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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...



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...



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...



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...



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,...



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...



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...



Practitioner Profile | Pooya Rezai

Thursday, February 9, 2017

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Since the peak in refugee and migrant arrivals on the Greek islands last year, subsequent border closures and the EU-Turkey deal have led many migrants to become stranded in Greece. In this Practitioner Profile, we examine how the humanitarian response there has evolved as a consequence, and what challenges remain in the transition to more protracted displacement.

Joining us to discuss the evolution of the refugee response on the Mediterranean Sea and in the Greek islands is Pooya Rezai. Pooya...



Practitioner Profile | Michiel Hofman

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

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Michiel Hofman worked for MSF in field missions between 1993 and 1998 as Emergency Co-ordinator and Head of Mission for MSF in Liberia, DRC, Bosnia, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Brazil, South Sudan and Kosovo, returning to his former career as freelance journalist in between missions. Between 1999 and 2001, Michiel co-founded The Antares Foundation, a Dutch non-profit organisation which supports local NGOs in providing psycho-social support for staff working in high-stress environments. Michiel returned to MSF in...



Humanitarian Negotiation Series: The Role of Laws and Norms

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

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What role do humanitarian law and norms play in humanitarian negotiations? Practitioners have diverse array of views: some field workers perceive that the law holds a high level of practical utility in their negotiations, while others have found it to be irrelevant to their work. Indeed, although international humanitarian law (IHL) constitutes a legal basis for humanitarian action during armed conflict, practitioners often...



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