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Issue 30February 2012

The Harvard Humanitarian is a monthly e-newsletter compiled by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) to publicize news, publications, and events in the Harvard community related to advancing responses to humanitarian crises of war and disaster. Please help us make this a robust resource by contributing your Harvard community news items via email.



HHI's Senior Leaders Participate in Conference on Humanitarian Education and Training

MVR in GenevaHHI Director, Michael VanRooyen and Executive Director, Vincenzo Bollettino recently attended the Conference on Humanitarian Education and Training, organized by the Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action and ELRHA. Humanitarian actors from a wide range of organizations came together to critically assess the field of humanitarian education and training. Conference participants produced a variety of innovative recommendations which can be viewed in the Humanitarian Education and Training Conference Report.


Geneva Report
Please click above to access the report.
The goals of the conference were threefold: 1) foster dialogue between humanitarian and academic sectors, 2) catalyze collaborative efforts relating to the training of humanitarian workers, and 3) identify strategies to scale up humanitarian training curricula. 


In the coming months, HHI will be expanding the current Humanitarian Studies Initiative while continuing to link students to relevant coursework and training in the humanitarian sector. More information on upcoming events can be found at the Humanitarian Studies website




Public Statement Regarding Hostage Crisis in Sudan


The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative condemns the reported abduction of 29 Chinese civilians on 28 January 2012 in South Kordofan, Sudan. This attack on an apparently civilian target and subsequent hostage taking represents a criminal act under Sudanese domestic and international law. The Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) must immediately and unconditionally release unharmed all hostages currently in their custody. The Chinese nationals allegedly captured by SPLM-N are not party to the ongoing conflict in South Kordofan. These civilians, in accordance with international humanitarian law, should be safely returned at once without demands to diplomatic representatives of the People's Republic of China.



Satellite Sentinel Project Documents Evidence of Army Control of Refugee Route to South Kordofan


SSP Chokepoint Over the past several months, the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has continued to monitor and report on the increasingly precarious security situation in the contested border regions of Sudan.  On 27 January 2012, SSP released satellite images that confirm that at least a battalion sized unit of Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) appear to control the main route civilians reportedly use to flee South Kordofan for Yida refugee camp. The interior of the apparent base, which is located in the town of Toroge, contains objects consistent with 80 to 90 tent-like structures, infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), artillery, and heavy armor vehicles, which appear to be main battle tanks. In Siege: Evidence of SAF Encirclement of the Kauda Valley released 25 January 2012, SSP reported that the SAF had restricted access to the road leading towards South Sudan from South Kordofan. The imagery in this report specifically identifies a new fortified chokepoint along that road under apparent SAF control, which was established sometime after 23 November 2011.


For more information, to see the latest reports, and to access recent high-resolution images, please visit HHI's Satellite Sentinel Project page or www.satsentinel.orgThe Satellite Sentinel Project is HHI's chief project in the Crisis Mapping and Early Warning Program. SSP is a collaborative endeavor combining satellite imagery, on-the-ground field reporting, and crisis mapping systems into a unified monitoring platform to detect, deter, and document threats to vulnerable populations. HHI runs the research, operational, and technical components of the Satellite Sentinel Project from their offices on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 



HHI Now Accepting Student Applications for Humanitarian Research


Cogan Fund Image HHI is pleased to be accepting applications for its 2012 Summer research funding program, supported by the Cogan Family Fund for Humanitarian Studies.


The Cogan Family Fund for Humanitarian Studies provides funds for undergraduate and graduate students at Harvard University who are conducting field research related to crisis-affected settings. The fund enables students to obtain international experience and an understanding of the cross-disciplinary nature of humanitarian work. Students interested in advancing research, practice, and policy in the field of humanitarian assistance to populations affected by war, disaster, and other crises are encouraged to apply. Successful applicants are eligible to receive support for travel and research related expenses.


Application materials are available here on the HHI website and will be accepted on a rolling basis through March 1, 2012. For more information on the research of previous Cogan Family Fund recipients, please click here



Humanitarian Studies Initiative Call for Volunteers


Instituto de Estudios HumanitariosInstituto de Estudios Humanitarios

HSI imageCalling all volunteers! The field simulation for the 2012 Humanitarian Studies Course will take place from April 27-29 at the Harold Parker State Forest in North Andover, MA.  Please email Lauren Bateman at hsisimulation@gmail.com if you are interested in volunteering.  We are looking for volunteers to role play and support event logistics.

For more information, please visit our website here.



Director of Women in War Program Travels to Dungu to Examine LRA Impact


Last month, Jocelyn Kelly, MS, Director of HHI's Women in War program, traveled to northeastern DRC with a colleague from Discover the Journey to investigate the effects of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) on communities in the Dungu region. The LRA has largely moved from northern Uganda into northern DRC, wreaking havoc as they continue their campaign of abducting children for forced conscription. Jocelyn, along with Lindsay Branham of Discover the Journey, investigated the impact these communities feel from the LRA's presence; the protection mechanisms they have created; and if the LRA uses child soldiers differently than other armed groups in DRC.



