News & Events

Humanitarian and Sustainable Development Initiative Global Online Academy 2020: COVID-19 Response and Sustainable Future of Global Risk Governance

The launch event workshop of the Humanitarian and Sustainable Development Global Online Academy 2020 (HDI-GOA 2020) program kicked off at 20:00 (UTC+8) on June 30, 2020, in responding to the need for combating COVID-19. The workshop is entitled “COVID-19 Response and Sustainable Future of Global Risk Governance.” The experts from Beijing Normal University, World Health Organization, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent, International Red Cross Academy, Beijing Peaceland Foundation, Central China Normal University, and China Global Philanthropy Institute have jointly participated in the program. The workshop broadcasted on live through social media, such as Douyin, Kuaishou, Bilibili, MoocCN, and XuetangX. Over 8000 people, including the researchers, students, educators, and related practitioners, have participated in the program and watched the program online.



An innovative learning model in the new normal—“knowledge sharing of crisis management + global education network connection.”

HDI program was initially developed by the School of Social Development and Public Policy, the Innovation Center for Risk Governance (ICRG) at Beijing Normal University (BNU). The program was targeted to increase youth awareness and understanding of sustainable developments and humanitarian for the future path to achieve the SDGs set by the United Nations since 2018.

With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the HDI program was upgrated to HDI online program (HDI GOA) regarding the national strategy, which calls for opening up and expanding the cooperation with the rest of the world. HDI-GOA program is jointly organized by Beijing Normal University (BNU), World Health Organization (WHO), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC), International Red Cross Academy, Beijing Peaceland Foundation, Central China Normal University, and China Global Philanthropy Institute. Moreover, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations Volunteers (UNV), China International Center for Economic and Technical Exchange(CICETE), International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), China NGO Center for Disaster Risk Reduction (CNCDRR) and University Social Responsibility Network (USRN) also support the program. It is technically supported by MoocCN and XuetangX.


HDI-GOA program not only intends to inspire the learning of humanitarian and sustainable development for the young generation but also stimulates them to develop an innovative approach of different ways of working, learning, and connecting in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. HDI-GOA program also considers the young generation to be the potential innovators and practitioners to improve a better understanding of community resilience and compound disaster in the uncertain future. In 2020, the HDI-GOA program will progress through the following three phases: learn in community, plan for the community, and serve my community. In the following weeks, it will work with WHO, IFRC, UNDP, and other UN agencies, international organizations, universities to provide a series of online courses and promote the learning sources among vast students in the University Social Responsible Network (USRN) and other networks. It will also provide some different online webinars and roundtables for specific topics and courses to encourage the learners to look for an innovative approach for the community. The outstanding learners will win the precious chances of internship at the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Federation and Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).


COVID-19 Response and Sustainable Future of Global Risk Governance

During the workshop, the leading practitioners and scholars around the world gathered online to exchange insights on our shared future after COVID-19. Vice president of Beijing Normal University, Prof. Zhou Zuoyu, worked as the moderator to host the workshop.



Dr. Chen Zhu, President of the Red Cross Society of China, Dr. Ibrahima Socé Fall, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Jagan Chapagain, Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Dr. Ma Weihua, Chairman of the Board of China Global Philanthropy Institute,and Mr. Liu Xuanguo, the Vice President of International Academy of Red Cross & Red Crescent all gave us the excellent welcome remarks. They all looked forward to the program in response to COVID-19 and achieving Sustainable Development Goals by learning and knowledge sharing.



During the roundtables, the panelists, Dr. Gaya Gamhewage (Head of Learning and Capacity Development, WHO), Mr. Xavier Castellanos (Undersecretary General for Operations and Programme, IFRC), and Prof. Xue Lan (Dean of Schwarzman Scholars, Tsinghua University) and Prof. Arnold Howitt (Faculty Co-Director of Program on Crisis Leadership, Harvard Kennedy School) gave us the insightful speeches respectively. Dr. Gaya addressed the importance of promoting cooperative and life-long learning in the social distancing and lockdown in response to the COVID-19 from the perspective of the Open WHO. Mr. Xavier Castellanos shared his thoughts on changing partnerships between various organizations in combating the pandemic. Professor Xue addressed the challenges of re-designing and building up effective global governance for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals after the pandemic. Professor Howitt emphasized the importance of crisis-coping leadership and strategic governance. After their speeches, the experts answered the questions raised by the audiences and had a fruitful discussion with the participants online.



After the workshop, professor Hao Fanghua made a closing speech. As the president of Central China Normal University and also a collaborating partner of the HDI program, she shared their working experiences on fighting against the COVID-19 in Wuhan, the city once hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. She also expressed her high expectations to look for an innovative approach to enhance online learning and education in response to the global health crisis.



The first round of HDI courses led by WHO, targeting on the responses to the COVID-19, will kick off at in early July through the platform of MoocCN and XuetangX.