Please be aware that this is a past event.

Imagine the context – a large-scale disaster occurs, the international humanitarian community responds. Dozens of actors arrive – different skills, styles, and accountabilities; NGOs, governments – national and local, military actors, civil society. They act differently, think differently, have different ways of working. Sound familiar? 

The international humanitarian community has developed a number of coordination mechanisms and systems, formal and informal, to address these challenges. But what can be learned from other sectors? What potential lies in understanding how emergency responders (fire, police, ambulance) approach multi-organisational coordination (often described as ‘Unified Command’)? 

Can humanitarians learn something from these approaches, about how to coordinate various diverse actors in large scale disasters? What could we learn about information management and decision-making in these contexts? About working with different levels of government, not just in response but in preparedness or resilience phases? 

This webinar will explore the basics of Unified Command and consider the potential for humanitarians to learn from this approach. It is the third in a series and is part of ALNAP’s ongoing research on humanitarian leadership and coordination (, which has suggested that humanitarian organisations should focus on improving their organisational structures and procedures to allow individual leaders, and leadership teams, to carry out their functions effectively, and that information management and decision-making, amongst other things, are crucially important for both single-agency leadership teams and humanitarian coordination structures. 

We are delighted that Arnold Howitt of Harvard University and Joseph Pfeifer, Head of the FDNY’s Center for Terrorism and Emergency Preparedness have agreed to again lead this ALNAP webinar on 1 April 2015, and hope you can join us. 


To register for this event, please follow the instructions within this link: