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Abstract: This paper reports the results of a study undertaken during 2012 by Tufts University for the Assessment Capacities Project (ACAPS), as part of the latter’s “Operational Learning” strand of work. This study is designed to complement the work of ACAPS on strengthening needs assessment by addressing the question of how assessments and other sources of information and analysis are used by humanitarian decision makers. The study is based on a combination of literature review, case studies, and key informant interviews.
The pressure to demonstrate that responses and claims about impact are grounded in evidence has been growing over recent years. Humanitarian donors are increasingly under similar pressures to demonstrate effectiveness and account for impact. This is partly a matter of showing that their decisions regarding policies and programs are well-founded and evidence-based. But, humanitarian contexts are almost by definition ‘‘non-ideal” for gathering data. Decisions often have to be made quickly, sometimes with relatively little access to current information or accurate data. The question about informed decision making may therefore come down to what constitutes a “well enough” informed decision in the circumstances; or what constitutes “good enough” information and analysis on which to base a response. Whatever the quality of information, no assumption can be made that the increased availability of good information and analysis will in itself result in better informed decisions. In reviewing the way decisions are made in practice, the study considers the ways in which such information is used (or not) at different points in the process, which varies across different kinds of decisions in different contexts.
The study is based around three main questions. First, how do decision makers in the humanitarian sector currently use information and analysis? Second, what factors, other than information and analysis, are influential in making decisions? Third, what would enable better-informed response decisions? In order to address these overarching questions, the study looks first at some of the main processes of decision-making in the humanitarian sector and the factors that appear to have most influence on decisions of different kinds. It goes on to look at the way information and analysis is currently generated in the humanitarian sector—both through formal and informal means—and related questions of relevance and credibility. These two topics are then brought together in addressing the question of the use of information by decision makers, and what might enable more informed and evidence-based response decisions.
Abstract: Farmers and herders in arid regions of Africa face serious challenges in adapting to climate change and variability. They are highly exposed to climate stresses, especially drought, but adaptation to climate change is far from being a clear-cut biophysical or technical problem: it is also a social challenge.
Although communities in semi-arid zones have organized their cultures and livelihoods around uncertainty and the risk of drought, climate predictions indicate that new extremes will be a real challenge to their capacity to adapt. This report looks at the role of local social institutions in Ethiopia and Mali and their role in adaptation.
Abstract: This 39-page report is based on five research missions to the hard-to-access rebel-held areas in the two states and to refugee camps in South Sudan. It documents the government’s indiscriminate bombing and other attacks on civilians since conflict between the government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army-North (SPLA-N) broke out in June 2011 in Southern Kordofan following disputed state elections. The report also describes the effect of Sudan’s refusal to allow humanitarian assistance into rebel-held areas. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced inside the two states, surviving on very little, while more than 200,000 have fled to refugee camps in South Sudan and Ethiopia.
Abstract: There is growing interest in the role of policy reforms to promote gender equality and empower women, two key objectives of development policy. From a policy perspective, it would be ideal for reforms undertaken in different policy areas to be consistent, so that they reinforce each other in improving gender equity. We use data from the Ethiopian Rural Household Survey (ERHS) to show how two seemingly unrelated reforms—community-based land registration, undertaken since 2003, and changes in the Family Code implemented in 2000—may have created conditions for mutually reinforcing gender-sensitive reforms. Our analysis confirms previous studies’ findings of gender gaps in awareness and information about the land registration process. Male-headed households are, on average, more likely to have heard about the process, to have attended meetings (and a greater number of meetings), and to have received some written material with information about the process. Having female members in the Land Administration Committee (LAC) has a positive impact on attendance at meetings relating to land registration. In our analysis of the changes in the family law, we find that awareness about the land registration process is positively correlated with the shift in perceptions toward equal division of land and livestock upon divorce. The presence of female members in the LAC also has a positive effect on the shift in perceptions toward a more equal division of assets upon divorce. Taken together, these findings suggest that the land registration process and the reform of the Family Code may have mutually reinforcing effects on women’s rights and welfare. While this example is obviously rooted in the Ethiopian context, it raises the possibility that similar reform efforts may be complementary in other countries as well.
