Humanitarian aid is largely guided by anecdotes rather than evidence. Currently, the humanitarian system shows significant weaknesses in data collection, analysis and response in all stages of a crisis or emergency. As a result, the present humanitarian system is much less evidence-driven than it should be and than it would like to be.
Achieving Food and Nutrition Security: Lessons Learned From the Integrated Food Security Programme (IFSP), Mulanje, Malawi
Calls have been made recently for new approaches to the design and implementation of interventions aimed at achieving household food security; approaches that address more than just food availability by integrating actions enhancing food access and utilization as well. But what exactly should be ‘integrated’ and how?
This report seeks to understand people's perceptions of the past and future role of education in the livelihoods of people in the Somali Region of Ethiopia, including the livelihoods of pastoralists, of those exiting pastoralism and those seeking to diversify their livelihoods.
Since our founding in 1997, the Feinstein International Center has broadened into a multidisciplinary institution focused on providing the understanding, teaching, and evidence needed to drive positive change in policies and practices affecting crisis-affected communities. This plan describes our intended research, institutional change and education work over the period January 2012 – December 2014.
How can improved primary education contribute to peace and security in the troubled Somali Region of Ethiopia? This report is an analysis of the links between conflict and education in Somali Region, and examines if and how improved education might contribute to peace and security objectives.
Winning Hearts and Minds? Examining the Relationship between Aid and Security in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province
This third Afghanistan provincial case study examines the use of aid, including "Quick Impact Projects" (QIPS), from 2006-08 to attempt to produce stability in an area of Afghanistan which has been among the most insecure and which has been a major focus of financial and human resources.
Although pastoralists in Ethiopia are often characterized as unresponsive to market opportunities, the bulk of Ethiopia’s growing formal and informal livestock and meat exports are supplied from pastoralist areas of the country.
This final report covers the last round of the participatory impact assessment conducted in Tsaeda Amba Woreda in Eastern Tigray in July 2010, and summarizes findings from both rounds of the household survey. These results demonstrate the impact of the drought and the high price of food in 2008 and 2009.
This review is the first output of a three year research program looking at the intersection of DRR and livelihoods and is intended to clarify DRR concepts and programming elements, identify good practice, and assess the impact of DRR programs on livelihood outcomes, assets, and institutions.
Over the past five years, Pakistan has witnessed three major crises affecting up to 18 million people. Facing these different and significant crises in such a short period of time, humanitarian actors had to adapt rapidly and faced dilemmas that were new to them in the context of Pakistan.
The report provides an overview of Israeli policy toward African migrants and asylum seekers, routes taken to Israel, experience with Bedouin smugglers, employment opportunities, legal status, protection issues, and the role of remittances in repaying smuggling debt to family and friends in the diaspora.
Winning Hearts and Minds? Examining the Relationship between Aid and Security in Afghanistan’s Faryab Province
This second provincial case study examines the drivers of insecurity, characteristics of aid projects and aid implementers, and effects of aid projects on the popularity of aid actors and on security in an area of Afghanistan which has been among the most peaceful, but which has significant pockets of insecurity.
Linking Poor Rural Households to Microfinance & Markets in Ethiopia: Baseline and Mid-term Assessment of the PSNP Plus Project in Sire and Dodota
This report presents the results from a baseline assessment of the PSNP Plus project in Sire and Dodota woreda's in the Oromiya region of Ethiopia. These assessments are part of a broader longitudinal impact study of the PSNP Plus project, which targets poor, rural households in food insecure areas that benefit from the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP).
Based on fieldwork from August 2010, this paper examines livelihoods, food security, and security in the northern Karamoja districts of Kotido and Kaabong, and seeks to understand the livelihood adaptations of communities and households to recent changes caused by internal stresses and external shocks.
