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Enhancing future crisis disaster prevention, preparedness and response through cross sector collaboration

Deloitte UK designs and delivers multi-sector strategy simulation with Humanitarian Futures Programme, King’s College London

Deloitte UK’s simulation and war gaming practice worked with the Humanitarian Futures Programme of King’s College London to deliver a one and a half day strategy simulation with representatives from the humanitarian, military and private sectors. The aim of the simulation was to model how these actors can overcome fundamental barriers that too often inhibit effective interaction, to better prevent, prepare for and respond to future humanitarian crises.

As the frequency and scale of humanitarian crises grow, so do the challenges faced by those responding.  The Humanitarian Futures Programme wanted to demonstrate how a collaborative approach between “non-traditional” humanitarian actors could enhance the ways that the international community could prepare for and respond to these complex future crises. To achieve this, Deloitte UK’s simulations and war games practice supported them, pro-bono, to design a one and a half day simulation.

The imagined scenario for the simulation was the year 2035, in the Ferghana Valley in Central Asia. Forty attendees from the humanitarian, military and private sectors were asked to role-play members of a delegation that had been sent to the region to determine whether their company should invest. The five teams representing different sectors ran through a three phase scenario that increased in severity, and culminated in a humanitarian crisis.

Deloitte UK professionals supported the HFP using strategy simulation methodology to help participants to:

· identify the capacities that can strengthen humanitarian action;

· determine how the different ‘language’ used by the private sector, humanitarian sector and the military can facilitate identification of these capacities; and

· recognise the value-add and comparative advantages of the different sectors in terms of their role in humanitarian action.

The experience taught participants about acknowledging common interests as well as opportunities for more systematic and consistent interaction across sectors. The simulation also demonstrated that the involvement of non-traditional actors, such as the private sector, could lead to innovative solutions for humanitarian action.

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