Abstract: In a prevailing atmosphere of lawlessness,
racism and xenophobia, undocumented
foreign nationals in Libya are at continuous
risk of exploitation, arbitrary and indefinite
detention in harsh conditions, as well as
beatings, sometimes amounting to torture.
Despite the risks, large numbers of foreign
nationals continue to arrive in Libya through
its porous borders, fleeing war or
persecution or searching for better
economic opportunities. People from
countries such as Burkina Faso, Cameroon,
Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger,
Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan make long,
dangerous and expensive journeys, crossing
into Kufra in the south-east or Sabha in the
south-west. Some embark on further
perilous journeys across the Mediterranean
to reach Europe. Many perish at sea. Others
are intercepted by the Libyan coastguard
and placed in indefinite detention.
Abstract: The death of Meles Zenawi in August 2012 has raised a number of questions about Ethiopia's political stability and development trajectory. Meles built up a complex web of relationships that conjoined domestic political forces with foreign investors, leading the country towards impressive rates of growth and substantial achievement of some development indicators.
Under his rule Ethiopia's national image began a slow transformation from famine-plagued nation to a fast-growing country which was at the heart of a new global realpolitik in Africa. The challenge now is whether Ethiopia's institutions, dominated at all levels by a single party, can transition to greater pluralism and, if so, will this enable the country to approach middle-income status by 2025 – a much-vaunted goal of the late Prime Minister.
HAITI: The Social Bond, Conflict and Violence in Haiti
CHILDREN'S HEALTH: Armed Conflict and Children’s Health: Exploring New Directions: The Case of Kashmir
POST-CONFLICT REINTEGRATION: A Framework Document for Evidence-Based Programme Design on Reintegration
SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN THE DRC: A Congolese Community-based Health Program for Survivors of Sexual Violence
HUMAN RIGHTS IN BURMA: Bitter Wounds and Lost Dreams: Human Rights under Assault in Karen State, Burma
NATURAL RESOURCES: Resources, Risk and Resilience: Scarcity and Climate Change in Ethiopia
PEACEBUILDING: Peace Held Hostage in Sri Lanka
JUSTICE: Soldering the Link: The UN Global Focal Point for Police, Justice, and Correction
CRIMINAL NETWORKS & CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Security Management in Northern Mali: Criminal Networks and Conflict Resolution Mechanisms
INSECURITY IN SOMALIA: Mogadishu Rising? Conflict and Governance Dynamics in the Somali Capital
CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION: Briefing Note: Winning Hearts and Minds in Uruzgan Province
Abstract: In July 2011 the Horn of Africa region was affected by one of the worst droughts in decades with an estimated 12.4 million people reported to be in urgent need of food. Plan International (Plan) mobilised its teams in Ethiopia, Kenya and South Sudan to respond to the drought in the three countries where it is involved in long-term development work.
By June 3O, 2012 we had raised US$28, 8 million from our donors to help those affected by the drought and to date US$13,7 million has been spent helping the affected people, in particular children, recover and rebuild their communities. The balance of the funds will continue to support affected families, children and their communities over the coming months as part of our post emergence interventions.
One year on, our emergency response interventions have reached nearly 1.2 million people, mostly children, in Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. Our efforts will continue to touch the lives of many more vulnerable communities in the months ahead.
In the aftermath of the drought, Plan partnered with local organisations to help the affected communities, especially children, recover from the calamity through a variety of projects. Plan provided food to communities, supplementary feeding in schools and health centres, water as well as health and sanitation training and facilities.
Abstract: State level diaspora engagement policies have gained
popularity in the last decade as states increasingly seek to
capitalize on the resources that migrants can offer their
country of origin (Levitt, 2001). It has become widely
accepted that Diaspora members can offer gains to the
countries of origin for economic and social development.
