Which problem is IHIP addressing?

The traditional Humanitarian sector is not equipped to manage complex infrastructure projects

The traditional humanitarian sector is historically structured to address short term construction project, far from the long term planning embedded in development approaches ( some infrastructure need to be design for 50 years). They are traditionally  constructing operational buildings (School, hospitals, and settlements) for a reduced population (limited to a small city scale).

A majority of those humanitarain construction project were small enough not to require the help of private engineering firm to design and manage the construction project. Very large organization, like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the WFP (World Food Program), did develop internal engineering team to overview the multiple projects they have in charge. The current needs and objectives of international donors are now to address more complex infrastructure project included in a long term vision.

The traditional humanitarian sector is not equipped to manage complex infrastructure project.

The local consulting engineering firms can’t develop humanitarian engineering

The results of an October 2017 survey conducted by FIDIC Young Professionals Forum Steering Committee (YPFSC) indicate that there is a lack of opportunity to develop what is referred to “Humanitarian Engineering”.

The report expresses the needs to create new conditions for the private sector to access this market. Needs to create a hub to share data, knowledge, and experience; needs to develop standardized contract forms; and enhance networking and coordination.

Of course the form of contract although presented as a driver of change, is not the only tool listed as part of the solution by the YPF report. This report is nevertheless an indicator that the private sector is ready to help and is expecting some change in the procurement parameters in place in post emergency context:

  • A well define risk allocation mechanism
  • A well-recognized financial concern
  • Identification of relevant SDGs adapted to the region
  • Allow Dispute Avoidance Board (DAB) mechanism to be available to support dialogue with NGOs

“An efficient new working environment between NGOs and local Consulting Firms has to be setup to address the change in the size of infrastructure to be designed and the need to develop in-country capacities”