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  • Author: Obert Hodzi
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: With a few exceptions, armed civil wars are no longer commonplace in Africa, but anti-government protests are. Instead of armed rebels, unarmed civilians are challenging regimes across Africa to reconsider their governance practices and deliver both political and economic change. In their responses, regimes in countries like Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Rwanda, and Burundi have favored the combat mode—responding to dissent with military and repressive means. With few options, civilian movements look to the United States for protection and support while their governments look to China for reinforcement. If the United States seeks to reassert its influence in Africa and strengthen its democratic influence, its strategy needs to go beyond counterterrorism and respond to Africa’s pressing needs while supporting the African people in their quest for democracy and human rights.
  • Topic: Security, Conflict, State Violence, Civilians
  • Political Geography: Africa, China, Asia, North America, United States of America
  • Author: Élie Tenenbaum, Morgan Paglia, Nathalie Ruffié
  • Publication Date: 02-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Institut français des relations internationales (IFRI)
  • Abstract: France is one of the few nations in the world to benefit from a permanent global military presence. With more than 10,000 military personnel from all three services, deployed across the five continents and the three main oceanic basins, it benefits from the second largest network of prepositioned forces in the world. This global military posture is structured around five “presence forces”, based in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Djibouti and the United Arab Emirates, as well as five “sovereignty forces” in the dependent overseas territories of the Antilles, French Guyana, Southern Indian Ocean, New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Over the past twenty years, this unique force posture has been hit by a series of deep budgetary cuts, translating into staff reductions and persisting delays in equipment delivery. As a result, the current military presence is under serious strain, as some capability are now weighing on the ability of these prepositioned forces to contribute as much as they could to the five strategic functions reiterated in the 2017 Strategic Review. These considerations are all the more important given the coming demographic, climatic, economic, geopolitical, and of course military challenges that will dramatically constrain the operational environment of the French forces in the coming years.
  • Topic: Defense Policy, Military Strategy, Armed Forces, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, France, Latin America, Asia-Pacific
  • Author: Jacqueline M. Klopp, Abdullahi Boru Halakhe
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: Carbon politics is playing out in oil-producing African countries with lethal consequences. Countries like Nigeria, Angola, Sudan, and South Sudan are conflict-ridden and economically unequal, and, as climate change concerns clash with new fossil fuel-driven development efforts, carbon politics is taking on ever-greater significance. While the scramble for fossil fuels could increase authoritarianism as it spreads in East Africa, an ecologically-driven imperative to address climate change could reinforce stronger democratic institutions.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Development, Oil, Natural Resources, Democracy
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, Nigeria, Angola, East Africa, South Sudan
  • Author: Deborah P. Amory
  • Publication Date: 05-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Georgetown Journal of International Affairs
  • Abstract: The struggle for LGBTIQ rights in Kenya provides a unique and fascinating case study of the powerful social change taking place right now. On May 24, 2019, the High Court of Kenya will rule on whether to decriminalize same-sex relationships, which are currently punishable by up to fourteen years in prison. The court was originally scheduled to decide this case in February but delayed the ruling, citing mounds of documents that had still not been read. Activists pointed out that judges had already had several years to read the documents, and some worried that the delay was a sign of government interference with the judicial process.
  • Topic: Social Movement, Political Activism, Courts, LGBT+
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa
  • 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