NEDAD: Nedworc Disaster and Development Group
by Ton de Klerk, Nedworc June 2003

Nedad is a workgroup within the Nedworc, an association of independent consultants with considerable experience in various branches of development cooperation. The association provides a forum for its members to exchange information, knowledge and practical experience with each other.

As one of the study and reflection groups within Nedworc, Nedad (Nedworc Disaster and Development Group) brings together those Nedworc members with an interest in and/or working in the field of humanitarian assistance. The group started in early 1996, and at the moment has some 20 members. All members have a background in development cooperation, and are now partially or fully employed in the field of humanitarian assistance. The members have a great variety of educational backgrounds and technical expertise – such as water and sanitation, project management, monitoring and evaluation, agriculture, institutional building, credit, gender, income generating activities – and have worked for NGOs, international organisations, bilateral and multilateral agencies.

The main aim of the group is to use the mutual contacts of its members to raise their level of expertise and to keep abreast of the latest developments in the field. Regular meetings are organised (three to four times a year) where members discuss their latest assignments, or discussions are held which are centred on a specific theme. The members also consult each other for particular assignments, to share information and ideas or for support. Since members all have a background in development cooperation the link between relief and development is their special interest: how to rely on the capacities of the ‘victims’ themselves; how to strengthen local capacities and local institutions; and the phasing out of emergency assistance and an early start with rehabilitation and development efforts are just some of the issues at hand. Among the specific themes discussed during group meetings have been the assessment of local organisations, evaluation and monitoring of humanitarian assistance, and humanitarian assistance in ‘no war-no peace’ situations.

Anybody with a proven experience in humanitarian aid and with a strong belief in a developmental approach to emergency relief can become a member of the group. Humanitarian organisations, donors and consultancy firms may wish to contact Nedworc/Nedad when looking for experts.