2019 HHR Antwerp Report


2019’s Humanitarian HR Conference (HHR2019) took place 2-4 October in Antwerp, Belgium. Focusing on the theme of trust, HHR2019 connected 80 HR experts and people leaders in the sector. Participants gained knowledge, inspiration and a new network.

After a packed two days of exploring HR’s role in cultivating trust in the humanitarian sector, organisations and our people, we heard from two HHR2019 participants to find out what they gained from the conference.

First up is Hannah Scott, Senior HR Adviser, Oxfam GB:

“It’s really important to feel that sense of connection with your peers across the sector and have that peer support which is often needed. We often deal with the same issues. There’s learning I can glean from others, and best practice we can share.” Hannah, Oxfam GB.

Like Hannah, many other participants found the opportunities to meet likeminded peers and subject matter experts one of the most useful parts of HHR2019. Others, such as Christine, enjoyed discovering the role that HR can play in creating open and honest dialogue-centered cultures:

“We are the trust builders in HR, and if we aren’t able to trust ourselves and be able to be trusted… how can we operate? We need to be seen as the trust builders. Coming here to HHR, has revitalised us.” Christine Williamson, Director, Duty of Care International.

HHR2019 also became a privileged space where HR professionals can swap their successes and share their vulnerabilities. “Sustaining the HHR momentum and building peer-to-peer support as we face common challenges is a key takeaway from this year’s conference” explains Gozel Baltaeva, HHR2019’s organiser. “The feedback we heard from all participants is the strong need for a people management community of practice. Over the coming weeks I have the privilege of exploring such a community!” adds Gozel.

If you’re interested in continuing the conversations started at HHR2019, even if you didn’t attend this one, get in touch with our People Management Adviser, Gozel Baltaeva.