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We are excited to welcome our new global humanitarian advisor, Chris Piper!

hera is pleased to welcome Chris Piper as our new Global Humanitarian Advisor. A geographer by training and a historian and story-teller by interest and research, Chris is a multi-skilled Global Humanitarian Practitioner. He has been CEO of the consultancy TorqAid since 1992 and brings extensive experience in Disaster Risk Management (DRM), Community Engagement, Project Management, Capacity Building, and Research and Networking with regional experience in Asia, South Asia, Africa and Europe.

For his most recent field posting, Chris provided humanitarian expertise to support the UNDP response to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh. His agency mandate was to support both the Rohingya themselves and the host community, and his role focused primarily on the latter providing advice relating to disaster risk management (DRM) during weekly inter-sectoral meetings. He was also tasked with showing visiting senior agency team members and potential donors the refugee settlements. Chris also provided DRM teaching for a large Bangladeshi NGO playing a major role in the camps and was also involved in weather-related preparation for both tropical cyclones and monsoonal rains. This latter role included working with technical experts from Bangladesh and Norway to install automated rain gauges around the camps to accurately record detailed rainfall and to help predict potential landslides. The monsoon rains have now passed and key stakeholders are dealing with the current (Oct/Nov) tropical cyclone season. To further understanding of this complex situation TorqAid edits and updates a background summary sheet entitled ‘Understanding the Rohingya Crisis’.

One of the great aspects of having Chris working with the hera team is that he is a natural educator and capacity builder and we look forward to what this skill set will bring to our partners and staff. Along with teaching in Universities and schools across Australia, his consultancy TorqAid has facilitated over 110 accredited Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Participatory Project Management (PPM) workshops. TorqAid also now provides an online accredited DRM program which began in 2016. The workshops are designed for humanitarian or development practitioners who are involved or interested in disaster-related situations such as large-scale natural hazards (tropical cyclones, flooding, earthquakes, drought) as well as conflict-related Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (CHEs).

It is at a key moment that Chris starts working with hera as we expand our efforts in health and development research, evaluation, and programming to include humanitarian responses in fragile, conflict-affected, vulnerable and/or challenging operational environments. After several decades of work dedicated towards the right to health and development for all, it is clear to us that we need to expand our interdisciplinary approach to address the most challenging and complex humanitarian crisis’s we face. There is also a growing need to improve coordination and optimise development and humanitarian actions to achieve our Sustainable Development Goals. We are committed to working to foster collaboration between humanitarian and development action, among local, national and international stakeholders and authorities and we are looking to enhance and improve the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the response. We are delighted that Chris will now provide a key role in these efforts as he works with our team to provide the latest research on global humanitarian best practices and assists in the preparation and implementation of humanitarian-related technical proposals and consultancies.

Please contact us for more information on this or any other hera program.