Humanitarian-Development Nexus Article References & Abstracts

Bromwich, Brendan. 2015. “Nexus meets crisis: a review of conflict, natural resources and the humanitarian response in Darfur with reference to the water–energy–food nexus.” International Journal of Water Resources Development 31, No. 3: 375-392. DOI: 10.1080/07900627.2015.1030495.

Abstract: Darfur has been widely used as a case study by both those arguing for causality between environmental scarcity and war and those disputing it. This article challenges that approach by drawing on debates taking place within Darfur, reflecting on both the conflict and the humanitarian response. It argues that reviewing Darfur on its own terms makes a stronger basis to identify transferable lessons for interventions elsewhere. It considers water, food and energy, and finds that supporting governance is an essential theme for promoting economic recovery and laying a foundation for a well-managed water –energy– food nexus.

European Union. 2019. “Tools and Methods Series, Reference Document No 26: Social Protection across the Humanitarian-Development Nexus. A Game Changer in Supporting People through Crises.” doi: 10.2841/286504. 

Introduction Excerpt: The world is experiencing devastating levels of violence and displacement, driven by insecurity and conflict, complex emergencies, and disasters. The international humanitarian system is delivering assistance and protection to more people than ever. In 2017, an estimated 201 million people were in need of humanitarian aid (Development Initiatives 2018). Such global trends have also led to displacement on an unprecedented scale. In 2017, the number of forcibly displaced persons reached 68.5 million, the highest recorded total to date. As a result of all these factors, the humanitarian system is under strain; response capacity is stretched while the funding gap is widening year on year (UNHCR Global Trends 2018a). ‘Business as usual’ is no longer an option. Over the past few years, international commitments, such as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Grand Bargain, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and the new European Consensus on Development, have created closer links between humanitarian and development programming. They notably include the Grand Bargain commitments coming out of the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants adopted in 2016, which lays the foundation for the development of a global compact on refugees, as well as the Recommendation on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience Recommendation (No. 205) adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2017 (see Annex 2, p.77).

Harald, Jon, and Sande Lie. 2017. “From humanitarian action to development aid in northern Uganda and the formation of a humanitarian-development nexus.” Development in Practice 27, No. 2: 196-207. DOI: 10.1080/09614524.2017.1275528.

Abstract: The instituted order of humanitarianism is both changing and challenged. This article addresses the transition between humanitarian action and development aid in northern Uganda, which was driven by the government’s ambition to reassert its humanitarian sovereignty by discursively recasting the situation from one of crisis to one of recovery and development, regardless of the persistent humanitarian needs. In response, humanitarian actors either withdrew or moved into development aid. This burgeoning humanitarian–development nexus questions the nature and future of humanitarianism and whether there is a hierarchy – or contradiction – between the humanitarian mandate and pragmatic approaches to save lives and protect civilians.

Isidoros, Konstantina. 2017. “Unveiling the Colonial Gaze: Sahrāwī Women in Nascent Nation-state Formation in the Western Sahara.” Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies 19, No. 4:487-506. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369801X.2016.1277152.

Abstract: Sahrāwı̄ women were rendered virtually absent in Spain’s colonial record of its Western Saharan territories, and this has since been ossified in generational layers of scholarship in the postcolonial era. As this last colony of Africa engages in projects for self-determination, return to homeland and nascent state formation, the development–humanitarian nexus has sometimes been sceptical about women’s sudden visibility in empowered roles in refugee camp administration and the political conflict. This essay makes two interventions. First, it offers a postcolonial feminist examination of these ossified histories from which to foreground ethnographically Sahrāwı̄ women’s organizing principles of matrifocality and customary fields of power. Second, it bridges across to critical refugee theory and anthropology of development to question the Orientalist scrutiny of a neocolonial gaze which often seeks to safeguard the emancipation of Sahrāwı̄ women in the modern period . . . This essay [further] examines how Western Sahara scholarship remains divorced from and bereft of a comprehensive feminist/gender-balanced historical framework and critical postcolonial studies’ theoretical analysis from which to better understand contemporary Sahrāwı̄ sociopolitical transformations. Two anthropological interventions offer the first steps towards a gendered starting point and bring Western Sahara to the attention of scholars in the fields of postcolonial and feminist studies. The first part of the essay interrogates the ethnographic absence of Sahrāwı̄ women and social principles of matrifocality in the colonial historical record to illuminate the legacy of a “colonial veil” in postcolonial scholarship. The second part critically engages the development–humanitarian nexus, as a new external (neocolonial) gaze, to reframe Sahrāwı̄women in the present day within feminist and postcolonial debates.

Spiegel, Paul B.. 2017. “Series: Health in humanitarian crises 4: The humanitarian system is not just broke, but broken: recommendations for future humanitarian action.” The Lancet: Published Online June 8, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/

Abstract: An unprecedented number of humanitarian emergencies of large magnitude and duration is causing the largest number of people in a generation to be forcibly displaced. Yet the existing humanitarian system was created for a different time and is no longer fit for purpose. On the basis of lessons learned from recent crises, particularly the Syrian conflict and the Ebola epidemic, I recommend four sets of actions that would make the humanitarian system relevant for future public health responses: (1) operationalise the concept of centrality of protection; (2) integrate affected persons into national health systems by addressing the humanitarian–development nexus; (3) remake, do not simply revise, leadership and coordination; and (4) make interventions efficient, effective, and sustainable. For these recommendations to be implemented, governments, UN agencies, multilateral organisations, and international non-governmental organisations will need to put aside differences and relinquish authority, influence, and funding.

Türk, Volker. 2016. “Prospects for Responsibility Sharing in the Refugee Context.” Journal on Migration and Human Security 4, No. 3: 45-59. https://doi.org/10.1177/233150241600400301

Executive Summary: The current state of forced displacement today, with record numbers and rising levels of need, poses challenges of a scope and complexity that we have not had to face since the Second World War. Yet, if we make every effort to place refugee protection at the heart of our response, these challenges are not insurmountable. The international refugee regime provides us with tried and tested tools to address them. What is needed now is to put our collective resources and capacities to their most effective use. We are already seeing this in the recent move towards creating a proposed Global Compact on Responsibility Sharing for Refugees, as set out in the UN secretary-general’s report, In Safety and Dignity: Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants. We are also seeing this with innovative directions in protection, assistance, and solutions for refugees that are helping us to operationalize long-standing principles of protection, transforming them into tangible results for refugees. New forms of group determination, combined with community-based protection and other measures, can help to ensure an appropriate legal status while at the same time identifying specific protection needs. Protection strategies can inform frameworks for governing migration and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable migrants. The integration of services to refugees within national systems and the expansion of cash-based programming can meet essential needs for assistance more effectively. Finally, the humanitarian-development nexus, the progressive realization of rights — including the right to work, and the creation of complementary pathways for admission — can provide the building blocks for achieving longer-term solutions, which remain, as ever, the ultimate aspiration of the international refugee protection regime.