About us

The Centre for Applied Reflection on Humanitarian Practice (ARHP) documents and reflects upon the operational challenges and dilemmas faced by the field teams of the MSF Operational Centre Barcelona (MSF OCBA). ARHP’s purpose is two-fold: internally we aim to feed identified lessons learned back into operations as well as to support advocacy efforts, while externally we seek to give visibility to practical and operational constraints in humanitarian practice and, when relevant, how MSF has addressed them.

This website is intended both to serve as a container of the work produced and to facilitate debate and feedback. General comments and questions can be channelled through the “contact” section whilst each document has a dedicated comments thread.

ARHP team

Monica de Castellarnau

Monica is Humanitarian Affairs Senior Adviser at MSF, where she has worked for over 11 years. Her recent focus has been on the conceptualisation and documentation of the Emergency Gap in humanitarian action and she has been closely involved in the organisation’s advocacy efforts regarding the protection of the medical mission and positioning on major crises such as Yemen, South Sudan and the refugee crisis. Monica has extensive experience in operations both in the headquarters as Head of the Emergency Unit and in the field as head of mission and emergency coordinator. Prior to MSF, she worked for the United Nations Organisation for Education and Culture and for the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation.  Monica holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Kent at Canterbury and an MA in International Relations from Melbourne University. She is also a certified systems and organisational coach.

Alejandro Pozo

Alejandro Pozo is Humanitarian Affairs Senior Researcher at MSF. He joined MSF for the first time in 2002, and has also worked in the headquarters as Adviser to the Director of Operations, and in the field as head of mission, project coordinator and researcher, mostly in conflict settings. Beyond MSF, he is a researcher for the Centre Delàs (Barcelona) and collaborates with numerous organisations and institutions. He has conducted related field investigations on armed conflicts, peace, disarmament and military affairs, both from within and outside of the humanitarian sector. Alejandro holds a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies and is a lecturer on armed conflict, peace and security, and geopolitics on Ramon Llull University’s degree in International Relations and on various master’s programmes at different universities.

Velina Stoianova

Velina Stoianova has been working as Humanitarian Affairs Adviser for the Emergency Gap project since February 2016. She has 11 years of experience in humanitarian financing, aid architecture and donor policy development. Before joining MSF, Velina worked as a consultant specialising in pooled funding, private donorship, and government donors’ policies. She has also worked as a researcher and policy adviser for a number of organisations, including FRIDE, DARA and the Global Humanitarian Assistance programme at Development Initiatives. Velina holds a degree in Political Science with specialisation in International Relations and MA in International Development.