What should we do differently when an ‘emergency’ lasts for 20 years?

Duncan Green - June 12, 2014

Second installment in my reflections on last week’s trip to the Eastern Congo The classic cliché of humanitarianism is the angel of mercy (usually white) jetting in to help the victims of a sudden catastrophe (earthquake, war, hurricane), helping them get back on their feet in a few months and then moving on to the next emergency. A whole structure of funding, organizations, policies and approaches …

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Impressions of humanitarianism (based on last week’s trip to the Eastern Congo)

Duncan Green - June 11, 2014

Blimey, that was hard work. Still recovering from a ‘getting to know the humanitarians’ visit to Eastern Congo last week, having my skeleton rearranged by bouncing around for hours on truly execrable roads, and my insides rearranged by some persistent DRC microbes (I’ll spare you the details). I’ve always worked on the long term development and advocacy side of development, so this was something of …

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How can aid agencies help citizens reduce risks and fight for their rights in the middle of a war zone? Draft paper for your comments

Duncan Green - May 13, 2014

Over the next few weeks, I will be picking your brains on the drafts of a series of case studies I’ve been working on. These draw from Oxfam’s experience of promoting ‘active citizenship’, broadly defined, and examine the theory of change, results, wider lessons etc. The final studies will be published later this year, after incorporating feedback. After the fantastic response to last week’s post …

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Love, death and violence against women in the DRC (and elsewhere): what are we missing?

admin - November 25, 2012

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, so expect a rash of stories about sexual violence in the DRC’s current conflict. Here Rachel Hastie, Oxfam’s protection adviser,  cautions against a simplistic ‘heart of darkness’ narrative, and argues for a more nuanced and human understanding of the phenomenon. There’s a lovely photograph in the atrium of the Oxfam office. It shows …

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Commodities of War: What the people without guns say about life, death and fear in the DR Congo

admin - November 20, 2012

I was supposed to be in the Democratic Republic of Congo this week, with today being devoted to visiting the Kanyaruchina camp (right) for ‘internally displaced people’ (IDPs) near Goma. Instead, the trip’s been cancelled, I am still in London and Kanyaruchina has been abandoned, as some 30,000 people have fled (again). The reason is the sudden escalation in fighting between the M23 guerrilla group and …

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Rape is not the only story in the Congo

admin - January 14, 2011

Emma Fanning is Oxfam’s protection manager in the DRC If you’ve been following the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) recently – and given its unchanging, grim headlines, it’s not surprising if you haven’t – the story has probably been about rape. Large scale, brutal, dehumanising rape. The Congo has been dubbed the « rape capital » ; in just one attack in Walikale, a mining …

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