Publications

2009
Nesrine Badawi. 2/2009. Introduction to Islamic Law. introduction_to_islamic_law.pdf
Nesrine Badawi. 2/2009. Islamic Jurisprudence and the Regulation of Armed Conflict.Abstract

The increase in violent attacks against civilians and non-civilians and the claims made by groups waging such attacks that their acts are legitimate under Islamic law generated wide interest in Islamic ‘laws of war’. This paper attempts to challenge the approach focused on comparison between international humanitarian law (IHL) and Islamic law on the basis of the rules adopted in each system and argues that both legal regimes are governed by certain theoretical and ideological paradigms that are distinct from each other. In order to highlight this difference, the paper examines the different juristic approaches to issues of concern to the jurists and shows how these approaches reflected particular agenda and thus can not be simply compared to rules of IHL, because these are equally governed by other agendas and interests.

islamic_jurisprudence_regulation_of_armed_conflict.pdf
Diane Coyle and Patrick Meier. 1/2009. New Technologies in Emergencies and Conflicts: The Role of Information and Social Networks.Abstract

This paper explores communication technology advances as an opportunity for humanitarian organizations to harness modern technology to communicate more effectively with communities affected by disasters and to allow members of those communities to communicate with each other and with the outside world. People in affected communities can recover faster if they can access and use information. A look at the use of communications technology during disasters in recent years shows that while communication advances have played a positive role, their full potential has not yet been realized.

new-technologies-in-emergencies-and-conflicts.pdf
Phuong Pham, Patrick Vinck, Mychelle Balthazard, Sokhom Hean, and Eric Stover. 1/2009. So We Will Never Forget: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes About Social Reconstruction and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.Abstract

30 years after the end of the Khmer Rouge Regime in Cambodia, citizens of the country continue to see themselves as victims of the regime and desire some form of reparations. Nonetheless, citizens wish that the country prioritize problems that Cambodians face in their everyday lives rather than concentrate on punishing crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge. This study presents the views and experiences of Cambodians regarding exposure to violence, overall priorities, and the national criminal justice system. Additionally, the study reveals that citizens desire more knowledge of the regime, feel hatred toward the Khmer Rouge, and demand accountability. Furthermore, the study calls for changes in the structure and governance of the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) so that Cambodians’ faith in their criminal justice system may be restored.

so-we-will-never-forget.pdf
Julie VanRooyen, Lauri Romanzi, Stephen Morris, Nadine Semer, and Michael VanRooyen. 2009. Capacity Building for Fistula Repair in Eastern DRC.Abstract

This report includes a detailed evaluation of the clinical, surgical and managerial capacity at Panzi Hospital, and also capacity evaluations of hospitals in Kaziba, Kalonge, Walungu, Uvira, Kakawende, Kaniola, and Nyatende.

