A month preceding the World Humanitarian Summit, the Berghof Foundation, together with its consortium partners AFFORD and the Danish Refugee Council, organized a preparatory workshop for diaspora organisations and initiatives engaged in humanitarian action. 11 representatives from Sierra Leonean, Somali and Syrian diaspora organisations that are invited to the summit in Istanbul attended the workshop on 21 April in Berlin.
The participants engaged in a joint review of the results of the WHS consultation process and discussed the summit agenda, stakeholders' expectations, commitments made and expected outcomes of the summit.
Building on selected policy documents and reports as well as recommendations formulated in the framework of the DEMAC initiative (Diaspora Emergency Action and Coordination), commitments for a joint paper reflecting the views of the present diaspora organisations were developed at the workshop. These commitments are to be elaborated into a joint diaspora commitment paper that will be presented to the broader international humanitarian community at the World Humanitarian Summit. These commitments of diaspora organisations seek to contribute to the UN Secretary-General's Agenda for Humanity to better prepare for and respond to humanitarian crises.
The workshop is part of DEMAC's overall mandate to explore intervention methods and organisational capacities of diaspora organisations engaged in humanitarian action and to improve coordination between diaspora actors and the 'conventional' international humanitarian system.
A diaspora recommendations paper and a statement calling for an improved operational and strategic cooperation between diaspora humanitarians and the conventional humanitarian system had been presented and fed into the WHS Global Consultations in October 2015. DEMAC also has been nominated as WHS focal point for the diaspora stakeholder group.