All Resources

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'Finding the Facts' Standards of Proof and Information Handling in Monitoring, Reporting and Fact-Finding Missions

This paper sets out various dilemmas faced by practitioners undertaking fact-finding missions, based on a desk analysis and extensive interviews with expert practitioners. The paper addresses the challenges, both practical and theoretical, related to standards of proof and information...

Feb 2014
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  • Protection of Witnesses, Victims and Staff in Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Mechanisms

    One dilemma that faces practitioners serving on monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) missions concerns the protection of witnesses, victims, and staff. The paradox underlying the issue of protection is that, while statements from witnesses and victims account for the predominant...

    Feb 2014
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  • "Finding the Facts": Standards of Proof and Information Handling in Monitoring, Reporting and Fact-Finding Missions

    This paper sets out various dilemmas faced by practitioners undertaking fact-finding missions, based on a desk analysis and extensive interviews with expert practitioners. The paper addresses the challenges, both practical and theoretical, related to standards of proof and information...

    Feb 2014
  • Link
  • Protection of Witnesses, Victims and Staff in Monitoring, Reporting, and Fact-Finding Mechanisms

    One dilemma that faces practitioners serving on monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding (MRF) missions concerns the protection of witnesses, victims, and staff. The paradox underlying the issue of protection is that, while statements from witnesses and victims account for the predominant...

    Feb 2014
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  • Harvard Field Study Non-Paper on Syrian Refugees

    The Syrian refugee crisis represents one of the greatest humanitarian challenges the international community has faced over the recent years, prompting record-high levels of international aid. In view of the complexity of the political and social environment in which these challenges arise and...

    Jan 2014
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  • The Changing Face of Humanitarian Crises

    The scale and cadence of crises that demand international humanitarian response is increasing. The cumulative frequency and severity of climate change on large populations, rapid and unsustainable urbanization, decreasing biodiversity, and the impending realities of resource...

    Jan 2014
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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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  • 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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  • #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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  • 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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  • Arbitrating War: Military Necessity as a Defense to the Breach of Investment Treaty Obligations Aug 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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  • 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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  • Sharing Space: Adapting Military Approaches to Geospatial Analysis for Humanitarian Response and the Documentation of Human Rights Abuses Jun 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • "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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