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Humanitarian Horizons

Our Podcast

I Think You’re On Mute is showcasing the people and stories of Humanitarian Horizons, an initiative of the Humanitarian Advisory Group.

Australia, Photography by Greta Carroll

I Think You’re on Mute

During humanitarian emergencies, local actors often struggle to be heard. Their microphone isn’t off – they’re just on mute, with the voices of international actors drowning them out.

Fortunately, this is changing. This past decade has seen an increase in humanitarian emergencies, and with it, the growing realisation that local actors are best placed to lead local humanitarian responses.

Now in its second season, our podcast, I Think You’re On Mute, explores how we build a better, more locally-led humanitarian sector.

Your host, Co-Founder and Director of the Humanitarian Advisory Group, Beth Eggleston brings you the latest research, ideas and stories from the people shaping a better humanitarian future.


Subscribe and listen on Spotify, Soundcloud & Apple.


In Episode 04, we speak to:  

  • Kate Sutton, Humanitarian Advisory Group, on the impact of staff mobility in humanitarian response and the need for respectful recruitment practices 
  • Nanette Salvador-Antequisa, ECOWEB, on locally led action in the Philippines and a new Flagship Initiative   


Episode 04 summary and full transcript. 

Listen here on Spotify, Soundcloud & Apple.


In Episode 03, we speak to: 

  • Catherine Jones, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, on how anticipatory action differs from disaster preparedness and what other regions can learn from the Pacific.  
  • Akmal Ali, Facility Aiding Locally-Led Engagement (FALE) Pacific, PIANGO, about localisation in the Pacific and the importance of leveraging traditional knowledge.  


Episode 03 summary and full transcript. 

Listen here on Spotify, Soundcloud & Apple.

Episode 2 - COP28: A climate for humanitarian change

In Episode 02, we speak to: 
  • Jessica (Jess) Van Son, climate change expert and researcher, about COP28, why it’s crucial the humanitarian sector is engaged, and loss and damage. 
  •  Jesse McCommon, Humanitarian Advisory Group, on humanitarian and climate policies and Humanitarian Advisory Group’s research stream, Greening the System. 
  • Te’o Lau Dr Viliamu (Vili) Iese, Victoria Drought Resilience and Innovation Hub, discusses humanitarian and climate action in the Pacific, and the Greening the System Framework. 


For Episode 02 summary and full transcript.

Listen here on Spotify, Soundcloud & Apple.

Episode 1 - Protracted crises: In for the long haul

In Episode 01, we speak to:
  • Jess Lees, Humanitarian Advisory Group, on the nature of protracted crises and how humanitarian response differs;
  • Ahmad Shuja Jamal, author, academic and advisor, discusses the challenges to international aid in Afghanistan and an emerging strain of diaspora aid.


For Episode 01 summary and full transcript.

Listen here on Spotify, Soundcloud & Apple.

Season One

Episode 4 - Greening the System

In Episode 4, we speak to:

  • Sesimani Lokoutui, National Coordinator at the Civil Society Forum of Tonga, about the aftermath of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption;
  • Zaki Ullah from GLOW Pakistan, about the environmental impact of humanitarian responses in the country;
  • Emeline Siale Illolahia from PIANGO, about the outlook for localisation in the Pacific.

Listen here on Spotify, Soundcloud & Apple.

Episode 3 – People, Power and Local Leadership

In Episode 3, we speak to:

  • Pam Combinidio, from HAG, on the production of knowledge in the humanitarian sector;
  • Leaine Robinson and Iris Low, from CoLAB in Fiji, about their work to advance localisation;
  • Suman Ahsanul, from the Institute of Innovation for Gender and Humanitarian Transformation (InSights) in Bangladesh.

Episode 2 – Real Time Analysis

In Episode 2, we speak to:

  • Emeline Siale Illolahia, Executive Director of Pacific Islands Association of Non-Government Organisations (PIANGO) on the Cyclone Harold response;
  • Dr Puji Pujiono, on the work of national and local actors in response to the 2018 tsunami and earthquake in Palu, Indonesia;
  • Jessica Lees, from HAG, on the private sector response to the 2018 earthquake in the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea;
  • Fanny Coussy, also from HAG, on the impact of real time analysis in a humanitarian response.

Episode 1 – Reforming the Humanitarian System

In Episode 1, we speak to:

  • Shirley Abraham, Vanuatu Association of NGOs, on the response to Cyclone Pam in 2015;
  • Kate Sutton, Co-Founder of the Humanitarian Advisory Group (or HAG) on the early days of the organisation, and her background in the humanitarian sector;
  • James Gilling, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, on Australia’s support for humanitarian sector reform;
  • And Dr Puji Pujiono, from Indonesia’s Pujiono Centre, on localisation and humanitarian reform in Indonesia.



Listen here on Spotify, Soundcloud & Apple.