HHI-Affiliated Researcher Publishes "Minding the Gap: Approaches and Challenges to Robust Civilian Protection"


In the last two decades, the international community's toolbox for the protection of civilians from mass atrocity crimes has evolved gradually. Today, there not only exists a multitude of non-coercive measures, but also a wide array of robust and coercive forms of intervention. However, a comprehensive doctrine for the implementation of civilian protection is currently not at hand.


In a publication entitled Minding the Gap: Approaches and Challenges to Robust Civilian Protection Robert Sch�tte, Chairman of Genocide Alert, argues that this leads to sketchy mission objectives and ill prepared troop deployment. Sch�tte argues in favor of a comprehensive and UN-wide doctrine for the protection of civilians, which would explicitly define the role of civil and military components in protecting civilians in conflict environments. Please click here to download the publication.


UPCOMING EVENTS                                                                

Event times, dates, and locations listed here are subject to change without notice. Please contact the event host for more information.



Carr Center Gender and Security Seminar Series: 'Introducing the New US National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security'


Carr Center logo

Monday, February 6, 2012

5:00 - 6:00 PM

Carr Center Conference Room

Rubenstein Building, Floor 2

Harvard Kennedy School of Government


Ten years after the passage of the UN Security Council's ground-breaking resolution UN 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, measures to increase women's security and agency in peace building are steadily increasing. To-date, the international community has focused on increasing women's participation in peace-building. However, participation alone does not guarantee gender equality in peace and security initiatives. Policy makers and practitioners need to understand the gendered dimensions of conflict and post-conflict situations in order to put the principles of UN 1325 -- participation, prevention, and protection --into action.   


The US released its first National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security in December 2011. This plan is linked to the aspirations of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, and is now an Executive Order that mandates federal agencies to develop their own plans to implement the four pillars of UN 1325, participation, prevention, protection and gender mainstreaming. In this session we will review the plan.  

This is the first of this semester's weekly meetings of the Gender & Security Seminar Series, run out of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. For more information on this event, please click here.



"Famine in the Horn of Africa" and Potential Solutions to Persistent Food Insecurity


Sound the Horn 2.6Monday, February 6, 2012

5:30 PM

Radcliffe Gym

Harvard University


The Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change (PIDSC) and the Committee on African Studies (CAS) present a series of brief talks by prominent experts, followed by discussion with the audience, on "Famine in the Horn of Africa." These talks are free and open to the public, but seating is limited. 


Participating speakers include:

  • Dr. Robert Paarlberg, Betty Freyhof Johnson Class of 1944 Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College
  • Dr. William Masters, Professor and Chair of the Food and Nutrition Policy Department, Friedman School of Nutrition, Tufts University
  • Dr. Kenneth Menkhaus, Professor of Political Science, Davidson College
  • Michael Delaney, Director of Humanitarian Response, Oxfam

Each speaker will present ten- or fifteen-minute talks addressing the causes, structural challenges and solutions to famine and global hunger, with a particular focus on the disaster unfolding in the Horn of Africa. The talks will be followed by a 30-minute Q&A with the audience. Dr. Paul Farmer will introduce the speakers.


Doors will open at 5:00pm with seating on a first come first serve basis. For more information, please click here.



MIT Center for International Studies: "International Migration, Refugees, and Forced Migrants" Symposium


MIT Ctr for International Stud 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012 

4:30 - 6:00 PM

Building E40, Room 496
The Inter-University Committee on International Migration of the MIT Center for International Studies is hosting a symposium titled "International Migration, Refugees, and Forced Migrants: Questions Answered and Questions Remaining." Contributors include HHI Fellow Luise Druke, Nazli Choukri, John Harris, Karen Jacobsen, Jennifer Leaning, Peggy Levitt, and Robert Lucas.
It will be chaired by John Tirman and Anna Hardman.

For more information, please click here. To register, please contact Sarah Jane Vaughan: svaughan@mit.edu.

A Debate: Business is Essential to Effectively Deliver Public Services to the Poor (Panel)
Monday, February 13, 2012
6:00 - 7:00 PM
Innovation Lab
Harvard Business School
Professor Lant Prichett, from HKS and Professor Michael Chu, HBS, will offer their perspectives on what the most effective mechanisms to alleviate poverty are. The emerging social finance space and other market-based solutions will be challenged by more traditional philanthropic approaches to solve poverty. This debate offers a great cross-campus initiative that will enhance a broader understanding of the current "hot topics" around how the Business and the International Development players can work together in addressing services delivery barriers to the poor. For more information, please click here.





About The Harvard Humanitarian Initiative
HHI fosters interdisciplinary collaboration at Harvard University in order to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian strategies for relief, protection, and prevention; instill human rights principles and practices in these strategies; and educate and train the next generation of humanitarian leaders. In 2005, the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative was established as a University-wide interfaculty academic and research center, supported by the Office of the Provost and the Harvard School of Public Health with the participation of faculty from Harvard schools and affiliated hospitals. For more information, visit www.hhi.harvard.edu.