor. In parallel, she has been actively involved in various international initiatives to preserve humanitarian space and improve the general international response system.

David S. Bassiouni is currently the United Nations Senior Technical Coordinator for the UN-World Bank Joint Needs Assessment for Somalia. He has served in the UN system for over 21 years, primarily working with UNICEF, DHA, OCHA and UNDGO. He has held several senior positions including Deputy Director for UNICEF’s Office for Emergency Programmes; Chief of inter-agency and response branches in DHA/OCHA; Coordinator for the IASC/ECHA; and the first Humanitarian Coordinator of the system, appointed by the Security Council for Somalia. He has served as UNICEF Representative in Somalia, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, occupied Palestinian territory and Egypt. Prior to his UN career, David Bassiouni served in senior government positions including Regional Minister of Agriculture in the Sudan. He has extensive experience in humanitarian assistance and crisis and change management. He is a graduate of Veterinary Medicine of Khartoum University, Sudan, and holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from HarvardUniversity.

Halvor Fossum Lauritzsen is currently Director of the International and National Assistance Division of the Norwegian Red Cross. He has extensive experience in disaster and relief management, including heading large-scale international relief operations for the International Red Cross/Red Crescent. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Political Science, Sociology and Criminology from the University of Oslo as well as a Masters Degree in Management. He attended the Norwegian Royal Executive Army College and is also a registered disaster nurse.

Howard Roy Williams is currently President & CEO of the Center for Humanitarian Cooperation. He previously served as the Director of the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in USAID. He spent several years directing overseas operations for the International Rescue Committee where he was also Vice-President for Operations. He also worked as Country Director and Regional Representative respectively for the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migration (now International Organization for Migration) in Malaysia and Thailand and as Chief of Operations in Geneva.


In recent years, humanitarian organizations have become increasingly effective in saving lives, alleviating human suffering, and advocating for the rights of people in need. Nonetheless, there still are considerable gaps in the ability of the humanitarian system to respond adequately to all humanitarian crises. Hence, we must