The special feature of this edition of Humanitarian Exchange, co-edited with Victoria Metcalfe, focuses on issues related to humanitarian civil– military coordination.

  • In the leading article, Simone Haysom sets out the rationale for civil–military coordination, and the challenges involved in establishing effective relations between humanitarian actors and the military.
  • In their article, Jenny McAvoy and Joel R. Charny argue that NGOs must continue to invest in dialogue to address new challenges arising from the US military’s expanding presence in increasingly diverse contexts and roles.
  • Heiko Herkel, from the Civil–Military Co-operation Centre of Excellence (CCOE), makes the case for the continued involvement of humanitarian actors in training and doctrine development.
  • Lauren Greenwood explores how stabilisation operations have challenged British military culture and leadership styles.
  • Reflecting on her experience of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) guidelines revision process, Jules Frost concludes that building consensus within the humanitarian community requires strong leadership and consistent and informed engagement.
  • Mike Fryer, the first UNAMID Police Commissioner in Darfur, outlines some of the challenges the police contingent faced in their relations with humanitarian actors, local communities and conflict parties.
  • Ruben Stewart and Ana Zaidenwerg discusses how the Israeli military offensive in Gaza in 2008, Operation Cast Lead, resulted in significant changes to humanitarian civil–military coordination in the occupied Palestinian territory.
  • Steve Zyck examines information-sharing mechanisms between civilian and military actors in Afghanistan.
  • Jessica Hatcher explores the problematic relationship between humanitarian agencies and foreign military forces in Somalia.

Articles in the policy and practice section:

  • Examine Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s approach to remote management in Somalia;
  • discuss the results of a recent Department for International Development (DFID) study of the economics of resilience in the Horn of Africa;
  • review lessons learned from Action Against Hunger (ACF)’s experience of working in partnerships in large-scale emergencies in Pakistan and Kenya;
  • and consider whether there are adequate incentives for national NGOs to engage with the cluster system.

As always, we welcome any comments or feedback, which can be sent to or to The Coordinator, Humanitarian Practice Network, 203 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8NJ

Issue 56 articles