Displaying items by tag: UN

The survey will contribute to the State of the Humanitarian System review, which is commissioned by ALNAP. Conducted every three years, the review is a unique opportunity to take stock of the performance of the humanitarian system as a whole. It seeks to measure how well humanitarian actors are performing in their core tasks of saving lives and alleviating human suffering. To take the survey, click on the link that is relevant for you: International and national aid practitioners’ survey English | Français | Español | عربي Host government representatives’ survey English | Français | Español | عربي    
Effective leadership requires not only the right people in the right place, but also an environment that enables leaders to lead. This is particularly relevant for Humanitarian Coordinators, who lack formal authority over their 'followers', and therefore rely heavily on a conducive environment in order to deliver on their mandate.[1] In the past six years significant progress has been made in improving the performance of Coordinators. It is now time to broaden our focus to the environment where these leaders are placed: the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and, more broadly, the UN system. Strengthening Humanitarian Coordinators: we've come a long…
In the words of UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, we face ‘the most serious refugee crisis for 20 years’. Recent displacement from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, and Somalia has increased the number of refugees in the world to 15.4 million. Significantly, some 10.2 million of these people are in protracted refugee situations. In other words, they have been in limbo for at least 5 years, with an average length of stay in exile of nearly 20 years. Rather than transitioning from emergency relief to long-term reintegration, displaced populations too often get trapped within the system. Published on…
Environment. While for many this word may conjure visions of household recycling or polar bears, the reality is that people rely on the environment for everything. At the most fundamental level, for our lives. No one can live for long without clean air, clean water and food. Many of us also depend on the environment for livelihoods, particularly in developing countries where, according to the World Bank, a quarter of total wealth comes from natural capital.[1] For example, in India alone, some 50 million people are directly dependent on forests for their survival. The environment is a humanitarian issue and…
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…
Twenty years ago in the first week of April, an ODI colleague and I were in Brussels to launch a new network for relief workers (what later became the Humanitarian Practice Network). It was there we learnt that ten Belgian paratroopers forming part of the United Nations (UN) peacekeeping force in Rwanda had been killed trying to protect the Rwandan Prime Minister. The Prime Minister had also been killed. This came just one day after the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi had both been killed when their aircraft crashed on its approach to Kigali. It later emerged that the plane…
Convened by Dr Cathryn Costello, in association with the Oxford Human Rights Hub   5pm, every Wednesday, Seminar Room 1 Oxford Department of International Development 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB   22 Jan At the end of the rainbow: where next for the LGBTI refugee? S. Chelvan (No5 Chambers)   29 Jan Turning wrongful convictions into rights? Asylum seekers and the criminal law Dr Ana Aliverti (Warwick School of Law)   5 Feb The child in international refugee law Jason Pobjoy (Blackstone Chambers)   12 Feb Three asylum paradigms Jean-François Durieux (RSC and the Graduate Institute, Geneva)   19…
In the first week of March 2011, a group of schoolboys in the rural Syrian village of Dara’a were imprisoned for graffiti, after spray-painting the walls of a school with a common slogan of the Arab uprisings, ‘The people want to topple the regime’.[1] This event sparked anti-government demonstrations that would soon spread throughout the country. The ensuing conflict between government and rebel forces, which is now in its third year, has forced over two million Syrians to seek refuge abroad, principally in the neighbouring countries of Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, and further afield in Egypt. The relentless pace…
A political or military solution to stop the carnage in Syria seems as remote as ever. The war seems only to bring even worse depths of human suffering and diplomatic impotence. Syrian civilians are in a state, not just of terror, but of horror – hostages in a geopolitical, ideological and sectarian catastrophe. On the face of it, getting humanitarian assistance to the millions affected should be easier to deal with than the political and military mess. In the space of two years, a major relief operation within Syria has indeed come to life despite the extreme circumstances. But these…
The refugee camp, positioned between formality and informality, mobility and immobility, permanence and impermanence, is a space of paradox. In the process of contextualising this paradox, the academic literature often juxtaposes the 'camp (as exception) and the city (as norm) in contradiction with one another' (Sanyal 2010:879). As these tent cities develop into urban environments, there is a need to evaluate the urbanity of the camp space by considering the ways in which refugee spaces come to take on a hybrid nature where 'refugeeness and agency have worked simultaneously to create "spaces of exception" that are able to transgress the…
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