Topic: Conflict and Security

Watching the ICC Judgement of LRA commander Dominic Ongwen with Ugandan victims of enforced marriage

This piece by Jackline Atingo is an edited version of a post first published on the Africa at LSE blog The conviction of Lord’s Resistance Army commander Dominic Ongwen at the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity has been met with mixed reactions in northern Uganda, where many survivors live today. […]

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Can Financial Diaries help us understand life in fragile and conflict-affected settings?

Regular readers will know I’m a big fan of diaries as a research tool into issues such as governance and finance. Here Sandrine N’simire, Ishara Tchumisi and Patricia Stys, of LSE’s Centre for Public Authority in International Development, discuss their experiences conducting research using ‘financial diaries’ as part of LSE’s Water Governance project in Goma, DRC. This […]

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Bigger? Smaller? And What about the Missing Middle? Great discussion on the future of Humanitarianism

For reasons I hope to be able to explain in a few weeks, I’m mugging up on debates in the humanitarian sector, and really enjoying the ‘Rethinking Humanitarianism’ podcast series from The New Humanitarian and CGD. Each episode provides a full transcript, but no accompanying blog, so I thought I’d summarize November’s discussion on forces […]

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It’s Time to Invest for the 21st Century and Repurpose Humanitarian Bureaucracies

Glad to see humanitarian guru Hugo Slim is stepping up his blogging activity. This post first appeared on the ODI page In the run-up to Christmas the big humanitarian bureaucracies have been busy asking governments for money. UN OCHA has appealed for $35 billion for the UN-led humanitarian response in 2021 (to reach 235 million […]

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You can’t rethink humanitarianism without also rethinking the money. Here’s one way to do it.

I have a confession to make. I don’t listen to podcasts, even though I inflict them on others. When I’m at my desk, I’m much happier skimming documents (using my mad speed reading skills). If I’m out and about, I hate having something jabbering away in my ears. But my resolve is being sorely tested […]

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Who wins/loses if Mexico legalizes Cannabis? Not as straightforward as you might think

A recent piece in the Economist on Mexico’s debates is an interesting addition to my library of ‘how change happens’ case studies, and reminded me of conversations I had thirty years ago, when legalization seemed a purely theoretical possibility. Would legalization mean small farmers get a new and stable market for their crop, free from […]

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Why are Illegal Drugs still a Cinderella Issue in Development? (Looking at you CGD!)

Why don’t more mainstream aid organizations work on the issue of illegal drugs like cannabis, coca or opium poppy? We’ve known for decades that the prevalent approach to these – prohibition – harms small-scale farmers that grow them, fuels violence, undermines the rule of law and contaminates politics (the UN estimates the illegal drugs trade […]

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What have we learned from four years’ research into empowerment and accountability in fragile/violent settings?

I’m still reeling from my first serious zoomarathon – 12 hours on zoom over 3 days (plus prep), with 50 researchers around the world from the Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA) consortium. I can report back that unfortunately, my mood swings are much the same as in conferences (but with added anxiety/grumpiness from struggling […]

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Where is the Aid Biz making progress on Localization?

There has been a spate of recent reports on localization, especially in humanitarian response. (Has anyone done a synthesis?) I’ve been browsing through a few – some highlights. First, an obvious, but important point. ‘Localization’ has always been a feature of emergency response, since long before today’s aid system was dreamt of. Globalization and migration […]

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How is COVID playing out in Fragile and Conflict Affected Settings?

I was on a fascinating Zoom check-in on this late last week, involving researchers of the Action for Empowerment and Accountability research programme (I’m on its advisory board). A4EA is focussing on Pakistan, Mozambique, Myanmar and Nigeria, but the conversation took in a few other places as well. Things that jumped out as new, or […]

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What values should guide Britain’s role in the world, post-Brexit?

Oxfam today publishes (with UK think tank, the Foreign Policy Centre) a collection of essays from parliamentarians and policy experts called ‘Finding Britain’s role in a changing world: building a values based foreign policy’. Here are a few highlights from the conclusion, snappily written by Adam Hug, Abigael Baldoumas, Katy Chakrabortty and Danny Sriskandarajah: ‘The […]

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Research Methodology Klaxon: Lessons from two years of doing ‘Governance Diaries’ in scary places

The first outputs are now appearing from ‘Governance Diaries’, a really fascinating new research method that emerged from an initial conversation in a bar in Yangon 4 years ago. If you’re even slightly interested in research, please take a look at this first paper on the emerging methodology, by Miguel Loureiro, Anuradha Joshi, Katrina Barnes […]

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