capacity-building-for-fistula-repair.pdf
2008
Claude Bruderlein and Suneeta Kaimal. 11/2008. “From Information Overload to Informed Decision: Designing an Information System to Support Peacebuilding.” Journal of Peacebuilding & Development, 4, 2, Pp. 95-99. jpd-articlecbsk-infoverloadpb-fall2008.pdf
ATHA. 10/2008. ATHA: Humanitarian Policy Making for Civil-Military Coordination (CIMIC).Abstract
Interaction between civilian and military actors in complex political emergencies (CPE) continues to warrant close examination, as the scope and implications of these relationships are significantly impacting contemporary humanitarian operations. Acknowledging that such involvement between military and humanitarian bodies has been widely questioned and critiqued, this paper takes no position as to the ideal nature of the relationship; it adopts as its base for discussion situations in which the relationship is already in place. In recent years, humanitarian organizations have been criticized for the ad hoc style of interaction, as well as over the highly fragmented nature of this sector.   There are many explanations for this lack of structure and coordination, a broad discussion of which is beyond the scope of this brief.  However, this failure to collaborate in planning has implications for civil‐military coordination (CIMIC).    Policies, methods and tools to develop collaboration of an appropriate nature and character between humanitarian bodies dealing with military partnerships are vital for the success of any civil‐military undertaking.   
atha_thematic_brief_cimic.pdf
Vincenzo Bollettino and Claude Bruderlein. 10/2008. “Training humanitarian professionals at a distance: testing the feasibility of distance learning with humanitarian professionals.” Distance Education.Abstract
Training is an essential part of the professional development of staff working for international humanitarian organizations. While humanitarian workers are being deployed around the world to provide life-saving relief assistance in often-hazardous missions, it is imperative for organizations to ensure that staff members understand the mission and protocol of their organizations and that they develop an appreciation for the impact their work has on beneficiaries. Demand for such training has been expanding exponentially over the last decade with the growing number of humanitarian organizations and personnel. In the United Nations alone, an estimated 37,000 civilian personnel are being employed as part of UN humanitarian operations, an increase of 54% since 1997; 75% of this personnel is composed of national staff of the countries of operation (United Nations, 2008). With the increasing reliance of humanitarian organizations on national staff to manage their field operations, the professional development of staff members poses an ever-growing challenge due to the remoteness and distribution of staff, limiting organizations’ ability to maintain the coherence and cogency of their mission and methods. Although many international humanitarian organizations have adopted some form of distance learning into their staff training, few organizations have evaluated the effectiveness of their distance learning programs. This research briefly evaluates the literature relevant to the use of distance learning for training professional staff in the humanitarian field, assesses how distance learning programs are being used among select humanitarian organizations based in the USA, and reviews the results of a pilot distance learning course offered to mid-career professionals working on international humanitarian issues in a professional capacity.
training_humanitarian_professionals_at_a_distance.pdf
Patrick Vinck, Phuong Pham, Suliman Baldo, and Rachel Shigekane. 8/2008. Living With Fear: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes About Peace, Justice, and Social Reconstruction in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.Abstract

After years of armed conflict, instability, and human rights violations, in 2006 the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) held its first elections since independence. Despite this success, eastern DRC grapples with major challenges in achieving security, social reconstruction, and transitional justice. This study presents the needs and priorities of the Congolese population in light of prevailing social and political instability, and recommends that the Congolese government and international community take steps to monitor and implement peace negotiations, security, and good governance as the country moves forward.

living-with-fear.pdf
HPCR. 3/2008. Private Security Companies In The Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT): An International Humanitarian Law Perspective.Abstract

Recent incidents involving private security companies (PSCs) in Iraq have raised questions among governments and international agencies regarding the appropriate legal framework to regulate these organizations as well as to determine both company and employer liability under international humanitarian law (IHL). While the use of PSCs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) has remained more limited than in Iraq, the growing presence of PSCs, especially at military checkpoints and crossings, has raised concerns among humanitarian practitioners. The purpose of this policy brief is to assess current uncertainties concerning the legal status of PSCs as they relate to the work of humanitarian agencies, the integrity of military chain of command, and the protection of civilian populations. A central issue lies in determining the extent to which PSC employees are to be considered agents of the Occupying Power and therefore no different, in legal terms, from any member of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), or whether they represent a new and separate legal entity whose behavior cannot be directly attributable to the Occupation Power under IHL. For example, what are the legal duties and responsibilities of PSC employees in terms of facilitating humanitarian workers’ access to the occupied population? In the event that PSC employees are involved in military engagements in occupied territory, or if they detain, injure, or kill civilians, what accountability structure applies to their actions? In interviews with humanitarian practitioners in both the UN and the NGO communities, HPCR researchers found that these questions are beginning to trouble those responsible for the coordination and delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian population. 