The greatest focus in this area has been on international
remittance fl ows, but knowledge transfer programmes and
general Diaspora investment is gaining popularity. Ethiopia
has been implementing Diaspora engagement policies and
establishing government institutions to engage the Diaspora
over the past decade. Although their policies are not as
advanced as historic migration states such as Mexico or India,
they are one of the most progressive in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The purpose of this policy brief is to give a brief out-line of
the diaspora engagement policies in Ethiopia. This brief is
based on an in-depth policy review, individual interviews with
Ethiopian Government representatives and international
organizations, and observations and insights gained at the
Dialogue on Mediterranean Transit Migration (MTM) Final
Conference in Addis Ababa.
Abstract: The Women’s Refugee Commission completed a research mission to the Jijiga Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia in April 2012. The research mission was the first of three such missions, which are part of a threeyear global advocacy research project aimed at enhancing the safety and resilience of adolescent girls ages 10 to 16. The purpose of the three-week visit to Ethiopia was to assess Somali refugee adolescent girls’ protection and empowerment needs and priorities; learn what programs and community-based strategies appear to be serving them; appraise gaps in services from girls’ perspectives; and identify potential local partners that could implement an innovative pilot project focused on enhancing girls‘ safety.
During the visit, the Women’s Refugee Commission first met with staff of government, UN and civil society agencies working with refugees in Addis Ababa and Jijiga (the regional capital of the Somali Region State) to learn about the operational context. We then traveled to the Sheder and Aw Barre refugee camps near Jijiga, where we conducted focus group discussions and individual interviews with 86 Somali refugee adolescent girls, 24 refugee adolescent boys and 25 refugee women and men community leaders. We listened to Somali refugee girls, boys, women and men to learn what measures will enable refugee adolescent girls to safely become resilient, self-reliant, healthy young women and leaders in their families and communities.
Abstract: The death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who had not been seen in public for several months, was announced on 20 August 2012 by Ethiopian state television. The passing of the man who has been Ethiopia’s epicentre for 21 years will have profound national and regional consequences. Meles engineered one-party rule in effect for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and his Tigrayan inner circle, with the complicity of other ethnic elites that were co-opted into the ruling alliance, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The Front promised freedom, democracy and ethnic devolution but is highly centralised, tightly controls the economy and suppresses political, social, ethnic and religious liberties. In recent years, Meles had relied ever more on repression to quell growing dissent. His successor will lead a weaker regime that struggles to manage increasing unrest unless it truly implements ethnic federalism and institutes fundamental governance reform. The international community should seek to influence the transition actively because it has a major interest in the country’s stability.
Despite his authoritarianism and poor human rights records, Meles became an important asset to the international community, a staunch Western ally in counter-terrorism efforts in the region and a valued development partner for Western and emerging powers. In consequence, Ethiopia has become the biggest aid recipient in Africa, though Meles’s government was only able to partially stabilise either the country or region.
Abstract: Global concern is currently mounting once more about the impacts of a more resource-scarce world, with particular attention focused at present on the risks of a renewed global food price spike following a spate of extreme weather in the US and around the world. Corn and soyabean prices last week broke the record they had set during the 2008 food spike, while wheat prices have increased by 50% over just the last five weeks.
These global trends have the potential to cause major problems for a country like Ethiopia, where wheat is by far the country’s biggest import by value. Against this backdrop, CIC is today publishing Resources, Risks and Resilience: Scarcity and climate change in Ethiopia, by CIC senior fellow Alex Evans, sets out a daunting set of scarcity-driven challenges for Ethiopia – but also a hopeful vision of how the government, and its international partners, can work to manage scarcity risks while taking advantage of new opportunities.
Among Ethiopia’s key challenges are low agricultural yields and farm sizes, major exposure to drought, limited access to energy, and high dependence on imported oil and food. The report also highlights how these challenges will be magnified by high rates of population and economic growth, which will increase demand for resources, as well as intensifying climate change impacts.
