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  • Author: Helen Young, Elizabeth Stites, Anastasia Marshak
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This is the third in a series of three briefing papers that form part of the Mind the Gap: Bridging the Research, Policy, and Practice Divide to Enhance Livelihood Resilience in Conflict Settings project. The first two briefing papers accompany regional case-study reports on Chad, South Sudan and the Sudan, and on Uganda that challenge many long-held assumptions about nutrition and livelihoods in countries struggling to recover from conflict, violence and fragility. FAO reviewed these regional case-studies on resilience and vulnerability at a two-day high-level workshop in Rome in November 2018. This brief summarizes the report highlights on the resilience and vulnerability of populations affected by conflict, including insights from the workshop participants and some implications for policies, programs, and future research.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, Sudan, North Africa, Chad, South Sudan
  • Author: Elizabeth Stites, Frank Muhereza, Claire McGillem
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This is the second in a series of three briefing papers that form part of the Mind the Gap: Bridging the Research, Policy, and Practice Divide to Enhance Livelihood Resilience in Conflict Settings project. This briefing paper accompanies a report that examines the parallel but separate trajectories of peace-building, recovery, and transformation over post-conflict periods in northern (Acholi and Lango subregions) and northeastern (Karamoja) Uganda. Parallels between these areas include a history of marginalization from the central state, underdevelopment and endemic poverty, and vulnerability to climate change and crossborder incursions. We argue that throughout the post-conflict periods, the initial peace processes in both locations were largely top-down in nature, with little participation from the affected populations. While keeping in mind the key differences in these areas, we highlight the nature of recovery, the ongoing challenges, and the need for external actors to be cognizant of the continuing fragility as they design policies and interventions for these locations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Food Security, Conflict, Pastorialism
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa, North Africa
  • Author: Helen Young, Anastasia Marshak, Aishwarya Venkat
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This report highlights major new findings on the seasonal patterns of child malnutrition and their links to climate variability, conflict, and livelihood systems in Chad, Sudan, and South Sudan. Contrary to long-held assumptions about acute malnutrition escalating in the lean season, our data show that there are two peaks of acute malnutrition. The first and larger peak occurs at the end of the dry season, followed later by a second, smaller peak after the lean season. Our analysis demonstrates a significant relationship between acute malnutrition, conflict trends, and environmental factors. The findings underscore the importance of environmental variability and the persistence of climate, conflict, and other shocks in relation to livelihood resilience and transformation over time. The findings raise specific considerations for data collection, future research, programming, and policy, which are detailed in the report and briefing paper.
  • Topic: Food, Children, Food Security, Youth, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Chad, South Sudan
  • Author: Kimberly Howe, Jairo Munive, Katja Rosenstock
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: “As local as possible, as international as necessary” has become the slogan of one of the latest trends in humanitarianism—localization. Since the World Humanitarian Summit of 2016, the localization agenda has been gaining momentum. While there are no internationally agreed upon definitions of localization, it generally refers to putting local actors at the center of the humanitarian system. While humanitarian actors assume that there are benefits to a localized response over those spearheaded by international agencies, it has not been well studied. Most reports are based on anecdotal evidence, describe lessons learned through the study individual projects, or are aspirational and normative in tone. Across publications, there is insufficient empirical evidence to determine the best way for the international humanitarian architecture to support local actors. The authors place the voices of local actors at the center of this research project, acknowledging that most literature favors international actors when studying localization of humanitarian action. This study interrogates the assumptions that underpin a localized response and identifies the factors that enable and hinder local actors in providing a high-quality, principled, and effective response in three countries in the Horn of Africa: Kenya, Somalia/Somaliland, and South Sudan.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, NGOs
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Anastasia Marshak, Nate Ives, Elizabeth Stites, Kimberly Howe, Barbara Athieno
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This report reflects findings from the baseline quantitative study of a four-year research project in the Karamoja sub-region of Uganda. We describe different aspects of wealth, such as animal-related wealth and farm-related wealth, and how they relate to two indices of wealth that we created as part of this study. We then examine how different wealth indices correlate with geographical and household characteristics, including food insecurity. We further explore market access and quality, and the relationship between these factors, Mercy Corps program layering, and wealth. The findings draw on survey research in a sample of Mercy Corps programming communities in Karamoja. A team from the Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in collaboration with Mercy Corps conducted this research between November 2018 and January 2019 as part of the USAID/FFP-funded Apolou Activity. Midline and endline data collection are expected to take place in 2019 and 2020. The overall study, which also consists of a qualitative component, explores how the recent transformations in the Karamoja sub-region, including expansion of markets, increase in trade, and monetization, are affecting households and communities.
  • Topic: Gender Issues, Children, Food Security
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Africa
  • Author: Daniel Temesga, Amdissa Teshome, Berhanu Admassu
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Traditional pastoral livelihoods have continued sustainably for generations using flexible adaptive responses to the climatic variability in Ethiopia’s Afar region. Recently, however, multifaceted driving forces such as demographic and policy changes, more extreme climate events, market changes have affected the capacity of the pastoral system to adapt. The study established that the traditional pastoral system has evolved into three major livelihood pathways, depending on the wealth status of the household: (1) pastoralism with commercialization of livestock; (2) livestock keeping along with income diversification; and (3) non-livestock alternative livelihoods. The report reviews the different types of alternative livelihoods in the region and makes recommendations for interventions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Gender Issues, Children, Youth
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Hussein Sulieman, Helen Young
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Earlier studies have shown that pastoralist mobility offers significant advantages in drylands by enabling herds to access the best-quality grazing over the course of a year. These patterns of mobility face many challenges and are changing. This study focuses on livestock movement in West Darfur, Sudan. It uses GPS tracking to illustrate mobility during the hot dry season and the rainy season. We find that compared with the past, grazing zones are retracting closer to home areas. The report proposes a typology of livestock movements and describes the ways in which herders are responding to challenges related to pasture, water, and conflict and also to livelihood activities. We present provisional recommendations to serve as the basis for further discussion.
  • Topic: Mobility, Pastorialism, Rural
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan
  • Author: Alex Humphrey, Vaidehi Krishnan, Roxani Krystalli
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The purpose of this report is to give aid actors insights into localized social protection and support systems in South Sudan and the ways in which humanitarian aid, including cash transfer programming, can both complement and disrupt these systems. In protracted crises in which formal governance structures are weak to nonexistent, people depend heavily on local systems—both social and economic—to get by, often more than they depend on external aid. Households and economic actors may rely on their friends, neighbors and extended families for food, access to economic opportunities, and negotiation of safe passage when fleeing from conflict. In addition to social support networks, markets have been shown to play a critical role in enabling crisis-affected populations to cope with and recover from conflict, displacement and disasters. This report describes variations in households’ social connectedness and their related abilities to benefit from local support systems. Additionally, it considers the different obligations that households and economic actors have to support others in their communities and whether such support is reciprocal. Findings are based on 67 qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted in October 2018 in Panyijar County (southern Unity State). Respondents included a diverse sample of households, economic actors and key informants.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Pastorialism
  • Political Geography: Africa, South Sudan