All Resources

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On Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-finding Mechanisms

A simple glance at recent news headlines reveals the growing prevalence of international missions tasked to monitor and report on potential violations of international law.  In the past few months alone, the United Nations (UN) dispatched a team to monitor the ceasefire in Syria, and the United...

Jul 2012
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  • Public Health and Humanitarian Crisis

    Despite improvements in the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance in recent decades, armed conflict remains a leading public health concern. Mortality rates have declined in camps for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDP), but overcrowding in camps, limited supplies of...

    Aug 2012
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  • The Politics of Recovery

    During the humanitarian reform process launched in 2005, humanitarian actors introduced early recovery as a humanitarian cluster to facilitate policy linkages between humanitarian relief and development. However, the scope of the early recovery cluster has since broadened to encompass a...

    Sep 2012
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  • DRR, Inc.: Can the Private Sector Revive Resilience?

    As the planet warms, the vulnerability of communities in less developed countries rises. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in 2008, 20 million people were displaced by climate-related sudden onset disasters. Additionally, as AlertNet reports, in 2011, floods...

    Oct 2012
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  • Follow the Money: How Has Aid Measured Up in 2012?

    As the Global Humanitarian Assistance (GHA) 2012 Report notes, humanitarian needs in 2011 decreased from those of the previous year. Financing requests dropped by 21% and the overall funding response decreased by 9% from 2010 to 2011. However, despite this shift, the gap in unmet financing...

    Nov 2012
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  • "We Came Back with Empty Hands": Understanding the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Children Formerly Associated with Armed Groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    This report documents the experiences and attitudes of former underage combatants in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who went through the reintegration process, the families and communities who received them and the organizations that funded and implemented reintegration...

    Jan 2013
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  • "We Suffer From War and More War": An Assessment of the Impact of the Lord's Resistance Army on Formerly Abducted Children and their Communities in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo

    This study highlights the voices of individuals currently affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army to detail the extensive and systematic devastation felt specifically by formerly abducted children and their communities in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Respondents stressed that...

    Jan 2013
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  • Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-finding in Bahrain and Syria During the Arab Spring

    The! way! in! which! international! actors! implement monitoring,! reporting,! and! fact1 finding! (MRF)!mechanisms!is! changing. Modern!MRF!mechanisms!date back! to 1913,! when,! after! the! Balkans! had! erupted! in! war! for! the! second! time! in! two! years,! the! Carnegie! Endowment! for!...

    Jan 2013
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  • On the Basis of Humanitarian Need? The Confounding of Operational Decision Making

    A central tenet of international humanitarian assistance is to fulfill the needs of a population unmet by the state in time of crisis. As such, a great deal of importance is placed upon how this need is calculated, how the collection of information might be standardized, and how the gathered...

    Jan 2013
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  • The Challenges of Engagement: DRR and Civil Society

    Humanitarian actors have increasingly recognized that successful disaster risk reduction (DRR) projects must be conceived as long-term, holistic initiatives geared toward enhancing the ways that states and societies approach resilience. Additionally, the humanitarian sector has learned that the...

    Feb 2013
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  • Lessons Learned? The Role of Humanitarians in Protection Response (Humanitarian Assistance Webcast 16)

    The performance of the international humanitarian system has been under the scrutiny of a number of evaluative reports in recent months – particularly in relation to its actions and inactions in Sri Lanka, 2009. Notably, the reports present a steadfast recognition that lessons must be...

    Mar 2013
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  • Engaging Violent Cities: Operational Challenges for Humanitarian Action in Urban Areas (HAW 17)

    In the year 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of the world’s population was living in urban areas. Cities have become more numerous, more populous, and denser. The complexity and density of urban environments significantly alter the viability of certain humanitarian...

    Apr 2013
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  • Sharing Space: Adapting Military Approaches to Geospatial Analysis for Humanitarian Response and the Documentation of Human Rights Abuses Jun 2013
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  • Sudan: Anatomy of a Conflict

    The Signal Program on Human Security and Technology at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative has released its first study, Sudan: Anatomy of a Conflict
    This study is the first geospatial-based history of a conflict created primarily through a fusion...

    Jun 2013
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  • While We Watched: Assessing the Impact of the Satellite Sentinel Project

    The Georgetown Journal of International Affairs published an article authored by Signal Program staff in which they detail the technology, perceived impact and lessons learned from running operations for the Satellite Sentinel Project. This inside assessment of the Satellite Sentinel...

    Jul 2013
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  • Arbitrating War: Military Necessity as a Defense to the Breach of Investment Treaty Obligations Aug 2013
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  • Selecting and Applying Legal Lenses in Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Missions

    While the existence of monitoring, reporting and fact-finding (MRF) bodies in the international realm is not a new phenomenon, the recent proliferation of such institutions raises a number of policy and legal issues. One issue is that, as MRF bodies are increasingly called to make legal...

    Oct 2013
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  • Selecting and Applying Legal Lenses in Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Missions

    While the existence of monitoring, reporting and fact-finding (MRF) bodies in the international realm is not a new phenomenon, the recent proliferation of such institutions raises a number of policy and legal issues. One issue is that, as MRF bodies are increasingly called to make legal...

    Oct 2013
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  • Problems from Hell, Solution in the Heavens?: Identifying Obstacles and Opportunities for Employing Geospatial Technologies to Document and Mitigate Mass Atrocities

    At the evolving frontier of modern humanitarianism, non-governmental organizations are using satellite technology to monitor mass atrocities. As a documentation tool, satellites have the potential to collect important real-time evidence for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity....

    Oct 2013
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  • #Westgate Tweets: A Detailed Study of Information Forensics

    Al Shabaab's horrific attack of the Westgate Mall in Nairobi generated over 730,000 tweets during the four-day siege in Spetember 2013. The purpose of this study is to analyze the authors, content and frequency of these tweets in the hour leading up to the attacks and during the two hours...

    Nov 2013
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  • 'We Came Back with Empty Hands' Trailer

    This video provides an overview of "'We Came Back with Empty Hands': Understanding the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Children Formerly Associated with Armed Groups in the Democratic Republic of the Congo," the new report released by the Women in War Program at Harvard...

    Nov 2013
    An Assessment of Attitudes Toward Gender Inequitable Sexual and Reproductive Health Norms in South Sudan: a Community-based Participatory Research Approach

    Communities in South Sudan have endured decades of conflict. Protracted conflict exacerbated reproductive health disparities and gender inequities. This study, conducted prior to the country’s 2011 independence, aimed to assess attitudes toward gender inequitable norms related to sexual...

    Nov 2013
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  • The Design and Planning of Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Missions

    The design and planning process is crucial to the implementation of monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) mechanisms geared toward investigating violations of international law, including human rights, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law. However, many...

    Dec 2013
    The Design and Planning of Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Missions

    The design and planning process is crucial to the implementation of monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) mechanisms geared toward investigating violations of international law, including human rights, international criminal law, and international humanitarian law. However, many...

    Dec 2013
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  • HHI Year End Report 2013

    2013 was another important and impactful year for humanitarianism. From Syria, to Sudan, and the Philippines, we have witnessed and responded to new global health challenges in an ever changing humanitarian landscape. We at HHI are committed to creating new ways to serve our...

    Dec 2013
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