This Policy Brief explores the role regional organisations are increasingly playing in a wide variety of humanitarian issues. International organisations are hopeful that regional organisations may help to share the work involved in responding to disasters, mediating conflicts and undertaking peacekeeping operations. There have been a number of prominent examples where they have done so.
There is an urgent need for a stronger scientific evidence base to inform health interventions in humanitarian crises. To address this problem, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Wellcome Trust commissioned a project to review the quality and depth of the available evidence, identify gaps and weaknesses and make recommendations for future work.
The research findings are also available as a policy brief: “Al-Shabaab engagement with aid agencies”.
Somalia is one of the most dangerous environments in the world for aid workers and humanitarian organisations. One of the largest obstacles to reaching people in need of humanitarian assistance is the militant armed group Al-Shabaab.
Regional organisations are frequently cited as key emerging actors in the humanitarian sphere. This paper examines the concepts and institutions underlying regional organisations before examining their contributions to three areas: the humanitarian response to refugee crises, conflict management and disaster risk reduction (DRR).
After disasters strike, can homes, communities, and institutions be ‘built back better’? Released nearly nine years after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami and in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, this report examines the concept of ‘build back better’, seeking to understand the aspirations, implications and resulting impact of the term on recovery and reconstruction in three disaster responses - the Indian Ocean tsunami in Aceh, Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and the earthquake in Haiti.
The Sudanese people of the Nuba Mountains region in Southern Kordofan state and of Blue Nile state are no strangers to war. Over the past two years, they have again suffered regular, indiscriminate aerial bombardment and gunfire. People have been forced to hide in caves, with limited access to food, water and health care. Over 1.4 million people have been displaced by the current conflict. The majority – an estimated 1 million – are in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N)-controlled areas of Southern Kordofan and neighbouring Blue Nile state.
During 2012-13 HPG has continued ground-breaking policy research and analysis on the changing humanitarian landscape alongside public affairs and advisory work, reflecting HPG’s position as an authoritative voice in humanitarian affairs.
Sophia Dunn, Mike Brewin and Aues Scek
This report presents the findings of Phase 2 of a monitoring exercise of a unique partnership, the Cash and Voucher Monitoring Group (CVMG), involving non-governmental organisations (NGOs) providing cash-based interventions in response to famine and humanitarian emergency in South Central Somalia. It was the first large-scale cash-based response to be implemented in Somalia, and – at a global level – the first non-governmental emergency cash-based programme on this scale.
The humanitarian situation in Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile is dire, and getting worse. After renewed conflict in June 2011, humanitarian organisations have struggled to effectively engage with armed non-state actors and with the Government of Sudan (GoS) in pursuit of humanitarian objectives.
The idea of using history to shed light on the present has significant and growing support within the humanitarian community, but remains the exception rather than the rule.
This HPG Working Paper provides an introduction to the emergence of the international humanitarian system and the factors that have shaped its evolution. It argues that greater knowledge of the system’s past will help practitioners and policy-makers think through today’s challenges and will contribute to a more effective platform for future reforms.
HPG Policy Briefs
In 2010, half of the world’s refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) were thought to be in urban areas, many of them in protracted displacement with little likelihood of ever returning home. Yet the implications of protracted urban displacement have not been given due weight by an international aid and governance system that has historically focused its displacement responses on rural camps.
Roundtable on Civil-Military Coordination Summary Note
Canne A Sucre, Port au Prince, Haiti, 7 March 2013
The belief that development and reconstruction are central to stability and security is not new. It is, however, also highly contentious, perhaps nowhere more so than in Afghanistan, the longest running experiment in stabilisation.
The international policy context and circumstances of development action and humanitarian relief have changed profoundly over the past two decades, with aid agencies now operating in an increasingly diverse array of conflict-affected contexts that are also considered by Western governments as major threats to international peace and security.