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  • Author: Daniel Maxwell, Erin Lentz, Kamau Wanjohi, Daniel Molla, Matthew Day, Peter Hailey, Christopher Newton, Anna Colom
  • Publication Date: 03-2021
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Humanitarian information systems typically provide analysis to predict crisis, assess needs, direct program resources, and assess short- to medium-term effects of programs. But much of this information is “chunky”—a single estimate of “needs,” for example, can be expected to direct resources and programming for up to a full year (IASC 2020). A single early warning scenario might be expected to provide information about potential hazards and the exposure of population to the ill-effects of that hazard for three to four months. And almost by definition, early warning analyses are grounded in known and likely hazards, “population in need” (PIN) figures are based on the impacts of known shocks, and program resources are (or should be) allocated on the basis of known and projected PIN figures. There have long been questions about the timeliness of humanitarian information and especially about the extent to which information initiates appropriate and timely actions (Buchanan-Smith and Davies 1995; Bailey 2012; Lentz et al. 2020). And there have always been concerns that circumstances can change in shorter time periods than standard humanitarian analysis procedures can pick up, so interest in real-time monitoring (RTM) as a component of humanitarian information systems has increased for at least the past decade or so (FSNAU 2015).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid, Famine, Food Security, Humanitarian Intervention, Conflict, Nutrition
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Somalia, Malawi, South Sudan, Africa
  • Author: Daniel Maxwell, Peter Hailey
  • Publication Date: 01-2020
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Despite humanitarian information being more available than ever, confusion persists as to what the information means, how to analyze it and turn it into actionable evidence, and how to ensure that evidence-based actions are actually undertaken on a timely basis. The key points of confusion and issues include: The difference between current status information, projections of populations in need, and early warning of threats or hazards. The difference between “hard” numbers (implying things that have already happened and can be counted) versus probabilistic information (implying things that are likely, but not certain, to happen). Linkages, or the lack thereof, between information systems and policy or programmatic action to anticipate, mitigate, or respond to a shock or worsening situation. Despite the fact that conflict is the most common factor driving extreme humanitarian crises, conflict analysis is the weakest part of early warning and information systems. The information systems do not (or minimally) engage with the communities at risk of shocks or resulting humanitarian crises. This paper reviews these and a number of additional issues with contemporary humanitarian information and early warning systems. While the cases focus on the East Africa region, they have broader implications as well.
  • Topic: Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Kenya, North Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Daniel Maxwell
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Special Report
  • Institution: Feinstein International Center, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Attention to the growing number of people caught in crises characterized by extreme and often protracted levels of food insecurity, malnutrition, and mortality is increasing. The information systems that track these conditions and inform humanitarian decision-making have expanded substantially in the past two decades and in many cases have reached a degree of unprecedented sophistication. These famine early warning systems have become increasingly sophisticated in the past decade, but they still tend to be based on several assumptions that are important to understand. This paper briefly describes existing famine early warning systems and outlines some of the assumptions on which they are based— both in theory and in practice. Then it gives four brief case studies of recent famine or “famine-like” events and pieces together the formal analysis process with an attempt to reconstruct events on the ground from a conflict analysis perspective—highlighting the extent to which the formal famine analysis did or did not deal with conflict analyses and the political kryptonite around the discussion of “intent.” It closes with a summary of gaps in the current system and an assessment of the risks of trying to address those gaps through famine EWS or alternative means.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Humanitarian Aid, Food, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Middle East, Yemen, North Africa, Ethiopia
  • 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: Khalid Manzoor Butt, Sarah Sajid
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Political Studies
  • Institution: Department of Political Science, University of the Punjab
  • Abstract: Economic development aims at building a healthy community which in turn strengthens institutions of a state. Economic Development can also be reflected through soft power, which is not only a diplomatic tool but also a booster for a state's economy. Chinese economic development is a synthesis of two ideologies: attributed to Mao Zedong and the other to Deng Xiaoping. Mao and Deng have contributed to Chinese economic development by initiating compatible economic policies in their respective eras. Their economic policies are influenced by Karl Marx and Adam Smith respectively. Mao, a staunch supporter of centralization of economy, opted for the theory of Marxism; ic level. On the other hand, Deng Xiaoping is associated with liberalizing of Chinese economy. The ideas of free trade and facilitation of foreign investors is the mainstay of Deng’s economic policy. In the process of liberalizing the Chinese economy, Deng initiated a paradigm shift from curtailed to liberal approach; he followed the footsteps of Adam Smith, the pioneer of free market economy. Privatization, establishment of exclusive economic zones, introduction of new flexible economic policies are the reforms introduced by Deng under the theory of free market economy. Hence, the modern China we see today is a product of the economic policies envisioned by these two great Chinese leaders. This descriptive research looks into the contribution and implication of these economic policies on the Chinese economic system.
