Humanitarianresponse Logo

Kenya: Saving lives, time and money through humanitarian/private sector partnerships

The number of humanitarian crises and the number of people affected has almost doubled over the past decade and is expected to increase, testing the capacity and ability of the humanitarian community to respond effectively. In an effort to address these gaps and help affected communities become resilient to humanitarian crisis, aid agencies, private sector partners and Governments in the Eastern Africa region launched the EA Humanitarian Private Sector Private Sector Platform (EA HPPP).

As one participant at the launch in March 2016 put it, ‘collaboration with private sector in tackling humanitarian issues not only saves lives, but also time and money.

The humanitarian and private sectors differ in many crucial aspects – mission, principles, and procedures, among others – but the private sector is already contributing to humanitarian operations in a variety of ways. Beyond the evolving field of corporate social responsibility (CSR), private businesses engage in humanitarian action as donors, suppliers, service providers, consultants, and implementing partners. Furthermore, private businesses interact directly with vulnerable populations, whether through cash transfer or voucher programs, direct sales to refugee populations, or supporting refugee-run enterprises.

The dialogue on more collaboration with private sector in tackling humanitarian issues has gained worldwide recognition especially in the recently concluded WHS. One of the commitments at the Summit is to grow partnerships including all actors such as community, civil society, local government and businesses to greatly improve effectiveness. Actions include: invest in an enabling environment; multi-stakeholder partnerships; people centered action – inclusive, accountable, gender focused, with the private sector as a partner not just a supplier.

The EA HPPP has gained traction since its launch in March; a two-day training was held in April 2016 on partnering – developing individuals’ professional competences, building organizations’ partnering strategy, systems and cultures facilitated by The Partnering Initiative.  A steering group was constituted to spearhead the platforms work plan as well as prioritizing activities for the upcoming six months. Populating the e-platform with relevant information to enhance collaboration is ongoing.  

For more information and how to join –
Other information - East Africa: how to make a living in a refugee camp -, press release on launch of the HPPP -

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Original Publication Date: 
06 Jul 2016
Document type: