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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...



An image of the cleanup efforts underway in Nepal

Special Event - Nepal: The First Two Weeks

Friday, May 8, 2015

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In the 13 days since the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in Nepal on 25 April 2015, the international community has witnessed the resulting death toll climb upwards of 7,300 people, with another 14,300 injured, in the midst of aftershocks up to magnitudes of 6.7. According to preliminary assessments, over 8 million people are currently affected in 39 out of Nepal’s 75 districts, and an estimated 2.8 million people are displaced. This past week has also seen a tremendous surge in the global response, including engagement from over 60 nations and growing, hundreds of relief organizations, online donations, private sector engagement, technological more...



Monitors from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine have been tasked to monitor the withdrawal of heavy weapons by both Ukrainian and anti-government forces.

The Role of Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-finding in Civilian Protection

Thursday, April 30, 2015

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The past several decades have seen a dramatic proliferation of monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) missions mandated by governments and international organizations. In the recent session of the United Nations Human Rights Council alone, the Council discussed the most recent report of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, an oral report from the Commission of Inquiry on Eritrea, as well as reports from special rapporteurs on Iran, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Myanmar, and the Palestinian territories. Additionally, MRF missions have been increasingly mandated at the regional level. In recent years, the African Union more...



Afghanistan © Ebadi/WFP

Civil-Military Coordination in Humanitarian Protection

Thursday, March 26, 2015

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Especially in complex humanitarian emergencies, effective civil-military coordination can be crucial to maintaining humanitarian access, protecting civilians, and managing the security of aid workers. After all, military forces often play a lead role in response to natural disasters or conflicts. Yet “civ-mil” coordination poses a number of challenges, particularly in terms of preserving the neutrality, impartiality and independence of humanitarian operations while operating alongside militaries.

This podcast will explore legal and operational challenges associated with civil-military engagement in Pakistan, which puts the more...



A Coca-Cola kiosk in Tanzania. In partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Coca-Cola has helped Tanzania's Ministry of Health improve its supply chain so that medicines can reach remote parts of the country, the way soft drinks do. Public-private partnerships are on the rise in development and humanitarian work  © Charlotte Nordahl/Flickr

Private Sector Engagement in Humanitarian Response

Thursday, February 19, 2015

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As humanitarian leaders united in Davos this year at the World Economic Forum, one message was clear: the humanitarian system is strained, and increased collaboration with the private sector is crucial for enhancing capacity to respond to the protracted, complex crises currently confronting the humanitarian sector.

The humanitarian and private sectors differ in many crucial aspects – mission, principles, procedures, among others  – but the private sector is already contributing to humanitarian operations in a variety of ways. Beyond the evolving field of corporate social responsibility (CSR), private businesses engage in more...



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