  • Topic: Development, Globalization, History, Famine, Economy, Mao Zedong
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Africa Center for Strategic Studies
  • Abstract: While much of East Africa suffers from drought, it is conflict, rather than lack of rain, that has been the cause of famine in South Sudan.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, Famine, Food Security, Conflict
  • Political Geography: Africa, Sudan, East Africa, South Sudan, Central Africa
  • Author: Melissa Rary
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center on Human Rights Education, University of Denver
  • Abstract: With effects of climate change becoming more prominent, it is important to examine what climate change will mean in terms of human rights and the impact on the most vulnerable populations. The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights emphasizes “increasing frequency of extreme weather events and natural disasters, rising sea-levels, floods, heat waves, droughts, desertification, water shortages, and the spread of tropical and vector-borne diseases” as a few of the many adverse effects resulting from climate change. Moreover, these issues threaten the enjoyment of the most basic rights including right to life, water, food, sanitation, among many others. Ethiopia, a country with over 80% of its population living in multidimensional poverty, is no beginner when it comes to dealing with famines. The Ethiopian Civil war began with a coup d’etat in 1973, which was largely a result of unrest after Emperor Haile Selassie refused to respond to the 1972 famine. In 1984, Ethiopia suffered a worse, more publicized famine, which is said to have killed over a million people. International initiatives were able to secure international aid, but political instability into 1991 led to lower rates of development as compared to its other Sub-Saharan neighbors. In the midst violence, a large sector of the Ethiopian population was lost, and the Ethiopian economy collapsed as a result of the government’s resistance to welcome international aid in rebel-controlled areas. The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was established in 1991 and was followed by a shift in Ethiopia’s resistance to international aid, ultimately jumpstarting the upwards trend of development.
  • Topic: Climate Change, Environment, Human Rights, Famine
  • Political Geography: Africa, Ethiopia
  • Author: Larissa Alles
  • Publication Date: 04-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: The number of people in need as a result of Yemen’s conflict continues to rise, but the international aid response has failed to keep up. International donors should immediately commit to fully funding the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan. As the tables in this briefing show, some donor governments are pulling their weight, while others are not. Aid alone, however, cannot solve Yemen’s crisis or put the country back on its feet. All sides and their international backers should stop the de-facto blockade and the conflict that are pushing Yemen towards famine.
  • Topic: Famine, Food Security, Conflict, Humanitarian Crisis
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Yemen, Persian Gulf
  • Author: Shannon Scribner
  • Publication Date: 05-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: As famine takes hold in South Sudan and threatens to spread to northeastern Nigeria, Somalia, and Yemen, world leaders must immediately step up to fully fund the United Nations’ appeal for $6.3 billion. Of this amount, $4.9 billion is urgently needed by July for critical assistance, including health, food, nutrition, and water. If lives are to be saved, humanitarian agencies must be able to rapidly scale up and access people in need. World leaders must not walk away from key meetings, such as the Group of Seven Taormina Summit in Italy and the Group of Twenty Hamburg Summit in Germany, without taking action to increase funding, improve access, resolve conflict and insecurity, and ensure that emergency relief is coupled with long-term approaches to building resilience in affected countries.
  • Topic: International Cooperation, United Nations, Famine, Food Security, Leadership
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan
  • Author: Emma Feeny
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxfam Publishing
  • Abstract: More than three years after it was initiated in the aftermath of the 2011 famine, the early-warning, early-action trigger mechanism for Somalia remains a work in progress. This paper looks at how the mechanism has functioned during the 2016/7 drought crisis response, uncovers a widespread consensus about the value of the tool, and explores the challenges involved in developing the dashboard, generating support and putting in place an accountability framework. It looks for learning around the effectiveness of such tools, which could potentially support similar models in other countries. This paper also highlights suggestions from a range of stakeholders regarding actions that might support greater buy-in to the dashboard and broader collaboration at all levels, helping ensure the mechanism meets its aim of facilitating decision making for early action, thereby better protecting the people of Somalia.
  • Topic: Human Rights, Famine, Humanitarian Crisis, Disaster Management
  • Political Geography: Somalia, Africa