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  • Author: Dyan Mazurana, Anastasia Marshak
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The United Nations and its partner agencies have pledged to focus on the problem and eradication of early, child, and forced marriage. On November 12, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution on child, early, and forced marriage. As part of this resolution, the General Assembly highlighted the need for better data collection and disaggregation of that data for improved analysis and learning. This report is a comprehensive and user-friendly concept note for a database on child marriage in humanitarian settings, a first step in eradicating the problem. The report identifies the existing knowledge and data on child marriage in humanitarian settings, gaps in that evidence base, and provides recommendations for moving forward with the creation of a comprehensive database. The authors interviewed key stakeholders on child marriage across program, policy, and academia in combination with a comprehensive literature review. The report was commissioned and funded by Save the Children U.S.
  • Topic: Health, Human Rights, Humanitarian Aid, United Nations, Children, Basic Data, Humanitarian Intervention
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Africa, Global Focus
  • Author: Daniel Maxwell, Peter Hailey
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Despite humanitarian information being more available than ever, confusion persists as to what the information means, how to analyze it and turn it into actionable evidence, and how to ensure that evidence-based actions are actually undertaken on a timely basis. The key points of confusion and issues include: The difference between current status information, projections of populations in need, and early warning of threats or hazards. The difference between “hard” numbers (implying things that have already happened and can be counted) versus probabilistic information (implying things that are likely, but not certain, to happen). Linkages, or the lack thereof, between information systems and policy or programmatic action to anticipate, mitigate, or respond to a shock or worsening situation. Despite the fact that conflict is the most common factor driving extreme humanitarian crises, conflict analysis is the weakest part of early warning and information systems. The information systems do not (or minimally) engage with the communities at risk of shocks or resulting humanitarian crises. This paper reviews these and a number of additional issues with contemporary humanitarian information and early warning systems. While the cases focus on the East Africa region, they have broader implications as well.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, North Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Daniel Maxwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Attention to the growing number of people caught in crises characterized by extreme and often protracted levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, and mortality is increasing. The information systems that track these conditions and inform humanitarian decision-making have expanded substantially in the past two decades and in many cases have reached a degree of unprecedented sophistication. These famine early warning systems have become increasingly sophisticated in the past decade, but they still tend to be based on several assumptions that are important to understand. This paper briefly describes existing famine early warning systems and outlines some of the assumptions on which they are based— both in theory and in practice. Then it gives four brief case studies of recent famine or “famine-like” events and pieces together the formal analysis process with an attempt to reconstruct events on the ground from a conflict analysis perspective—highlighting the extent to which the formal famine analysis did or did not deal with conflict analyses and the political kryptonite around the discussion of “intent.” It closes with a summary of gaps in the current system and an assessment of the risks of trying to address those gaps through famine EWS or alternative means.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Middle East, Yemen, North Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Maha Abdullah, Joy Al-Nemri, Emily Goldman, Ian James
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: New Britain, Connecticut has a long history of immigration. This report focuses on the experiences of newly arrived Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees from Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Yemen, and Morocco. The Arab population of New Britain has increased faster than other migrant populations over the last eight years, from 161 in 2010 to 733 in 2017. As of December 2018, there were approximately 260 Arabic-speaking families living in New Britain. The services in the city have taken notice and are starting to make changes to meet the needs of New Britain’s Arabic-speaking populations. Educators and employees of nonprofits told us that their organizations are still collecting data about New Britain’s Arabic-speaking community and trying to understand the specific needs of Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees. Our research focuses on the organizations involved in the resettlement process and individuals’ experiences with the resettlement process. New Britain is a city with a well-documented history of welcoming immigrants, and the ways in which that history is remembered affect how refugees and immigrants adapt today.
  • Topic: Migration, Refugees
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Syria
  • 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: Elizabeth Stites, Frank Muhereza, Claire McGillem
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This paper examines the parallel but separate trajectories of peace-building, transformation, and livelihood recovery in northern (Acholi and Lango sub-regions) and northeastern (Karamoja sub-region) Uganda over the past 15 years. While keeping in mind the key differences in these areas, we highlight the similarities in the nature of recovery, the continuing challenges and the need for external actors to keep in mind the ongoing tensions and vulnerability that could undermine the tenuous peace. Challenges to recovery and long-term stability are similar across the two locations. Both northern Uganda and Karamoja continue to struggle with food insecurity and malnutrition, despite the massive influx of development funds, improved security and expansion of markets. In northern Uganda, the conflict continues to influence household livelihoods. Households that have a member who experienced war crimes are consistently worse off. These continuing problems with food security and nutrition call into question many assumptions about recovery and development. In particular, the idea that peace will bring a natural bounce in economic and household well-being does not appear to hold up in these cases.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Conflict Prevention, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda
  • 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: Elizabeth Stites, Anastasia Marshak, Niharika Betkerur, Sarah Carson, Mackenzie Seaman, Erica Shaps
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: This paper synthesizes findings from four studies on youth migration and resilience in different urban contexts. This work emerges from a collaboration between Save the Children US (Save US) and Feinstein International Center, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. The study entailed mixed-methods research by four students in the second year of their Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) degrees at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Save US sought out the opportunity to generate evidence on populations of interest through in-depth and independent student research. In particular, Save US was interested in better understanding the experiences of youth migrants who were not currently benefiting from the programming and services of aid organizations. This interest originated from the assumption that such youth may be more marginalized than those who are directly participating in programming.
  • Topic: Security, Humanitarian Aid, Migration, Urbanization, Children, Refugees
  • Political Geography: Uganda, India, Ethiopia, Austria