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Practitioner Profile | Colombia in Transition with Joanna Radziukiewicz

Friday, October 2, 2015

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Colombia is on the verge of transition, as negotiators near agreement on a peace deal to end the country’s decades-long armed conflict between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. With this optimism about peace, however, comes recognition of the country’s manifold humanitarian challenges. Over 6 million Colombians have been internally displaced, for instance, the second largest population of IDPs in the world. As such, the humanitarian consequences of the conflict are likely to persist well into a post-conflict phase.

In this episode, ATHA speaks with Joanna Radziukiewicz, Country Manager for the more...



Migrants and asylum seekers queue up at Mytilene Port on the Greek island of Lesvos waiting for police clearance.  © Louisa Gouliamaki/IRIN

Responding to the Refugee Crisis in Europe

Thursday, September 24, 2015

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A global refugee crisis is rapidly unfolding in Europe. Driven by protracted conflicts and persecution in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, and Eritrea, increasing numbers of refugees are making the dangerous journey in smugglers’ boats across the Mediterranean toward Greece and other European shores. European Union (EU) governments, international humanitarian organizations, and local agencies are struggling to address the influx of hundreds of thousands of displaced arriving at their borders. Existing legal, policy, and operational approaches to humanitarian protection have proven insufficiently adaptable to evolving more...



Stuart Campo

Innovation Series - Promoting Innovation in Humanitarian Action: Reflections by UNICEF’s Stuart Campo

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

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In light of the annual World Humanitarian Day on August 19th, ATHA has launched a special “Innovation Series”. This is a series of short podcast discussions with professionals and experts on areas of innovative thinking and development in the humanitarian sector.

In this episode, ATHA's Anaide Nahikian speaks with Stuart Campo, Innovation Deployment Specialist with UNICEF's Global Innovation Center.

Stuart leads remote and in-country support for UNICEF and partners in the adaptation and deployment of innovative solutions – for example, more...



Practitioner Profile | On World Humanitarian Day, Reflections on the Bombing of the UN in Baghdad with Claude Bruderlein

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

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Each year on August 19th, the international community observes World Humanitarian Day, marking the tragic occasion of the bombing of the UN headquarters in the Canal Hotel in Baghdad, Iraq in 2003 in which 22 staff members and visitors were killed. As we commemorate the lives lost in the pursuit of humanitarian action around the globe, and the continued risks to aid workers in the field, what have we learned since 2003?

In this episode, ATHA speaks with Claude Bruderlein, Strategic Advisor to the President more...



Melissa Fleming

Innovation Series - Protection in Protracted Refugee Crises: An Interview with Melissa Fleming

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


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In this episode, ATHA's Anaïde Nahikian speaks with Melissa Fleming, Chief of Communications and Spokesperson for the High Commissioner, at UNHCR, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. They discuss the priorities for UNHCR in addressing the key drivers of vulnerability for displaced populations, and the generational consequences of protracted refugee crises -- looking particularly at the conflict in Syria and the Mediterranean migration crisis. They also explore the relationship between media, public opinion, and humanitarian policy in this context and how humanitarian actors can enhance the quality more...



Innovation Series - "Bottom Up" Innovation: an Interview with Alexander Betts and Louise Bloom

Thursday, August 13, 2015



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In this episode, ATHA's Anaïde Nahikian speaks with Louise Bloom, Research Officer at the Humanitarian Innovation Project at the University of Oxford, and Professor Alexander Betts, Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, also at the University of Oxford.

The Refugee Studies Centre aims to build knowledge and understanding of the causes and effects of forced migration in order to help improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable people. A project of the Centre, the Humanitarian Innovation Project seeks to identify ways in which technology, innovation, and the private sector can enhance refugee more...



Raquel Vazquez Llorente

Innovation Series - New Information Technologies and Humanitarian Security: An Interview with Raquel Vazquez Llorente

Monday, August 10, 2015

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In this episode, ATHA's Julia Brooks speaks with Raquel Vazquez Llorente, Researcher at the European Interagency Security Forum (EISF). They discuss changes in the operational environment and security risks for humanitarian actors, organizational responses to humanitarian action in insecure settings, and the implications of new information and communications technologies for humanitarian acceptance.

More on Raquel Vazquez Llorente: At EISF, Raquel coordinates projects and conducts research to help humanitarian organisations gain safer more...



Lebanon, 1983. Ambulance damaged in cross-fire during fighting between Israeli and Palestinian forces. © ICRC / B. Hubschmid / lb-d-00078-18

The Protection of Humanitarian Aid Workers Under International Law

Thursday, July 30, 2015

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Given that aid workers frequently operate in complex and insecure settings, some risks are inherent to humanitarian action. Nonetheless, recent years have seen a significant increase, in absolute terms, in deliberate attacks against humanitarian professionals. Furthermore, most aid workers do not benefit from specific protection under international law. While aid agencies and workers take steps to protect themselves through negotiations and by building acceptance or taking protective and deterrent measures, significant gaps remain in their protection from targeted violence. National staff members are particularly vulnerable — more...



Colombia, checkpoint near Chuapal, San José del Guaviare. Security concerns must be balanced by humanitarian considerations in all situations. This means giving ambulances and other medical vehicles priority at checkpoints. © ICRC / C. von Toggenburg / V-P-CO-E-01140

Humanitarian Negotiation in Practice

Thursday, June 25, 2015

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A core tension persists in the humanitarian sector surrounding the role that negotiation plays in humanitarian action. On the one hand, many feel that humanitarians have nothing to negotiate, that humanitarian action is rooted in humanitarian principles - humanity, impartiality, neutrality, and independence - which are non-negotiable. On the other hand, a reality of humanitarian field operations is that negotiations are a crucial and perpetual component of gaining and maintaining access to affected populations, protecting the security of staff, and cooperating with local actors. As a result, humanitarian actors find themselves caught more...



Catatumbo is one of the few areas where coca production has increased  © Obinna Anyadike/IRIN

Humanitarian Action During Transition: Lessons from Colombia

Thursday, May 28, 2015

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Over 50 years of internal armed conflict, along with urban violence, have fueled a persistent humanitarian crisis in Colombia. Approximately 12% of the population (5.7 million people) is internally displaced, and many people are dually affected by waves of intensifying conflict and natural disasters, such as flooding. Furthermore, organized crime, persistent human rights abuses, and violations of international humanitarian law in conflict-affected communities, including sexual and gender-based violence and the recruitment of child soldiers, have taken a heavy toll on the civilian population.

Peace efforts between the government more...



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