IHSA´s Humanitarian Blog Posts Selection

IHSA is pleased to present its weekly selection of humanitarian blog posts.

After a month’s break, we are back with familiar humanitarian issues of refugee crises, disasters, conflict, and aid. Blogs include an argument for taking a human security lens to Europe’s asylum system, how Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia are being attacked (and abandoned) by all sides, and the tragedy of the ongoing Rohingya refugee crisis.  

A blog on floods in Pakistan highlights that disaster is not simply due to climate but a range of political and economic failures too. Politics also features in blogs about Sudan, aid and humanitarian principles. In Sudan, international support for the civilian resistance to the coup is vital to transition to democracy. In South Sudan, the political effects of aid and the need to analyse them are once again highlighted. Issues of knowledge, power and bias are important. Finally, a blog by ICRC highlights the role of humanitarian principles post-conflict.

We hope you find this week’s selection interesting, and we wish you a good week ahead! 
Our selection for the month of August
All Bark, No Bite? The Case for Human Security in European Migration & Asylum Governance
By: Xander Creed - Via: ISS Blog - blISS
#migration, refugees and IDPs

In order to prioritise the needs of humans over those of the state, migration and asylum governance needs to shift towards utilising a human security framework. A case in point for the urgency to do so can be found in the inhumane conditions within the European ‘refugee camps’ to which migrants are confined under the nomenclature of ‘national security’. Mainstream frameworks for evaluating camps reveal the illegal and inhumane conditions yet remain unable to challenge their structural existence – all bark, no bite. Through human security, these camps can be evaluated and improved (the bark) and ultimately dismantled (the bite). Read more
Pakistan’s floods are a failure of governance
By: Shandana Khan Mohmand and Miguel Loureiro - Via: IDS Blog
#South Asia #disaster preparedness and response

The floods in Pakistan have had a horrifying impact — over 1,000 people dead and almost 33 million ‘displaced’, a simple word that couches the absolute devastation of people’s lives, homes, and everything they have worked for their whole life. Read more
Nowhere to run: the plight of Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia
By: Sarah Miller - Via: The Conversation
#Eastern Africa #migration, refugees and IDPs

The floods in Pakistan have had a horrifying impact — over 1,000 people dead and almost 33 million ‘displaced’, a simple word that couches the absolute devastation of people’s lives, homes, and everything they have worked for their whole life. Read more
Unpacking the value of locally led humanitarian action
By: Helen Guyatt - Via: Humanitarian Practice Network
#Global  #aid policy and practice

In two recent evaluations (following assistance for flooding in Pakistan and a cold wave in Guatemala) we asked 64 people about the differences they saw between local non-governmental organisations (LNGOs) and international NGOs (INGOs). The open-ended questions were: What is the major difference between local NGOs and INGOs? What is the added value of LNGOs? What are the risks? Read more
Sudan needs attention and action now
By: John Goodman and Guma Kunda Komey - Via: devex
#Northern Africa #conflict, peace building and security

Sudan’s democratic fate is in the balance. Hundreds of thousands of Sudanese are in the street, risking their lives for peaceful change. Yet the world is not paying attention. Read more
Who will champion the Rohingya? Draconian refugee policies must end now
By: Paul McPhun - Via: devpolicy blog
#South Asia #migration, refugees and IDPs

I have spent nearly 30 years exposed to emergencies and humanitarian crises. Yet, standing at our ‘hospital on the hill’ in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, now the world’s largest refugee camp, I was taken by the sheer scale of this makeshift setting. A jumble of humanity packed together in precarious bamboo and plastic shelters, all contained within kilometres of razor wire fencing. Read more

Picture: Jamtoli refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh (Médecins Sans Frontières)
Why humanitarians should stop hiding behind impartiality
By: Joshua Craze and Alicia Luedke  - Via: The New Humanitarian 
#Northern Africa #conflict, peace building and security

The humanitarian principle of impartiality is in crisis. South Sudan – where aid is frequently manipulated by political elites – offers both a clear warning, but also a possible path forward. Read more
‘It was the best of times; it was the worst of times’: a tale of two cities in the aftermath of conflict
By: Kelisiana Thynne  - Via: ICRC Blog
#Global #conflict, peace building and security

In seemingly a moment, a city can go from being prosperous and peaceful to completely ravaged by war. Depending on how a conflict plays out and how the parties fulfil their IHL obligations before, during or after battle, inhabitants of a city can experience the aftermath of war in very different ways. 
In this post, Kelisiana Thynne, paints this is cautionary tale, setting the scene for further discussion about the aftermath of conflict and the continuing IHL and other obligations States and parties to a conflict have. 
Read more
Challenging biases in humanitarian knowledge production
Via: Humanitarian Advisory Group
#Global #aid policy and practice

Talk about power dynamics in the humanitarian sector has become much more common. This is a positive step. Understanding power, how it operates, and what effects it has, is essential to understanding the impacts of humanitarian action as well as the way the sector works. Yet being honest and specific about power is still very difficult and to shift power is complex and slow. Invisible power dynamics, which operate out of the spotlight to determine what is possible or likely, have shaped fundamental attributes of the humanitarian sector, including importantly how knowledge and evidence inform decision-making. Read more
HOW LOCAL IS ‘LOCAL’? A Bottom-Up Perspective of Localization From Narok
By: Elly Maloba - Via: CDA Blog
#Eastern Africa  #aid policy and practice

After 12 years in Narok, I have observed that growth and social justice issues emerge as visible connotations of localization. Localization is more than a land and identity issue; it is a coded message about policy. In Narok County, ‘Whose growth?’ and ‘Whose justice?’ are rhetorical questions. The ‘local’ in localization is synonymous with all the power dynamics and conflict typologies experienced in the region which will continue to influence the future. Read more

Picture: Marc Samson, shared under CC BY 2.0
World Humanitarian Studies Conference 2021: Participant Publications

Unlike other years, IHSA did not facilitate/edit its own publication in 2021. However we did want to create an overview of what publications came out of the conference from participants itself in various media. From journal articles to blogs, you can find an overview here.

Book launch:
Mediated lives: Waiting and hope among Iraqi Refugees, by Mirjam Abigail Twigt

You are most welcome to attend the book launch on September 8, of the book "Mediated lives: Waiting and hope among Iraqi Refugees", by Mirjam Abigail Twigt.

Using the example of Iraqi refugees in Jordan's capital of Amman, this book describes how information and communication technologies (ICTs) play out in the everyday experiences of urban refugees, geographically located in the Global South. It shows how interactions between online and offline spaces are key for making sense of the humanitarian regime, for carving out a sense of home and for sustaining hope. This book paints a humanizing account of making do amid legal marginalization, prolonged insecurity, and the proliferation of digital technologies.
Click here for more information.



New Book:
Making Things Happen: Community Participation and Disaster Reconstruction in Pakistan

Drawing on the Pakistan Earthquake Reconstruction and Recovery Project (PERRP), this volume explores the sociocultural side of post-disaster infrastructure reconstruction. As the latter is often fraught with delays and even abandonment—one cause being ineffective interactions between construction and local people—PERRP used anthropological and participatory approaches. Along with strong construction management, such approaches led to the rebuilding being completed on time. As disasters are increasing in number and intensity, so too will be the need for reconstruction, for which PERRP has lessons to offer.

 To order a hardcover book or download it immediately for free in digital form, click here.

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