The aim of IHSA is to strengthen and advance a global network of universities, specialised research centres, inter-governmental and non governmental organisations in order to enhance a better alignment between knowledge, policy and practice in resolving humanitarian crises.
To achieve this aim, IHSA shall support activities to:
- secure and develop institutional and personal contacts between humanitarian scholars policymakers and practitioners throughout the world;
- convene meetings and regularly scheduled world conferences;
- encourage the international dissemination and exchange of information on developments in the humanitarian field;
- facilitate and promote international research in the humanitarian field;
- prepare and disseminate publications on topics relevant to work field of the IHSA.
A major IHSA activity is facilitating the World Conference of Humanitarian Studies every two years.
- 2009 – The first World Conference of Humanitarian Studies was held in February 2009 in Groningen, the Netherlands, and was organized by the universities of Wageningen, Groningen and Bochum (Germany). It was attended by 450 participants. During this conference the International Humanitarian Studies Association was launched.
- 2011 – The second World Conference of Humanitarian Studies, organized by the International Humanitarian Studies Associational (IHSA) and hosted by Tufts University in Medford, USA, took place from June 2-5, 2011. The conference focused on ‘Changing Realities of Conflict and Crisis‘.
- 2013 – The third IHSA conference took place in Istanbul, Turkey, from October 24 to 27, 2013. The conference was jointly organized by the Kadir Has University, the Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Studies at Coventry University, and the International Humanitarian Studies Association. The focus was on ‘Human Security: Humanitarian Perspectives and Responses.’
- 2016 – The fourth World Conference was organized in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 5 to 8 March 2016. The main theme of the conference was ‘Changing Crises and the Quest for Adequate Solutions’.