Partners for Humanitarian and Risk Education Expansion (PHREE-Way)


ProVention is supporting the establishment of the PHREEway initiative, with an initial focus on Africa. This initial phase intends to:

  • define the scope for PHREEway’s action in Africa, including specific projects that will be implemented in the short- and medium-term;
  • define criteria for organisational/institutional inclusion in PHREEway at regional and national level;
  • define mechanisms for linking national and regional PHREEway efforts in Africa to those of PHREEway’s partners in other regions to create a global network;
  • develop an effective knowledge sharing and communication strategy.

A PHREEway regional consultative meeting was held in Johannesburg on 28-29 August 2007 (read the meeting report).


What is PHREE-Way?

PHREE-Way is a global action-learning network of organisations working together to expand education and strengthen capacity for disaster risk reduction and humanitarian action towards sustainable development and human security. The founding and initial members include international non-governmental organisations, research and training support organisations, and universities. All members adhere to human security, sustainable development, and humanitarian imperatives, as well as globally-recognised ethics and standards.


In 2005, a consortium of seven of the largest United States-based nongovernmental organisations was funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to collaboratively undertake an initiative that strengthened human resource capacities in humanitarian action. One of its early outcomes was the recognition that NGOs, research entities and teaching and learning institutions – across regions and disciplines – should work together more systematically to strengthen human resource capabilities to improve the effectiveness of disaster risk reduction interventions and humanitarian action. Two multi-agency consultations were subsequently convened. The first was hosted by Care in Atlanta, in August 2005and the second by the Marc Lindenberg Center at the University of Washington in Seattle in January 2006.

Following this, an interim steering committee was established. Comprising representatives of Care, World Vision International, and the Center for Humanitarian Cooperation along with the Universities of Washington and Cape Town, the interim steering committee drafted provisional terms of reference for the initiative and proposed the name ‘PHREEway’.

From 20-21 September, 2006, 21 participants from 16 organisations and institutions met in Cape Town to consider how best to focus PHREEway’s efforts. They acknowledged that PHREEway afforded an excellent opportunity for applied collaboration that would strengthen the robustness of humanitarian and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) practice as well as scholarship and allow for innovation in these areas. In the context of this specific project, they recommended that:

  • PHREEway regional platforms should be established to facilitate, enable and mediate the learning and research linkages between NGOs, universities and donors. These regional platforms would undertake consultations to this end.
  • UCT/DiMP should consult with selected African universities as well as nongovernmental organisations and other southern partners such as TISS to define this regional structure along with its possible terms of reference.
  • the PHREEway steering committee should work on detailing the structures and roles at the global level and how these link with the regional roles and terms of engagement.
  • PHREEway should establish an interim secretariat to enable development of the initiative. It was agreed that this secretariat would provide structure, facilitation, promotion and support to this globally linked regional/national network.


Currently there is an advisory forum that has been established. This forum includes:

Two members of the Advisory Group, DiMP and CHC, have been charged to act as the ‘southern’ and northern’ Secretariat, respectively, responsible for organisational and administrative matters.

Outputs & events


  • Pre-meeting hosted by CARE in Atlanta, September 2005
  • Founding meeting hosted by the Marc Lindenberg Center at the University of Washington in Seattle


  • Meeting hosted by DiMP at the University of Cape Town, September 20-21, 2006.