Ethiopia’s government is well aware of the challenges it faces, and has put in place a battery of policies to address them – including, notably, the breathtaking ambition of becoming a middle income country by 2025 with zero net growth in greenhouse gas emissions. The report discusses these policies in detail, and also assesses a range of vulnerabilities, policy gaps and exogenous risks that will need to be taken account of in future planning by the government and its international partners. It concludes by setting out a ten point agenda on how Ethiopia’s government and partners can improve their performance in managing scarcity issues.
Abstract: Contemporary Africa is faced with the reality of numerous evolving states that have to grapple with the inevitability of conflict. On their own, the fledgling institutions in these states cannot cope with the huge demands unleashed by everyday conflict. It is within this context that the complementarity between traditional institutions and the modern state becomes not only observable but also imperative.
Includes: "Conflict resolution under the Ekika system of the Baganda in Uganda" by Ashad Sentongo and Andrea Bartoli "Local conflict resolution in Rwanda: The case of abunzi mediators" br Martha Mutisi "Traditional authority and modern hegemony: Peacemaking in the Afar region of Ethiopia" by Kwesi Sansculotte-Greenidge and Demessie Fantaye "From war to peace and reconciliation in Darfur, Sudan: Prospects for the Judiyya" by Abdullahi Osman El-Tom "Customary mediation in resource scarcities and conflicts in Sudan: Making a case for the Judiyya" by Salomé Bronkhorst
Abstract: Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front [EPRDF] have ruled Ethiopia since 1991. In 1994, the Government of Ethiopia [GOE] became a signatory to the U.N. Convention on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Punishment, incorporated the language of the Convention into its constitution, and subsequently criminalized all acts of torture committed in the country. Over the past two decades there has been a widening gap between law and practice, with numerous reports of torture of dissidents in conflict zones [the Ogaden area of Somali, and Gambella regions], and elsewhere in the country. This report is a detailed analysis of the alleged torture history, and the physical and psychological findings from forensic examination of 102 asylum seekers in the United States who presented credible evidence that they were tortured in Ethiopia. This study is unique because it is the first comprehensive medical forensic analysis of a cohort of asylum seekers from Ethiopia, a country whose officials deny that it engages in torture, and cruel and degrading practices.
This study confirms the growing body of evidence that torture is widespread, systemic and committed with impunity by GOE officials, police, and the military to control opposition to the EPRDF. The arrests and the alleged torture described by our patients were entirely extrajudicial, with no charges being made, often resulting in long detentions, and prisoners denied access to counsel and the courts. It is evident from the statement of the U.N. Committee Against Torture in 2010, that the GOE is in violation of the Convention on Torture, including article , which requires signatories to take action to prevent acts of torture. This situation is likely to worsen with the passage of the 2009 Anti-Terrorism Law, which permits security officers and police to engage in torture rather than criminalize it, and the Charities and Societies Law which weakens monitoring of abuses committed in prison. It is in the United States’ interest to move away from its policy of “quiet diplomacy” towards Ethiopia, and in concert with its donor partners, leverage the enormous amount of development aid given to Ethiopia to force it to uphold and comply with the articles and principles of the Convention.
Abstract: This report documents how government security forces are forcing communities to relocate from their traditional lands through violence and intimidation, threatening their entire way of life with no compensation or choice of alternative livelihoods. Government officials have carried out arbitrary arrests and detentions, beatings, and other violence against residents of the Lower Omo valley who questioned or resisted the development plans.
Abstract: Human Security Research is a monthly publication by the Human Security Report Project (HSRP) which compiles the latest human security-related research published by university research institutes, think-tanks, governments, IGOs and NGOs.
