CBi Annual Event 2020

Connecting Business initiative Secretariat
Event date 4 Feb '20 14:00 - 17:30
Event location International Conference Centre (CICG) in Geneva • Rue de Varembé 17 , Geneva, 1211, Switzerland


Connecting Business initiative Annual Event 2020

4 February 2020 | 14:00 – 17:30 | Geneva, Switzerland |Room 2


Annual Event

Session 1 | Leveraging private sector capacities in disaster management in the 2020s

As the frequency and impact of disasters have increased, so have private sector contributions. From small- and medium-sized to large enterprises, they have provided vital expertise, skills and resources to disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

While the primary responsibility rests with governments and the humanitarian-development community, the private sector has stepped in and clearly illustrated the power of their interventions. Now as we stand at the beginning of the 2020s, it is important to reflect on what has changed and what has been learned in the past 10 years, but also set joint intensions for the new decade.

This session will discuss how private sector engagement in disaster management has evolved, acknowledge where it stands right now and discuss how we want it to develop in the coming 10 years. The objective is to identify emerging trends in the field and discuss how they affect the role and impact of private sector engagement. Furthermore, participants are invited to look beyond what is probable and rather focus on accelerating action to reach what is possible. The first part of the session focuses specifically on manmade disaster contexts, while the latter expands to also include natural disasters.

14:00 – 14:05     Opening remarks

Event moderator: Karen Smith, Programme Coordinator, Connecting Business initiative (CBi)

14:05 – 14:10    Official launch of Engaging companies in manmade disasters - a guidance toolkit for private sector networks

With the support of the European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (DG -ECHO), the Connecting Business initiative (CBi) and the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) developed a resource (Engaging companies in manmade disasters – a guidance toolkit for private sector networks) to support CBi Member Networks and other collective private sector action platforms in navigating the challenges of manmade disaster contexts. This segment will explain why and how the toolkit was developed, and how it can support the private sector in supporting governments and humanitarian organizations in addressing the needs of affected populations in manmade disaster contexts.

  • Karen Smith, Programme Coordinator, Connecting Business initiative (CBi)

14:10 – 14:30     Now what? – Next steps to further engage the private sector in manmade disaster contexts

More good examples have started to emerge where the private sector has taken an active role in addressing manmade disasters, including complex emergencies. Yet due to the perceived or actual risks of engagement, many companies still choose to opt out. This segment will provide a quick snapshot of ways how governments, multilateral organizations like the UN and the EU, and other stakeholders - most importantly the private sector itself – can encourage further action and suggest what future collaboration could look like.

  • Rudolf Muller, Chief Response Support Branch, Coordination Division, OCHA  
  • Joachime Nason, Head Humanitarian Aid and Migration section of the European Union to the United Nations and other International Organisations in Geneva
  • Kathryn Taetzsch, Global Director, Humanitarian Cash & Voucher Based Programming, World Vision International / CBi Member Network in Kenya

Moderated by Sebastian Rhodes Stampa, Chief Emergency Response Section | Emergency Response Support Branch, OCHA  

14:30 – 14:40     Spotlight - The evolution of a CBi Member Network: the example of Sri Lanka

Some CBi Member Networks have supported private sector engagement in disaster management through many years, different crises, changing socio-political dynamics, and growing interest from all stakeholders. This session will provide an overview of how the CBi Member Network in Sri Lanka has collaborated with the Government, UN, civil society and companies to become a trusted partner of all and to play a critical role in building a more resilient country, society and private sector.

  • Firzan “Hush” Hashim, Country Director, Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management Sri Lanka (A-PAD SL) / CBi Member Network in Sri Lanka

14:40 – 15:25     The future we want – An interactive panel discussion on a common vision for disaster management

Reflecting on the past decade, this segment will aim to raise ambition and paint a picture of what disaster management with and by the private sector could look like by the end of the decade. It will challenge participants to think about the mechanics and dynamics of collaboration while appreciating what has already been achieved.

  • Glen Craig, Chair, Vanuatu Business Resilience Council / CBi Member Network Vanuatu
  • Luis Gomez, President, CENACED / CBi Member Network in Mexico
  • Doug Stropes, Deputy Division Director, Humanitarian Policy & Global Engagement Division, USAID / Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance
  • Sorcha O’Callaghan is the Head of the Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI

Moderated by Sahba Sobhani, Global Programme Advisor-Private Sector, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP

15:25 – 15:30     Wrap-up – A summary of the main outcomes

Event moderator: Karen Smith, Programme Coordinator, Connecting Business initiative (CBi)  

15:30 – 16:00     Networking Break

Session 2 | Strengthening Community Resilience through Business Continuity and Risk Transfer

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of communities and play a huge role in the global and local economies. MSMEs provide goods, services, jobs and livelihood opportunities that meet daily community and individual needs and, in times of disasters, can restore the local economic fabric.

Business continuity management (BCM), a framework for identifying and managing an organization's risk of exposure to threats such as natural hazards, is an essential element for MSMEs since they typically have little access to response and recovery support by government and humanitarian actors.

Despite their contributions to economic growth, MSMEs often have limited access to financial services such as insurance and other risk transfer mechanisms. While insurance increases the resilience of MSMEs, commonly available offerings are often not yet adapted to the needs of MSMEs and the risks they face.

The 2nd session of the CBi Annual Event will provide a deep dive on how business continuity management and risk transfer mechanisms have and can further strengthen the resilience of MSMEs as well as the communities in which they operate. The session will bring together experts from the private sector, the humanitarian and development sector and private sector networks to share their perspective and experience on the topic at hand.

16:00 – 16:05       Opening remarks

Event moderator: Karen Smith, Programme Coordinator, Connecting Business initiative (CBi)

16:05 – 16:25       Framing the discussion

A one-on-one discussion to frame the topic from the private sector’s perspective and establish the importance of business continuity and risk transfer in strengthening community resilience.

  • Morika Hunter, Chairperson Fiji Business Disaster Resilience Council (FBDRC) / CBi Member Network in Fiji

Moderated by Florian Rhiza Nery, Business Continuity Program Manager, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation.

16:25 – 17:25       Panel discussion

The panel will bring together representatives from the private sector, the humanitarian and development sector to discuss their experiences and key lessons, the existing needs and the opportunities for innovation in strengthening community resilience through business continuity and risk transfer.

  • Burak Kilic, Country Manager for Turkey, United Parcel Service UPS
  • Veronica Gabaldon, Executive Director, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation / CBi Member Network in the Philippines 
  • Omar Abou-Samra, Director of Preparedness Programs and Global Preparedness Center (GDPC), American Red Cross.
  • Jan Kellet, Special Advisor- External Engagement, United Nations Development Program  

Moderated by Florian Rhiza Nery, Business Continuity Program Manager, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation.

17:25 – 17:30       Closing of the Annual Event

Event moderator: Karen Smith, Programme Coordinator, Connecting Business initiative (CBi)