Category for Blog

Evidence in the face of adversity: studying psychological interventions in humanitarian settings

Mental health image Harper and van Ommeron blog copyright WHO-M. Kokic

Photo: Copyright WHO – M. Kokic.
Authors: Melissa Harper Shehadeh and Mark van Ommeren
Communities affected by adversity, including those facing challenges caused by major humanitarian emergencies, need effective psychological interventions but there is a lack of practical and available tools to help large numbers of people. The World Health …

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New year, new you? What the WHS can learn from failed new year’s resolutions

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By Alice Obrecht, Research Fellow, ALNAP
[Much of the thinking behind this blog was sparked by the fantastic discussions at the 4th Annual Evidence Aid Conference]
It’s January, a time for new year’s resolutions and self-improvement regimens. Yet many of these resolutions are abandoned by February. For …

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We could be heroes – reflective blog from Mike Clarke

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Mike Clarke, School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences – Professor/Director of Methodology Hub, Queen’s University, Belfast.
The end of a year is a time to look back.
It’s a time to remember those who have passed and suffered. Alongside famous individuals, such as David Bowie, who …

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From evidence based policy to the good governance of evidence

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Justin Parkhurst, Associate Professor, London School of Economics and Political Science
As Paul Cairney’s blog noted, many of those promoting evidence-based policymaking (EBPM) fail to engage with the political nature of the arena in which evidence is being used.  Policymaking is fundamentally political in that it requires …

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Prioritising the generation of evidence on infant and young child feeding interventions in emergencies

A woman with her child in Idomeni camp.

 Authors: Claudine Prudhon, Jacqueline Frize and Prisca Benelli
The need for evidence-based humanitarian interventions is gaining momentum, as discussed in a recent blog entry by Jeremy Shoham and Marie McGrath. Unfortunately, as noted by the two Field Exchange founders, “the few reviews of evidence in humanitarian nutrition programming show that …

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Why we need Evidence for Aid and why CEBM is partnering with Evidence Aid

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Author: Professor Carl Heneghan, Director Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford
CEBM partners with Evidence Aid: Evidence Aid is an international charity based in Oxford established after the Indian Ocean tsunami of 26 December 2004
In humanitarian disasters you need people with acute trauma care skills to find and …

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Evidence in humanitarian emergencies: what does it look like?

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By Jeremy Shoham and Marie McGrath, ENN
Over 20 years, ENN has published Field Exchange to help achieve our purpose of strengthening the evidence and know-how for effective nutrition interventions in countries prone to crisis and high levels of malnutrition. It provides the experiences of those implementing nutrition …

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Ethics and Evidence – Reply to Donal O’Mathuna

Au nord de Homs, région de Al-Houleh. Un convoi conjoint du CICR, du Croissant-Rouge Arabe syrien et des Nations Unies se rend dans plusieurs villages où il achemine des vivres, des médicaments et du matériel d'approvisionnement en eau pour plus de 70, 000 personnes.
North of Homs, Al Houleh region. A joint convoy of the ICRC, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations reach several villages to deliver food and water supply equipment for more than 70, 000 people.
Communiqué de presse sur le site web du CICR, 23.03.2016 : « Syrie : des secours parviennent enfin à plus de 70 000 personnes dans la région d’Al-Houleh. [...]. « La population d'Al-Houleh vit depuis longtemps dans des conditions très difficiles », a déclaré Majda Flihi, cheffe du bureau du CICR à Homs, qui a dirigé l'équipe du CICR à Al-Houleh. « Principalement agriculteurs, les habitants ne peuvent plus cultiver leurs terres, et leur bétail ne peut plus être nourri correctement parce que les champs sont aujourd'hui des lignes de front. » Le convoi de 27 camions transportait des vivres, du matériel pour réparer le système d'approvisionnement en eau, ainsi que des secours médicaux visant à soutenir la structure médicale du Croissant-Rouge arabe syrien, durement mise à l'épreuve, dans le village de Kafr Laha. Une équipe d'ingénieurs eau du CICR s'est aussi employée à améliorer l'état des puits qui constituent le seul approvisionnement régulier en eau potable. Un deuxième convoi, prévu dans les prochains jours, transportera des générateurs et des équipements pour assurer l'approvisionnement en eau. « Comme dans tous les lieux assiégés en Syrie, les civils tentent de survivre avec leurs maigres ressources. Ils ont besoin d'un approvisionnement régulier en vivres, en médicaments et autres types d'aide. Il nous faut un accès régulier, quelle que soit la situation sur le terrain », précise Mme Flihi. Al-Houleh vit en état de siège depuis 2012, et est le théâtre de violents combats depuis des mois. La récente accalmie des hostilités a permis aux organisations humanitaires d'accéder dans cette zone. La semaine dernière, un autre convoi conjoint du CICR, du Croissant-Rouge arabe syrien et des Nations Unies a acheminé des vivres et des assortiments d'articles d'hygiène à plus de 60 000 personnes vivant dans les zones assiégées de Madaya, Zabadani, Foua et Kifraya. »
News release on ICRC website, 23.03.2016 : « Syria: First aid in months reaches over 70,000 people in the central Syrian region of Al Houleh. [...] "People in Al Houleh have been facing severe hardship for a long time," said the ICRC's head of office in Homs, Majda Flihi, who led the ICRC team into Al Houleh. "They are farmers but they cannot farm anymore. They have livestock but it cannot be fed properly as peoples' fields have now become front lines."The 27-truck convoy carried food, equipment to repair the water supply and medical aid to support the overstretched medical facility operated by SARC in the village of Kafr Laha. An ICRC team of water engineers also worked on trying to improve the state of boreholes which provide the only steady supply of clean water. A second convoy, planned for the coming days, will bring generators and technical equipment to ensure the water supply. "As in all besieged places in Syria, civilians are trying to survive on meagre resources. They are in need of regular food supplies, medicine and other kinds of aid. We need regular access regardless of the situation on the ground," said Ms Flihi. Al Houleh has been under siege since 2012 and has been the scene of heavy fighting for months. The recent lull in fighting has allowed humanitarian organizations to access the area. Last week, another joint convoy from the ICRC, SARC and UN delivered food and hygiene items to more than 60,000 people living in the besieged areas of Madaya, Zabadani, Foua and Kifraya. »

See also Ethics and Evidence by Donal O’Mathuna
It is a pleasure to respond to Donal O’Mathuna’s thoughtful blog. I agree with each one of his three main points. Together they make the case for evidence as an essential ethical commitment in humanitarian work.
Donal’s three points …

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Ethics and Evidence

Au nord de Homs, région de Al-Houleh. Un convoi conjoint du CICR, du Croissant-Rouge Arabe syrien et des Nations Unies se rend dans plusieurs villages où il achemine des vivres, des médicaments et du matériel d'approvisionnement en eau pour plus de 70, 000 personnes.
North of Homs, Al Houleh region. A joint convoy of the ICRC, the Syrian Arab Red Crescent and the United Nations reach several villages to deliver food and water supply equipment for more than 70, 000 people.
Communiqué de presse sur le site web du CICR, 23.03.2016 : « Syrie : des secours parviennent enfin à plus de 70 000 personnes dans la région d’Al-Houleh. [...]. « La population d'Al-Houleh vit depuis longtemps dans des conditions très difficiles », a déclaré Majda Flihi, cheffe du bureau du CICR à Homs, qui a dirigé l'équipe du CICR à Al-Houleh. « Principalement agriculteurs, les habitants ne peuvent plus cultiver leurs terres, et leur bétail ne peut plus être nourri correctement parce que les champs sont aujourd'hui des lignes de front. » Le convoi de 27 camions transportait des vivres, du matériel pour réparer le système d'approvisionnement en eau, ainsi que des secours médicaux visant à soutenir la structure médicale du Croissant-Rouge arabe syrien, durement mise à l'épreuve, dans le village de Kafr Laha. Une équipe d'ingénieurs eau du CICR s'est aussi employée à améliorer l'état des puits qui constituent le seul approvisionnement régulier en eau potable. Un deuxième convoi, prévu dans les prochains jours, transportera des générateurs et des équipements pour assurer l'approvisionnement en eau. « Comme dans tous les lieux assiégés en Syrie, les civils tentent de survivre avec leurs maigres ressources. Ils ont besoin d'un approvisionnement régulier en vivres, en médicaments et autres types d'aide. Il nous faut un accès régulier, quelle que soit la situation sur le terrain », précise Mme Flihi. Al-Houleh vit en état de siège depuis 2012, et est le théâtre de violents combats depuis des mois. La récente accalmie des hostilités a permis aux organisations humanitaires d'accéder dans cette zone. La semaine dernière, un autre convoi conjoint du CICR, du Croissant-Rouge arabe syrien et des Nations Unies a acheminé des vivres et des assortiments d'articles d'hygiène à plus de 60 000 personnes vivant dans les zones assiégées de Madaya, Zabadani, Foua et Kifraya. »
News release on ICRC website, 23.03.2016 : « Syria: First aid in months reaches over 70,000 people in the central Syrian region of Al Houleh. [...] "People in Al Houleh have been facing severe hardship for a long time," said the ICRC's head of office in Homs, Majda Flihi, who led the ICRC team into Al Houleh. "They are farmers but they cannot farm anymore. They have livestock but it cannot be fed properly as peoples' fields have now become front lines."The 27-truck convoy carried food, equipment to repair the water supply and medical aid to support the overstretched medical facility operated by SARC in the village of Kafr Laha. An ICRC team of water engineers also worked on trying to improve the state of boreholes which provide the only steady supply of clean water. A second convoy, planned for the coming days, will bring generators and technical equipment to ensure the water supply. "As in all besieged places in Syria, civilians are trying to survive on meagre resources. They are in need of regular food supplies, medicine and other kinds of aid. We need regular access regardless of the situation on the ground," said Ms Flihi. Al Houleh has been under siege since 2012 and has been the scene of heavy fighting for months. The recent lull in fighting has allowed humanitarian organizations to access the area. Last week, another joint convoy from the ICRC, SARC and UN delivered food and hygiene items to more than 60,000 people living in the besieged areas of Madaya, Zabadani, Foua and Kifraya. »

See also: Ethics and Evidence – Reply to Donal O’Mathuna
The importance of evidence to guide humanitarian action is increasingly recognised. Evidence Aid aims to promote an evidence-based approach to humanitarian work, and to provide evidence to guide decisions about humanitarian aid. That can be seen …

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Human rights preparedness

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Do you agree that the protection of persons must be of prime concern in disaster contexts? And do you agree that international human rights law, which is replete with explicit rights for the protection of persons and corresponding state obligations, must also be of prime …

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