pscbrief.pdf
ATHA. 1/2008. ATHA: Humanitarian Coordination: An Overview.Abstract

A vital component of humanitarian action is the coordination among all actors involved in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Coordination within this field allows for the most efficient, cost effective, and successful operations possible. Groups seeking access to beneficiary populations often share the same objectives in regards to addressing human need and allaying suffering, but wide variance in such principle elements as organizational structure, technical and/or geographic expertise, mission, mandate, and political interest may hinder or prevent natural coordination on the field. This brief focuses on the dynamics of humanitarian coordination in the context of humanitarian assistance, and the main elements of coordination in the field. For the purposes of this paper, coordination is defined as a “systematic utilization of policy instruments to deliver humanitarian assistance in a cohesive and effective manner.” A leading scholar in the field identifies three basic types of coordination: coordination by command, coordination through consensus and coordination by default; and the distinction between the three is important in discerning both the benefits and challenges offered by different approaches to coordination. While United Nations agencies played a central role in the systemization and institutionalization of the idea of coordination, effective coordination requires multi-sectoral and multifaceted perspectives, as well as a dual approach in which the importance of both operational and strategic coordination are recognized. The principles of humanity, neutrality and impartiality are central to the provision of humanitarian assistance, and as such, warrant consideration in coordination strategies and policies. Other basic principles and elements of humanitarian coordination include strengthening the capacity of local actors, transparency and accountability, and mutual commitment and cooperation between the different actors. There are a variety of existing mechanisms designed to enhance and facilitate coordination between organizations providing assistance in a given context. These mechanisms range in function from enhancing coordination within and among groups to identifying gaps in responses as well as addressing important concerns relating to funding. While there are many challenges to implementation of coordination strategies, as well as concerns regarding the potential for increased bureaucracy in an already complex system, the benefits to coordination can be tremendous. Not only are humanitarian operations improved through the development and implementation of coordination strategies and mechanisms, but, more critically, the beneficiary population also gains from better coordinated activities. 

atha_thematic_brief_humanitarian_coordination.pdf
2007
Phuong Pham, Patrick Vinck, Eric Stover, Andrew Moss, Marieke Wierda, and Richard Bailey. 12/2007. When the War Ends: A Population-Based Survey on Attitudes about Peace, Justice, and Social Reconstruction in Northern Uganda.Abstract

Ravaged by 21 years of war and destruction, Northern Uganda faces serious obstacles in achieving reconciliation and accountability for violations of human rights and international humanitarian law. While security in the region has improved since the migration of the Lord’s Resistance Army to the Congo, Ugandans continue to struggle with the aftereffects of an era of violence. This study relays Ugandans’ views on peace, mechanisms for justice, and reintegration, and consequently recommends that the Ugandan government and international community act in concert to develop a strategy for peace-building, justice, socioeconomic development, and poverty reduction in the North.

when-the-war-ends.pdf
HPCR and Graduate Institute International of Studies. 11/2007. Empowered Groups, Tested Laws, and Policy Options: Report on an International Seminar on Transnational and Non-State Armed Groups.Abstract

The rising importance of non-state armed groups is heightened by three post-Cold War phenomena: the increased fragmentation of states into smaller self-governing entities, the augmented privatization of warfare, and, by virtue of the expansion of global communication networks, the inflated accountability of states towards non-state actors. This context has influenced significantly the emergence of modern transnational and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) — i.e., groups that use force, flow across state boundaries, utilize global communication and transportation networks, seek international influence, and increasingly undertake military operations against dominant states. The key markers of how contemporary conflict between states and NSAGs varies from classical state-based warfare are to be found primarily in tactical and strategic differences. The increased (quantitative) participation of NSAGs in conflict presents in and of itself a strategic challenge for states. Since the events of September 11, 2001, and their aftermath, Al Qaeda and its associated groups, for example, have decentralized and diversified their activities significantly. Almost systematically, NSAGs have proven through their military aptitude that they can innovate faster than states. It, thus, became a strategic test for states to transform and adapt their intelligence and war-fighting capabilities to face these new contests and such mutation. From the tactical perspective, one of the most important developments is the increasingly unconventional and irregular means and methods used by transnational NSAGs. This is also one of the areas that conventional military forces have struggled to respond to. It is important in this changed context to differentiate between non-state armed groups, acknowledge their complexity and broadened goals, and register the implications of such development for states (which are themselves just as variegated as NSAGS). The ability of an NSAG such as Hezbollah to rely on local support, or at least tolerance, is another important modern-day advantage of armed groups that render conventional military tactics much less effective, if not obsolete in some cases. Such evolution underscores the fact that many an NSAG — whether as sophisticated as Hezbollah or more fluidly organized — is well suited to engaging in protracted conflicts in which no decisive military victory is required. 

