Decolonising humanitarian action

Online seminar, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm CEST each

Monday, 6 September 2021 and

Thursday, 9 September 2021


Decolonising humanitarian action, critical reflection about power inequalities and questioning dependency structures are key debates towards a more progressive and inclusive humanitarian sector. Yet, established humanitarian organisations find it challenging to scrutinise their own way of working.

In our seminar, we will explore to what extend our work practices reflect colonial or racist structures and how we might transform them. The seminar consists of two online sessions. In the first session, we will reflect on our organisations’ structures and ways of thinking. It is intended as internal sensitisation of German NGOs. The second session is also directed at local and national partner organisations. We will have a dialogue about different perspectives of power inequalities and dependencies and look for common understanding. Both sessions address experienced and/or management staff (e.g. public relations, policy, advocacy or programme departments).

Friederike Bubenzer and Carolin Gomulia will facilitate the sessions. Both are Germans but have lived in South Africa for an extensive period of time, working as facilitators in the field of peacebuilding, humanitarian work, decolonialisation and anti-racism. The first session will be in German, the second session will be in English. The seminar is part of a common project of the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict (IFHV) of Ruhr-University Bochum and VENRO.  

Please find the agenda below and register online until 27 August 2021. The number of participants is limited. You will receive feedback on your admission to the course after the registration deadline. Participation is free of charge.

Please do not hesitate to contact Karoline Krähling for further questions (+49 (0)30/26 39 299-28, k.kraehling(at)venro.org).