Conflict, disasters, and other humanitarian emergencies have broad reaching consequences, but often lost in emergency responses are the psychosocial impacts of these events. Yet such crises can have a detrimental effect on psychosocial wellness, as demonstrated by Samuel Hall research with urban youth in Kabul. 71 per cent of youth interviewed by Samuel Hall had experienced a traumatic event, with many reporting symptoms associated with trauma. Our data shows that the mental health of these youth should absolutely be considered a priority – the time for action is now.
Understanding what works to reduce violence, including violent extremism, is a key priority for many policymakers. Despite this need, to date there is very little research evaluating the effects of development programs on violence reduction. To address this knowledge gap, Mercy Corps undertook a rigorous impact evaluation of a 5-year stability-focused youth program in Somalia known as the Somali Youth Leaders Initiative (SYLI).
This report was written by Beza Tesfaye, Mercy Corps Conflict and Governance Research Manager. Samuel Hall was in charge of all data collection, field reports and preliminary analysis.
Resilience programming in Somalia is not ineffective, but its results are still merely accumulative, and it has the opportunity to increase its capacity to a great extent. This assessment makes clear that donors are the key agents of change, emphasizing the critical nature of coordination and long-term over short-term priorities. This report provides insight into local community perspectives on resilience and will help inform discussions on the complex nature of resilience initiatives within Somalia.
Although cash-based interventions (CBIs) are increasingly used to deliver humanitarian assistance in support of more traditional in-kind emergency distributions, there is now a growing, global acceptance among stakeholders of the need to pay closer attention to the positive and negative impact of CBIs on key protection components. Although there have been several key contributions on this issues in recent years, including studies conducted by Samuel Hall, more research needs to be carried out in Afghanistan on the secondary effects of CBIs on protection issues for IDPs, which are often not systematically considered during the inception phase of project designs, nor as part of wider assistance program strategies. Samuel Hall has been commissioned by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to identify the effects and impact of cash-based programming on protection outcomes in Afghanistan, particularly in relation to ‘Do No Harm’ and minimising risks in terms of protection. This builds on Protection Outcomes In Cash Based Interventions: A Literature Review produced by DRC in January 2015 and which draws a number of conclusions on the impacts of CBIs on protection issues and recommends areas of further research.
UNICEF is considering the development of a social protection programme with a specific focus on children, within the already existing framework developed by the World Bank and MoLSAMD. With the end goal of articulating children-sensitive programming with the World Bank’s own safety net programme in mind, the first step in this direction is for the organisation to launch a pilot programme in Balkh to test the best modalities of programming to cover children’s needs for social protection in the country. In the longer run, both organisations aim at increasing the scale of interventions, with the government eventually taking ownership of the system.
This Policy Brief, prepared with the support of UNHCR and NRC, is intended to serve as a reference guide to help all stakeholders understand what their role is in supporting the effective implementation of the Policy and to contribute towards ensuring that the rights of IDPs are protected throughout all phases of displacement. This Policy Brief will be disseminated widely and will accompany trainings, sensitization initiatives and workshops planned for national and sub-national levels throughout 2015 to ensure that Afghanistan can live up to its commitment to protect IDPs.
For the enthusiastic, “resilience” is a concept; for the cynical, it is a buzzword. For both, the question remains the same: how can aid actors turn it into humanitarian and development practice? According to UNDP, resilience is a “transformative process of strengthening the capacity of people, communities and countries to anticipate, manage, recover and transform from shocks”.
DRC commissioned Samuel Hall for a study on the Somali New Deal Compact and Displacement, under the research framework of the Regional Durable Solutions Secretariat (ReDSS), a consortium with an advisory board consisting of ACTED, CARE, DRC, IRC, Mercy Corps, NRC, OXFAM, Refugee Consortium Kenya (RCK) and WVI. the The findings detail the necessity to operationalise displacement as a development issue and outline the multisectoral approach that is required to obtain solutions. The New Deal Compact, with its five peace building and state building goals (PSGs), provides the foundation for such an approach. The study points to concrete possibilities of integrating displacement issues into the implementation of the New Deal Compact, in order to address the key development challenges of Somalia. This study was launched at the side-event to the HLPF organised by DRC and the Solutions Alliance in Copenhagen.
There are now 24% of the population of Afghanistan living in urban areas. At the core of the urbanisation trend lies the complex question of migration and displacement in a country, where a large share of the population is or has been in movement. This urbanisation trend comes with increasing urban poverty and food insecurity: the latest National Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (NRVA) found that 34% of the urban population were food insecure as against 29% of the rural population. This confirms the necessity to look into the acute problem of urban food insecurity in the country to reduce the risk of chronic food crises in Afghan cities. Surprisingly, whilst urban food security is increasingly considered to be a priority by national and international stakeholders, there are important gaps in the knowledge of its socio-economic determinants and its consequences, leading to gaps in the provision of services and assistance to the urban poor. In order to fill this gap, People in Need (PIN) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) commissioned Samuel Hall to conduct a large urban poverty study in Kabul, Herat, Jalalabad, Mazar-e- Sharif and Kandahar. The study is based on a 5,400-household survey and will be presented to key stakeholders during a series of consultation in September 2014.
