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A Focus on Community Engagement
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez, and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

Introduction During the 2014 West African Ebola epidemic, an estimated US$ 10 billion was spent to contain the disease in the region and globally. The response brought together multilateral agencies, bilateral partnerships, private enterprises and foundations, local governments and communities. Social mobilisation efforts were pivotal components of the response architecture ( Gillespie et al. , 2016 ; Laverack and Manoncourt, 2015 ; Oxfam International, 2015

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation
Gerard Finnigan and Otto Farkas

US$21.9 billion ( UNOCHA, 2018 ). None of this complexity is new. The sector has historically responded to emergencies where local conflict collides with weak social systems, high-threat pathogen outbreaks, natural hazard disasters and a shortfall in financial or moral will from the international community to act ( Development Initiatives, 2018 ; Salama et al. , 2004 ). What has changed, however, is the nature of this

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Gender Equality and Culture in Humanitarian Action
Ricardo Fal-Dutra Santos

local cultures. 2 Examples include discourses that portray gender-based violence (GBV) as cultural practice ( Ward, 2002 : 9) and gender equality programming as ‘akin to “social engineering” and [going] against cultural norms’ ( IASC, 2006 : 1). While acknowledging the importance of respect for the cultures and values of local communities when serving them, I argue that transforming certain gender norms and related cultural practices is essential to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Paul Currion

’ ( Ramalingam et al. , 2009 : 2). Innovation offered a way forward, if not a way out, for a humanitarian community that has perennially felt on the verge of becoming shipwrecked; 1 and an unfamiliar tide of ‘optimism, bordering on technological determinism’ ( Garman, 2015 : 440) has lifted up that community for a decade. Yet aid organisations now feel even more under threat than when this innovation turn began ( Scott-Smith, 2016 ), and this sense of threat is intensified by ‘an

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Why Building Back Better Means More than Structural Safety
Bill Flinn

by the qualitative findings of two recent research projects. The first, a pilot project, was funded through the Natural Environments Research Council and conducted field research in rural communities recovering from the 2015 earthquake in Nepal and Typhoons Haiyan [local name: Yolanda] (2013) and Haima (2016) in the Philippines ( Twigg et al. , 2017 ). This was followed by more substantial work on self-recovery in urban areas in Nepal and the Philippines supported by the British Academy. Both projects were funded by the Global Challenges Research Fund 2 . The

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Matthew Hunt, Sharon O’Brien, Patrick Cadwell, and Dónal P. O’Mathúna

humanitarian action. The Sphere Handbook is a key reference point and identifies minimum standards for the field. It reinforces the importance of communicating ‘in languages, formats and media that are easily understood, respectful and culturally appropriate for different members of the community, especially vulnerable or marginalized groups’ ( Sphere Association, 2018 : 63). Providing ‘interpreters and translators if needed’ is also identified as a key action for sharing

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Response to the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs Special Issue on Innovation in Humanitarian Action (JHA, 1:3)
Anna Skeels

is something, as Finnigan and Farkas (Innovation Issue) make clear, that we cannot do without : New and innovative systems, methods and approaches are urgently needed by the humanitarian system to mitigate the effects of … context dynamics on communities in crisis. They go on to say that ‘the speed and magnitude with which these new forces are threatening humanity’ should be all the imperative needed to urgently address and reconcile these challenges confronting humanitarian action. For Elrha, humanitarian innovation is not peripheral but integral to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Catherine Akurut

’ ( United States Institute of Peace, 2018 : 4). In other words, this is ‘the socialisation and internalisation of the described roles and expectations that society finds most appropriate and valuable for a person – men, women, girls, boys, and sexual and gender minorities’ ( USIP, 2018 : 4). These are dynamic and in a refugee setting, for example, a community’s values, norms and expectations are bound to change, so will the reactions to vulnerability ( USIP

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Framework for Measuring Effectiveness in Humanitarian Response
Vincenzo Bollettino and Birthe Anders

Introduction Large-scale humanitarian emergencies are increasingly stretching the international community’s ability to meet critical humanitarian needs. This includes contexts such as Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia, as well as many others. In many of these complex emergencies, humanitarian aid workers, medical workers and healthcare facilities are themselves targets of attack, which not only puts aid workers at risk, but can threaten the provision of humanitarian assistance when resources are either

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
A Belated but Welcome Theory of Change on Mental Health and Development
Laura Davidson

). Since conflict can overwhelm state capacity for even basic service provision, planned incorporation of mental health into national and community level emergency preparedness, response and recovery systems is vital. Notably, DfID emphasises the need for strategic plans and programmes to promote the well-being of humanitarian staff – both local and international – often at high risk of suffering first-hand and/or secondary trauma. This requirement was conspicuously absent

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs