Is caring in crisis? Humanitarian crises, public engagement and NGOs

Venue: Keynes Library 43 Gordon Square Bloomsbury London WC1H 0PD
Booking details: Free entry; booking required

A public symposium and book launch sponsored by the Birkbeck Institute of Social Research (BISR), Birkbeck, University of London in association with BOND, the international development network.

How does the public respond to humanitarian crises and what causes people to respond (or not) in the way they do? How can we best understand what blocks people’s response to humanitarian and development issues in the light of the ways NGOs presently approach public engagement and communication in the UK? How can non-profit organisations best engage supporters for greater action including giving money and campaigning?

A new book Caring in Crisis? Humanitarianism, the Public and NGOs, by Bruna Seu (Birkbeck) and Shani Orgad (LSE) (Palgrave Springer, 2017) addresses these questions and informs this symposium to explore how NGOs can more effectively gain support for their work and promote public engagement.

Leading members of humanitarian and international development organisations, some of whom were involved in the research and contributed to the book, will debate the opportunities and pitfalls facing them in this challenging period.

The symposium and the launch of Caring in Crisis? will be followed by a reception.

Free event, open to all: Book Your Place


5.00-5.15: Arrivals/Registration

5.15-6.00 Symposium

Panel: Is caring in crisis and what can be done about it? A view from NGOs


  • Kirsty McNeill (Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns, Save the Children UK),
  • Nicola Peckett (Director of Communications at Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC)),
  • Paul Vanags (Head of Public Fundraising at Oxfam GB)

Chaired by: Glen Tarman (Head of Global Advocacy at CARE International)

6.00-6.30: Q&A and debate

6.30-6.45: ‘Caring in Crisis’ Book launch, introduced by the authors, Bruna Seu & Shani Orgad.

6.45: Reception. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

8.00pm Close

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