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Practitioner Pathways: Establishing a Career in the Humanitarian Sector

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The ATHA team marks the release of each Humanitarian Assistance Podcast with a live, online Launch Event. These events give our network of practitioners the chance to listen to the latest podcast as a group, to ask questions about the material, and to build relationships with other professionals. The Launch Event for this latest episode is being held Wednesday, 26 July, 2017. To register for the event, click here. Already registered? Click here to join at 10:00 am (EDT) the day of the event.

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"Serious" Games: Innovative Learning in the Humanitarian Sector

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

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Games, simulations, and role-playing exercises have become an important component of capacity building endeavors across the humanitarian sector. Additionally—as reflected in the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC’s) work with video game developers to ensure that certain violent video games accurately reflect norms of international humanitarian law (IHL)—games can be an important avenue toward disseminating knowledge and awareness of IHL and humanitarianism.

 

In light of the...



Famine and Conflict: The Unfolding Food Security Crisis

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

“Without collective and coordinated global efforts, people will simply starve to death.”

 

Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’Brien, May 2017

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Protection of Humanitarian Action Series: Duty of Care and Sexual Violence

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

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How much responsibility do humanitarian organizations have to protect the staff they send into the field? Due to the often austere, volatile, or insecure nature of humanitarian response settings, aid workers have long recognized the inherent personal and organizational risks of humanitarian action. Yet increasing threats and attacks against humanitarian actors in various emergency settings have spurred renewed debate over organizational responsibilities to protect not only civilian populations, but also their own staff. Much of this debate has focused on the principle of ‘duty of care’, and the ethical, professional, and legal obligations of organizations toward their...



Protection of Humanitarian Action Series: On Speaking Out

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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Deliberate violence against humanitarian practitioners and operations poses an increasingly critical challenge to the humanitarian sector as humanitarian needs continue to grow in many regions of the world. While maintaining access to populations in need, engaging with communities, and delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, organizations must also take care to protect the safety and security of their staff, and to prevent and mitigate instances of targeted violence. When attacks do occur, however, humanitarian practitioners and organizations often face a difficult tension between the inclination to condemn these violations on the one hand, and the imperative to protect staff and...



Practitioner Profile | Sinead Walsh

Monday, March 13, 2017

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Dr. Sinead Walsh is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She holds a PhD in Social Policy, from the London School of Economics, focusing on the accountability of NGOs in Uganda. Sinead is the former Ambassador of Ireland to Sierra Leone and Liberia, and Head of Mission for Irish Aid in Sierra Leone and Liberia. She is currently researching and writing a book about the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone from her vantage point as one the few diplomats and heads of development agencies in the country prior to and throughout this unprecedented crisis.

In this practitioner profile, ATHA sat down...



Practitioner Profile | Sarah Martin

Friday, March 10, 2017

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Sarah Martin is a gender-based violence specialist with nearly 20 years of experience in research, advocacy, training and project management with international organizations around the world. She specializes in strengthening gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response in humanitarian settings. Sarah has worked for a variety of positions and organizations including Initiatives Director for Women and Children’s Protection in the European Refugee Crisis for the International Rescue Committee, the Global Protection Cluster’s Regional GBV Advisor for Asia and the Pacific, Senior Gender Capacity Advisor for UNHCR, Humanitarian Affairs Specialist for Médecins Sans Frontières–Holland (...



Practitioner Profile | Lina Abirafeh

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

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Dr. Lina Abirafeh is the Director of the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World (IWSAW). She has nearly 20 years of experience addressing gender issues in both development and humanitarian settings, with a focus on gender-based violence in emergencies, including in conflict, post-conflict, and natural disasters. She has worked with many UN agencies and international NGOs, including in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Lebanon, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Haiti, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Dr. Abirafeh has also conducted research on various gender issues in Bangladesh, Fiji, Kenya, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda, and has published much of...



Practitioner Profile | Birthe Anders

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

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Dr. Birthe Anders is a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) and a Visiting Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. She holds a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London. Her research focusses on Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs), NGO security and civil-military relations. Before coming to Harvard she taught in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London, where she co-founded the Private Military and Security Research Group.

In this practitioner profile, we discuss the use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) in the humanitarian sector. With growing threats against...



Pursuing Accountability in Syria

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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After over five years of war in Syria, civilians have not only been frequently caught in the crossfire, but have been intentionally targeted. According to an array of sources, homes, schools, hospitals, places of worship and cultural heritage have been destroyed - in particular during the recent siege of Aleppo - and civilians have been subjected to sexual violence, enslavement, terrorism, and other incidents. Additionally, acts undertaken by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham against the Yazidi people in northern Iraq and Syria have sparked particular outrage and a push for accountability....



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