These papers were commissioned under the auspices of the Humanitarian Horizons project, a joint initiative of the Feinstein International Center of Tufts University and the Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College London. Launched in October 2008, the project builds on HFP’s analyses of changing dimensions of future crisis drivers, and makes more practical the exploratory futures research conducted under the Feinstein Center’s 2004 Ambiguity and Change project.
The Humanitarian Horizons project is a futures capacity-building initiative intended to assist the humanitarian sector to prepare for the complexities of the future by enabling organizations to enhance their anticipatory and adaptive capacities. The first step in this process is the exploration of four futures-related drivers widely expected to have an impact on humanitarian crises and responses to them. These four drivers are:
- climate change;
- major demographic shifts;
- drivers internal to the humanitarian community, e.g. technological advances, the “shrinking” of humanitarian space, new actors, changing financing structures and the like.
Leading experts in these four areas were commissioned to report on anticipated future changes, and the related potential humanitarian consequences. The resulting papers, presented here, are available on both the FIC and HFP websites in full, and have been incorporated as well into a “Practitioners’ Guide to the Future,” to be published in December 2009.
This project was funded by a consortium of NGOs, including Catholic Relief Services, the International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, World Vision Australia, World Vision Canada, and World Vision International.