Our Problem

Conflicts are increasingly drawn-out, climate change impacts are more common, and cities are more crowded as rural peoples look to cities for livelihood opportunities. All of these issues contribute to a cycle of vulnerability that is not address in the traditional divide of acute crises as “humanitarian” and extended crises as “development.” As these two fields intertwine, sustainable development and resilient solutions will need planning skills.

Experts in the humanitarian system have developed a trending concept, “humanitarian assistance-development nexus,” to reflect the understanding that the work needed to address community’s vulnerability before, during, and after crises (Gingerich 2015, Bennet et al 2017, Fullwood-Thomas 2019). It challenges the status quo of the aid system, which is overstretched and operates with little coordination between project-based development and humanitarian interventions, resulting in it not effectively meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people.

Further, post-crises evidence reveals that short-sighted humanitarian assistance often imparts devastating cultural consequences on marginalized groups (Miller 2019). With careful stakeholder engagement and specialized knowledge of the long-term effects of planning decisions, the results may have been designed to support cultural heritage. Our problem is that the humanitarian system has not traditionally engaged planning professionals as core members of HA+D response teams. Planner’s skills and experience will support sustainable development and resilient solutions to global crises.

Our Skills & Expertise 


  • Public & stakeholder engagement
  • Workshop facilitation
  • Policy review
  • Strategic planning
  • Visualization
  • Development of alternatives
  • Sustainability review
  • Environmental assessments
  • Applied research
  • Spatial analysis
  • Monitoring and assessment
  • Project or program management


  • Cultural context
  • Environmental impacts
  • Planning history, movements, influences on land rights
  • Foundational legal principals
  • Theories of land ownership/planning
  • Spatial equity and justice
  • Patterns of human settlement
  • Statutory basis for planning
  • Sustainability and resilience
  • Social trends and demographics
  • Democratic engagement
  • Impacts on public health and community prosperity
  • Transparency and ethics
  • Social empowerment