A global network addressing critical humanitarian issues






To deepen understanding of critical global humanitarian issues

To support innovations and services to address critical humanitarian concerns


The HDPI Forum

  • Exploring issues
  • Challenging thinking
  • Sharing information


Weekly virtual conversations between senior leaders on critical humanitarian concerns.





BLOGS by HDPI Affiliates


Notable blogs and podcasts by others

Brief introductions to recent FORUM presentations

Humanitarian Ethics
for a New Era of Climate Emergency

Hugo Slim
University of Oxford

Ending Sexual Violence Against Children in a Generation

Kathleen Cravero
CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy.

“Even wars have rules” The humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza
Antonio Brusa


Working Groups

HDPI Affiliates collaborating  on critical global issues.

Global leaders collaborating,  innovating, and providing services to address needs.



One minute introduction to working group issues


Current threats to children

Cornelius Williams, UNICEF



Impact and trauma of migration

Saulo Padilla


Nils Kastberg, Seminar for Persons living with Special Abilities, Shariti Hospital, Tanzania.

Trainings and Seminars

HDPI supports Affiliates working for positive social change


Translate  climate angst into courageous commitment!

Climate STARR:  Strategies for climate trauma, action, resilience, and regeneration

June 10-12 Harrisonburg, VA



Tailored Fundraising for Successful Institution Building

FACILITATED by James Brasher and Carolyn Williams

Registration is now open for 2024 Summer and Fall courses.



Special Abilities - English, Spanish, Swahili


AITM:  Addressing the

Impact and Trauma of Migration

June 26 - 28, 2024

Harrisonburg, Va.


Projects and Consultancies

RECENT Consultancies

  • UKRAINE EMERGENCY - Supporting Lumos  Foundation efforts to mobilize global actions  on child care reform
  • Collaboration with Special Olympics to provide training in refugee situations for persons living with and working with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • UNICEF NIGERIA - Supporting national efforts to reintegrate women and children previously taken in the Boko Haram conflict
  • UNICEF Soloman Islands - Evaluating the national preschool education program.


We work with each client to address complexity, current challenges, consider alternative response strategies, and build new partnerships.

Everett Ressler Executive Director, HDPI

HDPI  is a voluntary network of persons working for the common good and rights of all.  Affiliates bring many years of experience - with UNICEF and other UN agencies, government, World Bank, foundations, academia, media and NGOs.  HDPI has no political or sectarian affiliation and operates as a registered not-for-profit organization.  It remains by design - modest in size, purposefully dynamic, collaborative, and innovative. 

Who We Are

A global network of experienced practitioners

What is the result of bringing together a network of persons with a lifetime of experience? 

The emergence of a multidisciplinary caldron of thought, action and mutual support, building on a wide range of specializations in the humanitarian field.


Pilar Aguilar, PhD.

Specializes in education in emergencies

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Richard Anson, Ph.D.

Specializes in agriculture and rural development

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Orla Bakdal

Specializes in Human Rights, Good Governance, Climate Change, and Diplomacy

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Becca Balis

Specializes in child rights and protection

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Martin Barber

Specializes in maintaining peace and security and protecting civilians in conflict

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Elaine Zook Barge

Specializes in trauma and resilience

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Krishna Belbase

Specializes in results based monitoring and evaluation. Also, food and nutrition, security, and social protection.

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Carol Bellamy

Ms Bellamy was
previously a member of the New York State Senate, President of
the New York City Council, Director of the United States Peace
Corps, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund
(UNICEE). and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Globa
Partnership for Education.

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Mathilde Bienvenu

Specializes in Child protection, child rights and early childhood development

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Neil Boothby

Specializes in child rights and protection, especially in refugee contexts

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Jim Brasher

Specializes in strategic development and global philanthropy

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Mark Connolly

In the past decade, he has focussed on applying public health principles to reduce homicide and violence among young people, reducing risks, and increasing protection for children in migrations. For the past four years, he has amassed extensive experience in emergency preparedness and humanitarian response.

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Marie de la Soudière

Specializes in family tracing and reunification, psycho-social reintegration of boys and girls formerly associated with armed forces and groups.

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Diego Otegui Ph.D.

Specializes in the design and implementation of emergency management and humanitarian educational programs.

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Moira Fratta

Specializes in strategic planning and humanitarian leadership, preparedness, resilience and sustainability.

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Ed Giradet

Specializes in journalism in humanitarian contexts

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Sara Guerreiro

Specializes in human rights & coaching

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Stephen Hanmer D’Elía

Specializes in child protection, forced migration, mental health & psychosocial support.

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William J. Hawk

Specializes in practical ethics featuring an evidence-based ethical reasoning strategy

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Vern Jantzi

Specializes in restorative justice and trauma healing and resilience

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Victor P. Karunan, Ph.D.

Victor has over 35 years of professional experience in over 40 countries in both the Global North and Global South, with special focus on Child Rights and Child Development, Results-based Management, Social Policy, Adolescent Participation and Development.