Winning Hearts and Minds in Afghanistan? Examining the Relationship between Aid and Security in Balkh Province
Afghanistan has been a testing ground for a key aspect of counterinsurgency doctrine, namely that humanitarian and development projects can help to bring or maintain security in strategically important environments, and by "winning hearts and minds" undermine support for radical, insurgent, or terrorist groups.
Moving Up or Moving Out? A Rapid Livelihoods and Conflict Analysis in Mieso-Mulu Woreda, Shinile Zone, Somali Region, Ethiopia
The pastoralists of Shinile Zone in the Somali Region of Ethiopia experience multiple livelihoods challenges and various types of conflict. Among international NGOs in the area, there is increasing interest in better integration of livelihoods and conflict programs, within long-term strategic frameworks.
The people of Somalia have experienced two decades of humanitarian crisis. This briefing paper explores the policy and operational implications of the current crises and the challenges to humanitarian action in the country.
The Center's scope of work has expanded in 2009-10 while staying focused on the subject matter of marginal communities and crisis.
Foraging and Fighting: Community Perspectives on Natural Resources and Conflict in Southern Karamoja
This joint publication by the Feinstein International Center and Save the Children in Uganda examines the perspectives and experiences of communities in the southern Karamoja region of Uganda regarding natural resources and conflict. The study set out to better understand local views on this topic in response to the assumption in policy circles that resource scarcity or competition drives the conflict in this pastoral and agro-pastoral area.
Towards a "Great Transformation"? The Maoist Insurgency and Local Perceptions of Social Transformation in Nepal
This report presents the findings of a two-year field research project on local perceptions of social transformation in rural Nepal. Alongside the political transition, there is clear evidence of a qualitative "step-change" in the way Nepali society is organized. Field evidence clearly suggests that many existing social norms and patterns are being challenged and are being reconstructed. However, the political economy of survival in rural Nepal has not changed dramatically.
This study by a team from the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME) at the Fletcher School at Tufts University explores the ubiquity of gambling practices in Haiti and their implication for financial services. As findings indicate, the Haitian lottery, known as the borlette, appears as a historical and cultural response to economic and social marginalization, as well as a manifestation of undeterred hope for a transformational lump sum.
Based on data collected in January 2010 through focus groups and household-level interviews in Tsaeda Amba woreda, this assessment depicts the breadth of institutional constraints to risk reduction and livelihood security. Major areas of findings include access to land and natural resources, credit and the risks of default, and traditional practices and institutions.
This briefing paper summarizes the key issues and dynamics that have shaped the humanitarian experience in Sri Lanka and draws lessons that, if learned, may help inform humanitarian engagement in other international contexts.
This publication expands on the briefing paper on Afghanistan issued in March 2009, taking into account developments in the past year. It is based on some 40 interviews with UN and NGO aid agency staff, donors, a selection of Afghan government officials, and Afghan intellectuals and analysts in Kabul in January and March 2010. An earlier draft was circulated in Kabul in late March 2010 as an input into a workshop for aid agencies and donors hosted by ACBAR and supported by OFDA and UN-OCHA.
Linking Poor Rural Households to Microfinance and Markets in Ethiopia: Baseline and Mid-term Assessment of the PSNP Plus Project in Doba
This report presents the findings of the first two stages of an assessment of the PSNP Plus project in Doba woreda in West Hararghe. These assessments are part of a broader longitudinal impact study of the PSNP Plus project, which targets poor, rural households in food insecure areas that benefit from the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP).
This study, commissioned by the UK's Enhancing Learning and Research for Humanitarian Assistance project (ELRHA) and carried out by the Feinstein International Center in collaboration with RedR, comes after a decade in which the humanitarian enterprise has sought to develop global standards, codes and representative bodies, and amid increasing momentum for creating a global system for professional development, accreditation and association.
Livestock Exports from the Horn of Africa: An Analysis of Benefits by Pastoralist Wealth Group and Policy Implications
Support to the export of pastoralist livestock from the Horn of Africa is often viewed by aid organizations as a key poverty reduction strategy. Drawing on existing literature and field research in Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan, this report examines if and how different wealth groups benefit from the export trade.
