Topic: Conflict and Security

What have we learned about crisis/fragile states? Findings of a 5 year research programme.

Cards on the table, confronted with a closely argued 11 page exec sum, I am unlikely to then read the full report. But the short version of Meeting the Challenges of Crisis States, by James Putzel (LSE) and Jonathan Di John (SOAS), is a meal in itself. It summarizes 5 years of DFID-funded research by […]

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Arab Spring v Muslim Tigers: what’s the connection between human development and revolution?

Just before the Arab Spring kicked off in early 2011, I was happily linking to some really interesting work by Dani Rodrik (one of my development heroes) on ‘muslim tigers’, pointing out that in terms of human development, the top 10 performers since 1970 were not the usual suspects (East Asia, Nordics) but Muslim countries […]

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‘Resource Futures’: good new report on how to confront resource scarcity and conflict

Looks like this is going to be crystal ball week on the blog – must be the time of year. Just read Resource Futures from Chatham House (inventors of the ubiquitous Chatham House Rule). The analysis is pretty good, but it really raises the bar on communication, with great interactive infographics and killer facts. Advocacy […]

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Global Trends 2030: top report from US intelligence

My inbox regularly receives the latest ‘global trends 20XX’ reports from thinktanks and futurologists, and a lot of them are pretty bland, and the scenarios they describe threadbare and unconvincing. The new ‘Global Trends 2030’ report from the US National Intelligence Council shares the usual flaws on its scenarios, and is understandably US-centric (the NIC […]

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Natural Disasters and Humanitarian Crises in 2012: how did we do?

Ed Cairns, an Oxfam senior policy adviser, looks back on a very mixed year in the response to humanitarian crises. You might not have noticed it from the headlines, but this year Oxfam has responded to more crises than ever before. Not megadisasters like Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, but the daily struggle for survival that […]

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Will this time be different? What hope for Gaza?

Ed Cairns (right), Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, on the prospects for peace and progress in Gaza Two weeks after the ceasefire. One week after Palestine became a UN ‘non-member observer state’. Where are we now? As Jabr Qudeih, a local aid worker in Gaza says: There’s a truce, but all the key […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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Three x 4 minute videos for World Humanitarian Day (that's today)

Three thought-provoking short pieces from the slightly Orwellian-sounding Security Management Initiative in support of today’s UN World Humanitarian Day Access and Acceptance   Risk Principles and Pragmatism

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Is effective global governance now impossible? If so, what comes next?

As negotiations on a global Arms Trade Treaty kicked the can down the road last week, adding to a litany of stalemates that includes talks on climate change (UNFCCC), trade (WTO) or sustainability (Rio+20), it’s worth reading a thought-provoking new paper from CGD’s William Savedoff (right) on the reasons for this collapse of effective global governance. […]

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Global Humanitarian Assistance 2012 – what are the emerging trends?

Ed Cairns (right), Oxfam’s senior policy adviser on humanitarian advocacy, reviews the new 2012 Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) report, released yesterday  Like all landmark reports, the GHA’s greatest value is not really in what it says about the year under review. It’s what it reveals about the longer-term trends facing the humanitarian world. This is […]

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How can INGOs improve their work in fragile and conflict states?

There’s nothing like the impending threat of giving a talk to make you mug up on an issue, usually the morning before. Today’s exercise in skating on thin ice (the secret? Keep moving. Fast as possible) was a recent talk to some Indiana University students studying the developmental role of the state while enjoying our […]

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