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Nils-Arne Kastberg

Specializes in advocacy for persons living with mental conditions and syndromes with a focus on human rights and humanitarian action.

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Leo Kenny

Thirty years of international development experience with UNAIDS, UNICEF, international development agencies and NGOs, including in countries with large humanitarian responses.

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Jean-Claude Legrand

Specializes in child protection in emergencies

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Alejandro Linayo

He is a Systems Engineer, with MSc Organizational Studies, PhD in Education/Social Sciences and also Doctoral Studies (PhD-C) in Human Sciences.

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Leslie Little

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Charles Mutasa

Specializes in civil society, governance, and human rights

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Daniel Maxwell

Daniel Maxwell is the Henry J. Leir Professor in Food Security at the Friedman School of Nutrition, and Research Director at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University.

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Tom McDermot

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Thomas Mueller

Specializes in child rights advocacy and campaigning, child protection and technology

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Peter Mulrean

Peter Mulrean spent much of his diplomatic career working to make foreign policy and foreign assistance mutually reinforcing.

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David L. Myers

David L. Myers has more than 40 years of leadership experience within faith-based, humanitarian, government, and philanthropic organizations.

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Peter Otieno

Peter has a background in Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship.

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Saulo Padilla

Specializes in trauma and resilience

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Roger Pearson

Roger holds a master’s degree on Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of London.

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Heidi Peugeot

Specializes in emergency preparedness, disaster risk reduction and resilience

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Beatrice Progida

Specializes in program design, monitoring and learning systems

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Angela Raven Roberts

Specializes in reunification of unaccompanied children, gender based violence, creation of safe spaces.

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Michael A Rechlin, Ph.D.

Specializes in forestry and conservation

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Everett Ressler

HDPi Executive Director, specializes in child protection and care and protection of unaccompanied children.

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Claudio Schuftan

Public Health Consultant

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Saudamini Siegrist

Specializes in transitional justice and child rights and protection

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Laurent Sierro

Specializes in global political and humanitarian journalism

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Frederick Spielberg

Fred Spielberg has over 30 years of experience in disaster and conflict settings, working with UN agencies, NGOs and philanthropic foundations

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AR. Subbiah

Mr. Subbiah has operational responsibility for Regional integrated Multi-hazard Early warning System(  RIMES ) for Africa and Asia Pacific region.

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Carolyn Williams

Carolyn works internationally as a consultant focused on peacebuilding, social
justice, political and humanitarian affairs, partnerships and resource mobilization.

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John Williamson

Specializes in technical support for programming and policy to strengthen family care for children, preventing separation promoting family reunification.

Read More »

Carolyn E. Yoder

Specializing in addressing trauma to interrupt cycles of violence, and eco angst.

Read More »

Publications by Persons Affiliated with HDPI

JUST RELEASED: Anticipate and Localize: Leveraging Humanitarian Funding To Create More Sustainable Food Systems
April 14, 2023

Anticipate and Localize: Leveraging Humanitarian Funding To Create More Sustainable Food Systems The report, “Anticipate and localize: Leveraging humanitarian funding to create more sustainable food systems,” identifies crucial reforms to humanitarian food aid that would improve response to crises, avert future crisis, and help build resilient, sustainable food systems. It is the first of three…

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) Linked to the COVID-19 Crisis in the United States
April 26, 2022


Supporting social change and conflict reduction through trauma healing and community problem-solving
September 24, 2020

HDPI supports Wozo Haiti a locally developed, national organization which aims to generate positive social change and conflict reduction through trauma healing and community empowerment.

Engaging faith leaders to promote human rights
September 24, 2020

HDPI consultants provided training for faith leaders on basic tenents of international humanitarian law, human rights and child rights, youth leadership, conflict prevention, and reconciliation in conflict-affected communities in Eastern DRC and Burundi.

Facilitating inter-agency workshop on emergency preparedness and child rights
September 24, 2020

HDPI facilitated an inter-agency workshop in Kigali to improve emergency preparedness and response to cross-border movements of children in the Great Lakes Region

Advising the Government of Eritrea on their OneWASH strategic plan
September 24, 2020

Provided strategic guidance and facilitation for the Government of Eritrea and their partners during the process to develop their process to develop a national strategy for water, sanitation, and hygiene for 2030.  

Strategic guidance for accountability to children affected by crises
September 24, 2020

HDPI provides ongoing strategic guidance and technical expertise to support the Childfund Alliance in developing child-friendly accountability programs to monitor progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal Target 16.2 (ending violence against children).

Leading international study on early-warning and early-response
September 24, 2020

HDPI undertook a multi-country study to identify ways to strengthen UNDP’s early warning and early-response to crises across the globe.