This case study on Kenya, researched and written by Mark Bradbury and Michael Kleinman, is the first in a series of publications presenting the findings of a two-year FIC comparative study on the relationship between aid and security in northeastern Kenya and in five provinces of Afghanistan. The overall study has focused in particular on trying to determine the effectiveness of aid in promoting stabilization and security objectives, including by helping to "win hearts and minds" of local populations.
One of the most significant problems facing a disaster-affected population is the need for ready cash. In a post-disaster context cash is difficult to come by for a variety of reasons. A useful approach then, to enable recovery and reduce risk, is to identify effective ways to enable households to access (or hold onto) a lump sum of ready cash. This paper outlines the meaning of household financial resilience and its relationship to the household's cash position.
This Practitioners' Guide to the Future serves as the culmination of the Humanitarian Horizons project, commissioned by the members of the Inter-Agency Working Group and implemented jointly by the Feinstein International Center (FIC) and the Humanitarian Futures Programme (HFP) of King's College, London.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programs encompass many different kinds of activities, but share the fundamental objective of enhancing the capacity of vulnerable communities to identify, reduce and manage risk, whether it be at the local, regional or national level. Ethiopia is one of the most food-insecure countries in the world, but only recently has the food security problem begun to be understood in terms of a complete analysis of livelihoods, rather than simply a food supply problem.
Drawing upon extensive field research in the region and informed by additional field study dating back to the mid-1990s, the study calls renewed attention to the politicization and instrumentalization of humanitarian action and to serious shortcomings in donor behaviour measured against their own undertakings to Good Humanitarian Donorship.
Nutrition and mortality indicators have long been used to guide decision-makers in humanitarian and development programmes. This study provides guidance to IPC practitioners on the significance and use of nutrition and mortality indicators for the classification of different food security phases.
The Humanitarian Horizons project is a futures capacity-building initiative intended to assist the humanitarian sector to prepare for the complexities of the future by enabling organizations to enhance their anticipatory and adaptive capacities. The first step in this process is the exploration of four futures-related drivers widely expected to have an impact on humanitarian crises and responses to them.
Milk Matters: The Role and Value of Milk in the Diets of Somali Pastoralist Children in Liben and Shinile, Ethiopia
Based on work conducted in Shinile and Liben Zones of Somali Region Ethiopia, this study aimed to ask pastoralist women and men what they think about important causes of child malnutrition, links between child nutritional status and animal milk supply, and "best bet" interventions for addressing malnutrition in their communities.
This last year has proved an extraordinarily productive year for the Center. We have 34 active research projects across five major programs, carrying out research globally and in 12 countries.
More impressive than the numbers, however, has been the impact of our research on policy and programming in crisis-affected areas.
Based on field work conducted in April 2009 in Moroto and Kotido Districts, Changing Roles, Shifting Risks examines the experiences and perceptions of communities of the present disarmament campaign carried out by the Uganda People's Defence Force and the Government of Uganda.
The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) launched its "People's War" in 1996, and the Maoists' rise to power was impressive by any standard. At the same time, foreign aid has been a fixture of Nepal's development efforts since the 1950s. How did these two realities – the insurgency and foreign aid – interact?
Livelihoods, Migration and Conflict: Discussion of Findings from Two Studies in West and North Darfur, 2006 - 2007
This briefing paper discusses findings from a study conducted in Darfur from 2006-8 that explored the changing role of migration and remittances in the livelihoods of conflict-affected people.
Can community-based approaches to the targeting of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies improve participation and reduce targeting error? Although the literature suggests that community-based targeting works best in slow-onset emergencies with no conflict or displacement, participatory approaches to targeting assistance have been attempted in complex emergencies, either directly (through elected relief committees) or indirectly (often through unelected but representative leaders)