report_empowered_groups_nov2007.pdf
HPCR. 10/2007. IHL and Civilian Participation in Hostilities.Abstract

This policy brief reviews the legal questions associated with the participation of civilians in hostilities. This issue represents a critical challenge to the protection of civilians in current conflicts, particularly when hostilities are conducted in the midst of civilian populations and assets, and when non-state armed groups are engaged as central actors. This issue is also of particular relevance when the hostilities occur under occupation. While international law recognizes a basic right of selfdetermination for populations under occupation, it provides immunity against violence only to those not participating in hostilities. This apparent contradiction is at the core of the debate on the protection of civilians and raises a number of questions about the roles and rights of civilians in armed conflict, as well as the concept of participation in the war effort and the nature of hostilities. Is a member of a militant group necessarily a “combatant”? Can he or she be targeted according to the rules of international humanitarian law (IHL)? Is membership the key criterion, or are the actual acts of the individual the deciding factors of his or her status under the law? How can a civilian maintain or restore his or her protected status? Practitioners face these and related questions when developing policies for civilian protection in the occupied Palestinian territory (OPT). As with all briefs in this series, this paper focuses on providing practitioners with a clear understanding of the legal framework available for protecting Palestinian civilians living in the OPT, as well as the legal regime applicable to both the Israeli military and Palestinian militants when they engage in military operations. This framework is based on IHL (and, in a broader sense, on international human rights law). This note explores the spectrum of opinion (amongst both scholars and practitioners) on the question of the legal implications of civilian participation in hostilities, in particular the legality of targeting civilians who engage in hostilities. It highlights debates ongoing in the field of IHL without attempting to present “correct” answers, with an eye to enhancing practitioners’ understanding of the types of legal rationale used both to limit and allow targeting of civilians who engage in hostilities. Ultimately, the aim of this brief is to strengthen the capacity of professionals to utilize and negotiate with the law while developing strategies to enhance the protection of civilians.

participationbrief.pdf
Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. 9/2007. 2007 Humanitarian Health Conference Report. 2007-humanitarian-health-conference.pdf
Phuong Pham, Patrick Vinck, and Eric Stover. 6/2007. Abducted: The Lord's Resistance Army and Forced Conscription in Northern Uganda.Abstract

Since the late 1980s, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a spiritualist rebel group with no clear political agenda, has abducted tens of thousands of children and adults to serve as porters and soldiers. In the early 1990s, children who escaped from the LRA or were captured by Ugandan soldiers were often paraded in the streets in the hope that someone would identify them. This treatment prompted a group of parents of abducted children to establish the Gulu Support the Children Organization (GUSCO), a reception center in Gulu, in 1994. In December 2005, the Berkeley-Tulane Initiative on Vulnerable Populations launched The Database Project to better document abduction and help improve the capacity of 8 reception centers in the northern districts of Gulu, Kitgum, Pader, Apac, and Lira to collect and analyze information about former LRA abductees.

abducted-the-lords-resistance-army.pdf
Bruno Demeyere. 6/2007. The Role and Responsibilities of Civil Society in International Humanitarian Law Formulation and Application.Abstract

