Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has identified a previously unidentified assembly of SAF forces at the El Obeid Barracks, approximately 440 kilometers (273 miles) from Abyei town and the contested border line between North and South Sudan. Based on analysis of available transportation logistics and the formation of the units, SSP has concluded that the forces at El Obeid are capable of imminent forward deployment and could reach Abyei town in less than a day.
This report outlines how violence in general, and sexual violence in particular, has changed the family foundations, economies and community structures of those touched by it in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Analyzing data from focus group discussions with a range of community members in the area, it suggests recommendations for serving the holistic needs of regions affected by sexual violence.
This report identifies factors – societal, financial and health-related – that influence men’s behaviors towards survivors of sexual violence and the barriers towards acceptance and reintegration of survivors into their families and communities after rape. This investigation, through interviews, focus group discussions, and a survey, looked at how to more effectively prevent and address rejection of survivors by their families and communities. This project was based in eastern DRC and funded by the World Bank.
In recent weeks, the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) has deployed heavy offensive weaponry, including attack helicopters and tanks, at Muglad, the reported headquarters of the SAF's 15th Division. These units include two helicopters consistent with Mi-24 Hind gunships, at least nine main battle tanks consistent with T-55s, and trucks consistent with support vehicles needed for the forward deployment of heavy armor. The helicopters, tanks and support vehicles are all within attack range of the Abyei region, approximately 175 kilometers away from Abyei town and 100 kilometers from Abyei's border as demarcated by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in 2009.
The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed that at least 356 structures in the town of el-Feid, located in the Nuba Mountains region of South Kordofan State, Sudan, have been razed. There is evidence that an area in Um Barmbita has also been burned, but no visible structures appear to have been destroyed. SSP cannot confirm based on the imagery collected whether the scorched area in Um Barmbita was intentionally burned. There is evidence of scorching at several points between and around the two communities, which are an estimated 15 to 20 kilometers apart. The razing of el-Feid underscores the rising tensions in the Nuba Mountain region as next month's South Kordofan State gubernatorial elections approach.
On March 23-24, 2011, we held a roundtable discussion, “Earthquake Relief in Haiti: Inter-Organizational Perspectives and Lessons for the Future” at Harvard University. We convened this meeting to provide a forum for discussing successes, challenges, and strategies for improving disaster response based upon the lessons learned from the Haiti earthquake. The summary at left highlights some of the key themes discussed during each focal topic and throughout the roundtable meeting. We hope this will be useful to a diversity of players in the disaster response sphere.
According to media reports released on 20 March 2011, Sudan's federal Ministry of the Interior recently deployed approximately 1,500 northern police to the environs of Bongo, Diffra, and Goli in northern Abyei, Sudan. Northern representatives, including the spokesman of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF), Colonel Khalid Sa'ad Al-Sawarmi, have denied that the northern military deployed troops to Abyei. However, satellite imagery collected by DigitalGlobe and analyzed by the Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) corroborates the reported presence of encampments consistent with military/police installations in close proximity to Bongo, Diffra and Goli.
At least 300 buildings at Tajalei village, Abyei Region, Sudan were burned sometime between March 4 and March 6, 2011, according to Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery. Approximately two-thirds of those structures appear to be consistent with civilian residential structures, known as tukuls. The pattern in which these buildings were apparently burned is consistent with the intentional targeting of civilian infrastructure. SSP has confirmed that three villages in the Abyei region have been intentionally destroyed between Wednesday, March 2 and Sunday, March 6 2011.
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative’s Human Rights Documentation Team, Carr Center Human Rights for Policy, DigitalGlobe, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, and UNITAR/UNOSAT. 3/2011. Flashpoint: Abyei.Abstract
The human security situation in the Abyei region of Sudan has rapidly deteriorated in the past week due to renewed violence. Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has confirmed through the analysis of DigitalGlobe satellite imagery that buildings consistent with civilian infrastructure appear to have been intentionally burned Maker Abior and Todach villages. Some 100 people in the Abyei region have reportedly died in the clashes to date. According to the humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), tens of thousands of civilians have either been displaced by fighting or fled due to fear of further attacks.