In this special issue, the HSRP highlights publications discussing the relationship between climate change and security. The contents are:
HUMAN SECURITY: Climate Change, Human Security and Violent Conflict
FRAGILITY: Climate Change, Conflict and Fragility: Understanding the Linkages, Shaping Effective Responses
ARMED CONFLICT: Climate Change, the Environment, and Armed Conflict
RESOURCE COMPETITION: Competition Over Resources: Drivers of Insecurity and the Global South
SCARCITY: Resource Scarcity, Climate Change and the Risk of Violent Conflict
PEACEBUILDING: Environmental Peacebuilding: Managing Natural Resource Conflicts in a Changing World
GENDER: Gender, Climate Change and Human Security Lessons from Bangladesh, Ghana and Senegal
MIGRATION: Human Security, Climate Change and Environmentally Induced Migration
MIDDLE EAST: The Blue Peace: Rethinking Middle East Water
NORTH AFRICA: Mapping Climate Change and Security in North Africa
NIGER BASIN: Climate Change, Water and Conflict in the Niger River Basin
AFRICA: After the Rain: Rainfall Variability, Hydro-Meteorological Disasters, and Social Conflict in Africa
INTERNATIONAL RIVER BASINS: A Geographical Curse? Asymmetries and the Risk of Conflict in International River Basins
SOUTHEAST ASIA: Climate Change and Migration in Southeast Asia: Responding to a New Human Security Challenge
Abstract: After the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in January 2009 and the almost inevitable total collapse of the so-called Transitional Federal Government, Somalia will once again be stateless, but probably in a much worse state than if nobody had tried to construct a state in the first place. In the brief, the confrontation between the impotent government and its opponents is analyzed, as are the roles of Ethiopia and other external actors, followed by a prediction of the future which may well be much less bleak than is often assumed.
Abstract: 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. While recognizing the critical role of education in the development of the region, the analysis questions a causal framework in which improved education alone will lead to short-term or long-term conflict transformation. This finding is related to the deep-rooted and complex causes of conflict in the region, and the reality that current education services do not engage directly with the main conflict actors. The report makes recommendations for reshaping education strategies to enhance possible impact on conflict.
Abstract: East Africa and the Horn face a number of transnational security threats, including terrorism, transnational crime, and
piracy. In recent years, particularly following the July 2010 attacks in Kampala, al-Shabaab has been increasingly viewed as
a threat not only to Somalia, but to the greater subregion. Tourism has declined and shipping costs have risen due to the
threat of piracy from Somalia. Lawless pockets where government reach is weak, together with rampant corruption, have
turned the region into a major transit point for black market financial flows and various forms of illicit trafficking.
Terrorism and transnational crime increasingly threaten security in the subregion of the Intergovernmental Authority on
Development [IGAD]. Because of their transnational nature, no individual IGAD member state will single-handedly be
able to deal effectively with these threats. As the IGAD Security Strategy adopted in December 2010 makes clear, effective
cooperation will be crucial to winning the struggle against terrorism and to ensuring that other forms of transnational crime
do not similarly jeopardize the IGAD subregion’s growth, prosperity, and stability.
Abstract: Money laundering and terrorist financing are major, interconnected problems for East Africa and the Horn. As the World
Bank’s World Development Report 2011 makes clear, they pose a significant threat not only to security but also to development.
Both the Financial Action Task Force [FATF] and the Eastern and Southern Africa Anti-Money Laundering Group
[ESAAMLG] have identified a number of states in the subregion as demonstrating weak implementation of international
standards on anti–money laundering [AML] and countering the financing of terrorism [CFT]. Some states in the subregion
(Ethiopia and Kenya) have even been placed within the FATF International Cooperation Review Group [ICRG] process,
which can ultimately lead to obstacles to engagement with the international financial system. There is consequently a growing
recognition that states in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development [IGAD] subregion stand to benefit in multiple
ways from a more concerted effort to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. There is also, however, a chronic
limitation of data and knowledge about the problems of money laundering and terrorist financing and about AML/CFT
vulnerabilities, risks, and capacities in the subregion. States of the subregion have their own specific vulnerabilities, challenges,
weaknesses, and strengths, even as they share certain cross-cutting challenges.
