Humanitarian Futures in Southeast Asia

Organisation: NTS, RSIS

Authors: Lina Gong
Research Themes:
Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief
Type: Policy Reports
26 June 2023


Executive Summary

Gaps in humanitarian responses to recent crises such as COVID-19 and the Russia-Ukraine war show that approaches informed by past experiences are insufficient to deal with today’s threats and risks, not to mention those in the future. A shift to future-oriented approaches is needed for organisations with humanitarian roles and responsibilities to be prepared for challenges ahead. The notion of humanitarian futures, which emphasises adaptation, anticipation, and innovation, provides an alternative perspective to develop humanitarian policy. This report discusses what humanitarian futures stands for, identifies what capability enhancement measures are needed for organisations to meet future humanitarian challenges, particularly those in Southeast Asia. It also proposes practical ways the regional humanitarian community can prepare for the future.

Photo: Shelter in Cebu, the Philippines, after Typhoon Rai in December 2021, Wikimedia Commons