Following the recent razing of three villages, there has been increased military activity in and around the contested Abyei region of Sudan during the past week. Actors aligned with both the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) appear to have improved their defensive positions and mobilized additional offensive capacity, including, in one case, vehicles consistent with the transport of heavy armor. Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has determined that in some parts of the Abyei region, elements believed to be aligned with the SAF and SPLA now lie within an approximately 20 to 40 kilometer range of each other. SSP also concludes that the SAF and SPLA appear to now have more units arrayed within 100 kilometers of each other in and around Abyei than at any time in the past two months of SSP's monitoring of the region.
The Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research at Harvard University (HPCR) is a research and policy program based at the Harvard School of Public Health in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Program is engaged in research and advisory services on humanitarian operations and the protection of civilians in conflict areas. The Program advises organizations such as the United Nations, governments, and non-governmental actors, and focuses on the protection of vulnerable groups, conflict prevention, strategic planning for human security, and the role of information technology in emergency response. The Program was established in August 2000 in close cooperation with the Government of Switzerland and the United Nations.
This Working Paper presents HPCR’s research to date on dilemmas arising from the intersection between, on the one hand, counterterrorism laws and policies prohibiting engagement with certain non-state entities and, on the other, humanitarian access and protection of civilians in armed conflict. This Working Paper aims to provide HPCR’s initial analysis of these dilemmas and to suggest key areas for future research and policy engagement.
This report outlines the ongoing work of The Global Surgical Consortium(GSC), a 501c3 public charity that was created in 2010 to address the growing global surgical and anesthesia crisis and to provide sustainable solutions appropriate for low income countries (LICs) where surgical disease is increasing and few services exist for surgical treatment.
This report analyzes how the humanitarian community and the emerging volunteer and technical communities worked together in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and recommends a four-part framework to improve coordination between these two groups in future emergencies. The report was researched and written by a team at HHI, in partnership with Vodafone Foundation, United Nations Foundation, and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Many programs exist in eastern DRC today that assist with the medical and psychological needs of survivors – these programs can be live saving and are desperately important. But women here do not live in a void. They deeply affect those around them and are affected by those people in turn. Ignoring the needs of the family and community networks in which these women work and live means that the international community is ignoring the holistic needs of the women they are trying to serve.
Since the withdrawal of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRC) from Northern Uganda in 2005, the region has been on the slow path to recovery after a long period of danger and destruction. This study presents Ugandans’ views of peace, justice, and post-conflict reconstruction after twenty years of conflicts that ravaged the country. Based on its findings of violence, access to information consumption, and perception of ex-combatants, this study makes the following recommendations to the Ugandan government and the international community: (1) continue to promote reconstruction and development, (2) develop a relevant and realistic reparations program, (3) support national dialogue on the causes and consequences of the conflict, (4) strengthen regional security, (5) build local leadership capacity, (6) develop a responsive criminal justice and police system, (7) reevaluate the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s outreach strategy, and (8) ensure free and fair presidential elections.
In 2010, the Humanitarian Studies Course incorporated applied technologies into the coursework for the second consecutive year. The goal of this evaluation report is to reflect upon and determine the next steps for the Applied Technology Learning Module and to better understand its impact on participant learning during the 2010 Humanitarian Studies Course. This evaluation concludes that improvements in 1) didactics and preparation 2) integration of crowdsourcing and GIS technology 3) satellite communications and 4) volunteer capacity resulted in a successful educational experience for future humanitarian responders.
This study evaluated the health impact of a public private partnership using microfinance to upgrade slum infrastructure in Ahmedabad, India. The authors show a statistically significant reduction in waterborne illness as a result of the intervention and point to further unmeasured benefits from the upgrade. This is an example of the data driven projects HHI is conducting to lend evidence with operational research on interventions.