This paper examines the relationship between the legal framework of international humanitarian law (IHL) and civil society actors operating in conflict situations. Attention is paid to assessing the manner in which the latter can play a role in strengthening the humanitarian dimension of the former. Brief introductory comments are warranted so as to situate the debate, in which non-governmental organizations (NGOs) operating in a conflict zone are adopted as the primary unit of analysis. IHL is the field of public international law which regulates the conduct of hostilities, namely restricting the means and methods of warfare available to parties to the conflict, and laying out protections afforded civilians and those no longer taking part in hostilities (hors de combat). State-centric in its development, the central tenets of IHL are found in the Hague Regulations of 1907, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the two Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1977. It is the right of sovereign states to decide which treaty-based international legal obligations they adopt regarding the legal regulation of the conduct of armed conflicts, however a number of legal provisions of IHL have attained the status of customary international law, and are thus binding on all parties to the conflict. This raises questions in regards to the status of non-state actors under international humanitarian law. The legal position of such actors, which for the purpose of this paper will focus on international organizations and non-governmental organizations, warrants close examination. 

atha_thematic_brief_ihl_and_civil_society_organizations.pdf
HPCR. 5/2007. From Legal Theory to Policy Tools: IHL and International Human Rights Law.Abstract
This briefing note aims to assess the interplay between International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL) in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT), particularly as international agencies are engaged in the protection of Palestinian civilians living under occupation. In so doing, the paper will present a range of legal arguments on the applicability of IHRL considering the current situation in the OPT.
ihrlbrief.pdf
Patrick Vinck, Phuong Pham, Eric Stover, Andrew Moss, and Marieke Wierda. 2007. Research Note on Attitudes About Peace and Justice in Northern Uganda.Abstract

In light of human rights violations in Northern Uganda, this research note presents preliminary data on Ugandans’ attitudes on peace and justice. The findings reflect the respondents’ desires for truth reconciliation as well as their desires to hold perpetuators of violence accountable for their actions. However, the findings show that justice is not a top priority for Ugandans in comparison to more tangible needs for health, peace, money, and education. A majority of Ugandans in the North are open to the reintegration of former LRA members in society, albeit conditionally on diminished social and political rights for past LRA leaders.

research-note-on-attitudes-about-peace-and-justice.pdf
2006
Vincenzo Bollettino. 10/2006. Designing Security.Abstract

Humanitarian organizations operate in increasingly hostile environments. Although authoritative statistics are scarce, anecdotal evidence suggests that aid workers face life-threatening risks that are exacerbated by the growing number of humanitarian organizations operating in the field with varying mandates, without common professional security standards and with limited success with inter-agency security coordination. The ability of humanitarian organizations to fulfill their mandates in the future will depend in part on their individual success in improving internal security management practices and in finding ways to coordinate their efforts on building common security standards and security coordination across agencies. To meet this challenge, humanitarian organizations must implement improved security management methods and find ways to coordinate their security operations and planning. Despite broad acceptance of the need to develop better security management and coordination, many humanitarian organizations remain ambivalent about coordinating their security activities and few have instituted robust measures for improving their own security management practices. Further, efforts to improve security management practices are hampered by a critical lack of basic empirical knowledge about the field security environment. In discussions about humanitarian staff safety and security, the least common denominator continues to be cumulative anecdotal evidence provided by the many security personnel working for humanitarian organizations in the field. This policy brief reviews the literature on humanitarian organization security management, highlighting common misconceptions about the field security environment, reviews the main structural and procedural issues impeding more effective security management, and illustrates why current initiatives to improve security management practices will remain only partial successes if they do not include a serious effort to replace anecdotal reporting on the field security environment with systematic collection and analysis of field security data. It argues that staff security requires a common professional approach based on sound security expertise adapted to meet the operational needs of humanitarian organizations. A model is developed for creating a network of security professionals responsible for guiding the design and implementation of common security standards and security information sharing protocol.

designingsecurity.pdf

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