In this Baseline Study, the IGAD Security Sector Program [ISSP] and the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation
[CGCC] set out with support from the Royal Government of Denmark to provide a more detailed and nuanced analysis of AML/
CFT challenges and opportunities in the IGAD region, to inform a better allocation of resources to risk and to potential return
on investment. The study is a joint effort developed in response to repeated requests by the ISSP’s and the CGCC’s governmental,
intergovernmental, private sector, and civil society partners in the subregion who sought assistance in obtaining baseline data
about money laundering risks and AML capacity in the region and guidance on the data’s potential use for CFT efforts.
Abstract: This report describes the progress the nation has been making
to accelerate investments in girls and boys, examines the
current situation, and looks at the prospects for acceleration
as a fundamental expression of national transformation. It
shows that this generation, on balance, is investing more to
realize the rights of each individual child than ever before.
The extraordinary pace of economic growth over the last
decade is an opportunity to pause, look at the current situation
and discuss the balance in investment between human
capital and other forms of capital and within investment
strategies for children look and see where there is room to
accelerate the quest for quality in some of the weaker areas.
Abstract: Africa has many more internally displaced persons than refugees – in fact, there are nearly five times as many IDPs. As of late 2010, there were around 2 million refugees in sub-Saharan Africa while the corresponding figure for IDPs was around 11 million. But while there is a 60-year old convention on refugees and a dedicated UN agency to protect and assist refugees, the corresponding system for responding to internal displacement is much weaker. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement are widely recognized as the prevailing normative framework for IDPs and while these principles are drawn from binding international law, the Principles themselves are not a legally binding instrument. Nor is there a dedicated UN agency to address the needs of IDPs, though progress has been made in recent years in assigning responsibility for IDP issues to existing UN agencies. Rather it is the responsibility of national governments to protect and assist those displaced within the borders of their countries.
Abstract: The Ethiopian APRM process, which has been ongoing since
July 2007, took an important turn in January 2011 when the
country review team’s report and the plan of action were
presented at the 14th session of the APR Forum of heads
of state and government of participating countries following
the completion of the country’s self-assessment process.
No details of the presentation and eventual discussion were
made available to the media in Ethiopia except that the prime
minister of Ethiopia responded to the report presented by Mr
Akere Muna, the member of the Panel of Eminent Persons
responsible for the Ethiopian process. As of the end of
February, Ethiopia’s review report was not yet made public.
This is a review of the APRM self-assessment process
conducted in Ethiopia. The review identifies strengths
and weaknesses of the process and examines the level of
credibility and public participation. Through this evaluation,
the report analyses the level of involvement of the various
stakeholders in the implementation of the APRM and the
circumstances under which the process was carried out. The
report is specifically concerned with the nature, course and
outcome of civil society engagement and the political and
ideological imperatives behind it.
Abstract: With the current attention given to climate change and global warming, the issue of “environmental
security” is back high on the agenda of the international community. Environmental degradation is
increasingly considered as a potential cause for the [re-]emergence of violent conflicts due to
shrinking natural resources such as drinkable water and land. However, research on the issue has
shown that there is very little empirical evidence of a direct causal link between environmental
degradation and violent conflict. In order to set effective priorities for environmental peacebuilding,
it is important to understand - particularly in situations of environmental stress - how natural
resource conflicts are embedded in social and political dynamics, how they are managed by local
institutions, and how these institutional arrangements can be supported through outside
intervention. Based on a research project conducted by swisspeace within the framework of the
NCCR North-South, the swisspeace annual conference 2007 explored those complex linkages and
formulated entry points for improving intervention strategies by external actors.
Abstract: Security threats in Africa’s Sahel region, spanning the northern tier of the African continent, have existed for decades. However, in recent years security analysts have focused their attention on the increasingly sophisticated attacks by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the now al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab based in Somalia and the insurgent group Boko Haram based in northern Nigeria. Increased fighting in this “arc of instability” as well as changing tactics among insurgent and terrorist groups might reveal a growing relationship1 between these groups and as a result pose a greater risk for instability not only in the region but for the international community. The following report will provide a brief review of AQIM, Boko Haram and al Shabaab in the Sahel region based upon open source reports and will also highlight potential linkages.