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14 Aug 2013 description

Resilience is now at the heart of development thinking, climate change adaptation and humanitarian policy. The 2011-2012 famine in the Horn of Africa and 2012 crisis in the Sahel revealed not only the vulnerability of pastoralist livelihoods in these regions, but also the high toll on development progress. These and other high impact events have led the international community to look for durable solutions that address the underlying drivers of risk, particularly for marginalised communities.

19 Sep 2012 description

The 2011 humanitarian crises in Somalia and across the Horn of Africa may be a distant memory to those outside the region, but last Friday the Department for International Development (DFID) received its report card for its response to the crisis from its examination board, the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI).

17 Sep 2012 description

*Little change to estimates of cereals harvests

Maize and wheat prices remain high, but may have peaked*

KEY POINTS

  • Estimates of cereal harvests have changed little from August to September. Further cuts to estimates of the already bad US maize harvest have been quite small.

  • Hence the sharp price rises seen in the maize and wheat markets in July have probably reached their limit — even if at more than US$320 a tonne for maize, US$365 a tonne for wheat, prices are high.

14 May 2012 description

Abstract: Concerns have been raised that the United Kingdom is reshaping its development approach in order to put its own security interests ahead of those of the poorest – what has been referred to as a 'securitisation of aid’.

More fundamentally, practical attempts at better integrating development and security have frequently been hampered by simplistic understandings of the relationship. As explored in this Working Paper, this has resulted in a lack of innovative approaches for better securing development outcomes and supporting peace.

18 Nov 2011 description

Background

The current drought in The East and Horn of Africa is estimated to have affected 13 million people, of which 4.5 million are Kenyans. Lives and livelihoods have been lost. It has also caused extensive debates on how to end drought emergencies. The discussions have hit media headlines and formed agendas of national and international conferences. A few of the issues that have cut across all these discussions are the acknowledgement that:

· While drought is an unavoidable natural phenomenon, it need not and should not lead to famine and other disasters.

08 Jul 2011 description

Wednesday, July 06, 2011 2:08 PM by Simon Levine

13 Jun 2011 description

The past two decades have delivered unprecedented progress and improvements in quality of life across the developing world. Poverty has fallen in most developing countries, and the number of low-income countries fell from 60 in 2003 to just 39 in 2009. Countries such as India and (particularly) China have managed to lift very large numbers of people out of extreme poverty. Progress has not been restricted to increases in income; many developing countries have also dramatically improved their access to vital services, such as education and health.

03 Mar 2011 description

Thursday, March 03, 2011 11:14 AM by Samir Elhawary

There has been much discussion on whether Tuesday's decision by the UK Government to focus more of its aid budget on 'fragile' states is putting Britain's security interests ahead of those of the poor. Oxfam has recently argued that aid is increasingly being put towards countering terrorism, and other NGOs have expressed concern that this increases threats to aid workers by associating them with contested political projects.

Are these accusations well-founded?

01 Mar 2011 description

Tuesday, March 01, 2011 3:50 PM by Jonathan Glennie

Given the pressing political need to mollify critics of aid, it is little wonder that this review is based on a now-familiar emphasis on results and value for money, but lacks reference to the kind of issues that more seasoned observers of aid will be looking out for (such as an emphasis on developing country-led development strategies and donor harmonisation).

Having said that, the two fundamental pillars of this review are sound: a reduction in the geographical scope of DFID's ambition, and a new way of allocating aid …

14 Oct 2010 description

Thursday, October 14, 2010 8:32 AM by Sara Pavanello

A staggering 925 million people worldwide are currently undernourished, according to the 2010 edition of The State of Food Insecurity in the World, published by FAO earlier this month.

13 Oct 2010 description

Authors: Steve Wiggins, Julia Compton and Sharada Keats

The issue of rising food prices came to international attention in early 2008. This document answers the following questions about the crisis and responses to it:

  • What has happened to food prices and why?
  • Why are food prices important & where can we find them?
  • How have countries and the international community responded?
  • The future

28 Sep 2010 description

Disasters special issue, vol. 34, supplement 3, October 2010

This special issue of Disasters explores the increased interest and engagement by donor and national governments in 'stabilising' contexts affected by armed conflict and complex emergencies, and considers its implications for international humanitarian action.

20 Nov 2009 description

Rebecca Holmes

Key points

- One key challenge in post-conflict countries is meeting objectives that contribute both to poverty reduction and the peace process

- Cash transfers can address the immediate needs of poor households but there is little evidence about their long-term impact on poverty in post-conflict countries

- The dissemination of emerging evidence on best practice in the delivery of cash transfers in conflict-affected countries should be encouraged

Providing cash transfers to poor households to alleviate poverty has been popular in many middle-income …

30 Oct 2009 description

by Sarah Bailey

On Wednesday, a bomb rocked a UN guesthouse in Kabul, killing at least five people. Last week, a man working with a UNHCR partner was killed in an ambush on his vehicle in eastern Chad. Another aid worker was kidnapped in Sudan's volatile Darfur only days after two aid workers - held captive for more than 100 days - were released.

29 Apr 2009 description

ODI opinion 130

History shows that political instability and recession do not operate far apart. Since the end of the Cold War, levels of instability in Africa have subsided, when compared to the preceding decades and, by and large, the level of political violence is at its lowest since the 1960s. As Figure 1 shows, worldwide economic and social stability - and instability - tend to go hand in hand.

30 Jun 2005 description

In the aftermath of the Indian Ocean tsunami crisis, one of the world's largest ever relief operations, the humanitarian community has come back full circle to the issue of accountability, this time with greater public interest - and scrutiny - than ever before. Accountability, along with its corollary, transparency, are two words very much in vogue at the moment, both within the humanitarian community and in the United Nations. But what do we mean by these terms, and to what ends are we applying them?

11 May 2005 description

A meeting hosted by the Overseas Development Institute and the Great Lakes & East Africa Inter-Agency Emergency Preparedness Working Group.