Study on statelessness and risks of statelessness in Guinea Bissau
September 24, 2020

HDPI consultants carried out ground-breaking research on stateless people and persons at risk of statelessness in Guinea Bissau. The study also assessed the impact of statelessness on fundamental rights, as well as the legal and administrative framework for preventing and reducing statelessness.

Planning and facilitation for the World Humanitarian Summit
September 24, 2020

HDPI members supported big picture thinking on adapting the humanitarian system as part of planning inputs to the World Humanitarian Summits, and served as facilitators and rapporteurs of various consultations and meetings.

Evaluating post-earthquake programming
September 24, 2020

HDPI organized and conducted an evaluation of a post-earthquake trauma-healing and resilience program in Haiti.

Strategic consultations with ‘Pathfinders’ of Child Protection
September 24, 2020

HDPI convened a three-day consultation with pioneers in child protection in humanitarian crises from around the world. The consultation documented the evolution of child protection knowledge and best practice over the past few decades and chartered a vision for how the field can continue to evolve.

Emergency assessments for refugee and displaced children
September 24, 2020

HDPI members helped facilitate an inter-agency mission to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey to assess the situation of at-risk refugee and displaced children. Also consulted on emergency preparedness and response actions to the large-scale influx of unaccompanied children into the US.

Strategic guidance on national humanitarian response policy
September 24, 2020

HDPI developed guidance for the UAE Committee for Coordination of Humanitarian Foreign Aid on how to coordinate and organize humanitarian response programs.

Capacity building for children’s rights in transitional justice processes in Sri Lanka
September 24, 2020

HDPi consultants are providing intensive capacity-building for local civil organizations in children’s rights and inclusion framework in truth-seeking and reconciliation processes following the decades-long armed conflict in Sri Lanka.

Misinformation on the Internet – Working Group on Ethical Decision Making
April 27, 2022

HDPI Working Group on Ethical Decision Making Misinformation on the Internet – an Ethical Tool to Find the Way Forward To Regulate of Not to Regulate? The extraordinary power of the internet to spread information instantly, with little oversight or regulation, has meant that hate speech, intentional misinformation, fake news, and the purposeful spreading of…

The Ethics of Sanctions
April 26, 2022

The Ethics of Sanctions (Summary of the latest thoughts by HDPI’s Ethical Decision-Making Group) If, as Carl von Clausewitz said, war is the continuation of politics by other means, then perhaps the adoption of sanctions is the prevention of war by economic means.  In the last sixty years, economic and political sanctions have been imposed—unilaterally…

Pathfinders in Child Protection: Everett Ressler
June 4, 2020

In November of 2019, HDPI convened some of the globe’s experts in child protection in humanitarian emergencies to discuss the origins, evolution, and future of the field.  The convening was called the Pathfinders Dialogue and was made possible by the Oak Foundation. This is an excerpt from an interview with Everett Ressler, who had a long…

COVID-19: The need for global solidarity and cooperation: Dr. William Hawk
April 1, 2020

By Dr William Hawk, Fred Spielberg and Everett Ressler This op-ed was first posted in Global Geneva. As COVID-19 has shown, the first reaction of governments in a pandemic is to close borders. Indeed, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) prescription of “isolate, test, treat and trace” proves much easier if the influx of imported cases…

The future of humanitarian evaluation
April 1, 2020

HDPI staff and affiliates have a joint call every other Thursday to discuss ongoing initiatives and to share knowledge from our diverse fields and experiences. The HDPI call on Thursday, 6th February focused on evaluation.  Krishna Belbase, who joined HDPI recently made a brief presentation and led the discussion on the topic “Evaluation: Emerging Trends…

Rebuilding Schools – Rebuilding Communities In Nepal
February 1, 2017

What happens after the bodies are counted, after the wounds are bandaged, after the world attention leaves to focus on the next global disaster?  April 2015 Nepal, a small and peaceful country on the south side of the Himalayas, suffered a major earthquake that left close to 9,000 dead, hundreds of thousands with destroyed homes,…

Listening to the voices of local communities in humanitarian response
January 23, 2016

In this video with BBC Media Action, HDPI Member Nigel Fisher speaks about the importance of listening to populations affected by humanitarian crises: “Actually, people who are affected by disasters, people living in communities and local organizations, they’re usually the first responders anyway. And quite often, what they think needs to be done may or…

HDPI Collaborations


Make a difference - join us

  • Translate  climate angst into courageous commitment!
  • Address trauma and resilience needs in the migration/resettlement experience.
  • Change mindsets to improve the rights and well-being of people living with mental syndromes and conditions, particularly in refugee setting
  • Enhance child protection and transitional processes in conflict situations,
  • Introduce an ethics-based framework for decision making

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Operational Staff

  • Everett Ressler, Executive Director
  • Jooyeon Kim, Director of Finance
  • Kevin Yoder, CPA

Board of Directors

  • Vernon Jantzi
  • Rick Augsburger
  • Nils Kastberg
  • Carolyn Williams
  • Everett Ressler