Humanitarian Exchange articles tagged:Governance

Recent years have seen tremendous change in Yemen. The popular uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime in 2011 led to a process of transition where parties to past conflicts engaged in an open and frank discussion about the country's future, and Yemen is seen by many as one of the very few countries where the events of the Arab Spring still hold out the promise of democratic change. Much of the world's attention has focused on the political process and security issues because of the country's strategic position, in terms of both energy production in the region and international…
In early 2011, the Humanitarian Policy Group (HPG) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) hosted a workshop with members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Humanitarian Space and Civil Military Relations Task Force on counter-terrorism and humanitarian action. Humanitarian practitioners had expressed concerns with the implications of counter-terrorism measures for humanitarian operations, particularly in contexts such as the Horn of Africa, occupied Palestinian territories (oPt) and Afghanistan. Overall, the workshop exposed deep levels of anxiety concerning perceived risks, a lack of clarity as to what the exact risks were and a culture of secrecy, including a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’…
Ten years of conflict in Darfur between the Sudanese government and an array of rebel groups and militias have caused a humanitarian emergency. In the early stages of the conflict, between 2004 and 2009, some two dozen agencies provided ‘cross-line’ humanitarian assistance in territory controlled by rebel movements. Although urgent humanitarian needs persist in these areas, by 2011 all cross-line aid had stopped. This article explores the issues around humanitarian access to rebel and contested areas in Darfur, and analyses the reasons why such assistance has come to an end, leaving hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need. The…
Livelihoods in South Sudan are based on transhumant animal husbandry, agriculture, fishing, trade and gathering wild food, with various combinations of these elements making up specific household economies depending on each zone’s agro-ecological conditions and tribal traditions and culture. Livelihood systems were first mapped out by Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) in the mid-1990s. Using the Household Economy Analysis (HEA) framework, seven distinct zones were identified (Figure 1). These zones are still used in livelihoods planning and analysis today. Livelihood systems in these zones have undergone drastic changes during the prolonged civil war (1983–2005) and in the period of post-conflict transition…
Independence was a milestone in the history of South Sudan, raising hopes for long-lasting peace and stability, development and economic growth. Well into the second year of independence, the challenges remain enormous and there are regular setbacks. One key question has been how we can continue to respond to emergencies without losing sight of longer-term development needs. This article elaborates on some of the key socio-economic challenges in South Sudan, with a particular focus on food insecurity. Food aid constitutes the bulk of the international community’s humanitarian response in South Sudan, with 2.7 million people receiving food assistance in 2012.…
Over the past two years, there has been persistent and increasing opposition to the Sphere and Ombudsman projects, and by extension to field-based or general codes of conduct, including the People-in-Aid code. This opposition has come primarily from French NGOs associated with the Groupe Urgence- Réhabilitation-Développement (Groupe URD). The initial objection to Sphere – that ‘to every complex problem there is a simple solution, and it is a bad one’ – has led to an advice to the French government not to co-fund the Ombudsman project; and has resulted in the creation of a ‘Platform for Quality’ and consideration of…
Over the last decade, there has been an increased focus on corruption in emergency assistance. In recent studies, food aid has been identified as one of the most vulnerable sectors, along with cash programming and post-disaster reconstruction.[1] In the 2011 drought response in Kenya, Transparency International Kenya (TI Kenya) launched a study examining the integrity, transparency and accountability of food assistance.[2] The main question explored was the extent to which different types of food assistance instruments (in-kind aid, cash and vouchers) posed different risks, and the standards different assistance actors applied to ensure the integrity of these mechanisms, including the…
The IDP Vulnerability Assessment and Profiling (IVAP) project was launched in Pakistan in 2010 to enable agencies to provide humanitarian assistance in a more impartial and targeted manner. Responding to needs arising out of a protracted conflict, humanitarian agencies in Pakistan’s north-western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province were preparing to provide aid to hundreds of thousands of conflict IDPs for a third consecutive year. Effective targeting of beneficiaries – particularly in a period when financial resources were steadily decreasing – required humanitarian agencies to locate and identify those directly affected by the conflict, broadly understand their priority needs and then analyse…
The Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) in Ethiopia was set up in 2005 by the government as part of a strategy to address chronic food insecurity. The PSNP provides cash or food to people who have predictable food needs in a way that  enables them to improve their own livelihoods – and therefore become more resilient to the effects of shocks in the future. However, there are times when a shock results in transitory food insecurity, the scale of which is beyond the mainstream PSNP to address. This requires additional temporary support. In this event extra funding comes from the…
In recent years, developing national capacity and building effective partnerships with national and local actors have moved up the humanitarian policy agenda. Yet the rhetoric around sustainability and local ownership rarely reflects operational practice on the ground, making it difficult to identify not only the obstacles to such initiatives, but also the factors that enable their progress. Protracted emergencies raise a particular set of issues about how best to support national and local priorities in the transition from international to national and local aid coordination structures. Drawing on HPG research carried out in Gulu and Pader districts in Northern Uganda…
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