This research, funded by Samuel Hall, is a first look at the situation of urban displaced youth in Kabul. It draws attention to the vulnerabilities of IDPs and deportees, while acknowledging the low levels of social and economic inclusion and integration of all (displaced) youth. Displacement has a clear impact on vulnerabilities – and migration is not accompanied by greater skill sets. How to ensure that migration can benefit development? How to reinforce the skills, potential and role of displaced youth in Afghanistan?
This ground-breaking study was funded by the European Union and conducted by Samuel Hall, DRC and PIN. It provides new insights into the nature, level and complexity of poverty, food security and resilience issues among urban households in Afghanistan. It compares the experiences of host communities, IDPs and returnees across the five major Afghan cities and provides evidence-based recommendations for practical action and policy reform to more effectively address urban poverty. The Kabul report launch and discussion was attended by many high-profile guests, including relevant government actors.
This evaluation presents key findings from an assessment of IOM’s return and reintegration activities (2008 – 2013) in the provinces of Kabul, Nangarhar, Nimroz and Heart in Afghanistan. These activities included: post-arrival assistance, livelihood assistance and shelter assistance for deported and voluntary returnees and other vulnerable groups. The evaluation draws lessons on the relevance and impact of return and reintegration activities – these lessons can be used to strengthen future iterations of these projects in Afghanistan, and can provide lessons learned for other country contexts. Building on the strengths of IOM, this evaluation recommends actions to allow the organisation to reach its current achievements, address, and increase the wellbeing levels of uprooted people.
The objective is to inform DFID about the effectiveness and value for money of setting up emergency short-term, cash-based projects for disaster affected populations. It contributes to DFID’s humanitarian knowledge base on the use of mobile technology for emergency food needs.
The Youth Education Pack project targets male and female youth in Herat, Faryab and Nangarhar in Afghanistan. It provides life skills training, vocational training and literacy and numeracy training to vulnerable and illiterate youth under poverty level. The target group includes refugees, returnees and IDPs along with host communities. This report is an evaluation of the YEP project using the OECD-DAC criteria and substantive quantitative, qualitative and contextual information from the field.
This report highlights the achievements and challenges faced by the Somalia Return Consortium, composed of DRC, FAO, INTERSOS, IOM, Islamic Relief, Mercy Corps, NRC, UNHCR & WFP in implementing the IDP Voluntary Return Programme in Somalia. It reflects on the complex and evolving context in Somalia and perceptions of security for displaced populations. It also analyses the extent to which returnee beneficiaries have been able to achieve durable solutions in their places of return in Somalia.
In this context of increasing internal displacement, urbanization and winter-related vulnerabilities, Welthungerhilfe (WHH) and the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) are actively providing, in the KIS, targeted assistance to enhance the livelihood potential of IDP households. During the harsh winters, WHH and DRC work with members of the KIS Task Force to coordinate emergency response and a comprehensive winterization plan. Samuel Hall was commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the 2013/2014 winter’s cash interventions through a three-phased approach including a baseline, midline and endline survey of their winter cash assistance activities in the KIS through a field- and evidence-based, quantitative and qualitative research study.
This research is the first study of alternatives to camp-based assistance in Ethiopia for Eritrean refugees, and the first thorough review of Ethiopia’s Out-of-Camp scheme (OCP). The situation of Eritrean refugees – as highlighted in the pages of this report – draws attention to two equally vulnerable groups: 1) young, single refugee males in situations of secondary movement and engaged in further irregular migration, and 2) protracted refugees with specific displacement-related vulnerabilities (women, children, elderly) who are highly – and almost exclusively – dependent on external aid. Both have low self-reliance levels and lack effective coping strategies – their only response is either to further migrate or to stay in the camps. In both situations, they are unable to secure livelihoods. They are victims of cycles of vulnerability and poverty caused by deportation, lack of networks and livelihoods, and lack of community-based support systems.
This baseline evaluation report for ACTED’s GEC implementation programme in Faryab comes at an important moment for the NGO, for Afghanistan and for the future of development assistance in areas marred by conflict. Not only is this survey unique in its structure and scope, but it is also the very first of three external baselines done in Afghanistan for DFID’s implementing partners. As such, it has the potential of serving as a benchmark for the other NGOs and for other large education projects that may or may not be undertaken in Afghanistan in the coming years.
This study presents the results of IOM’s IDP Movement Tracking and Needs and Vulnerability Analysis Exercise conducted in Dec 2013 by Samuel Hall. It seeks to provide IOM – and its migration and displacement partners – with field-based evidence of issues that negatively impact both conflict and natural disaster-induced IDPs in Afghanistan. The focus of this report is on the provinces of Herat (West) and Helmand (South), pre-selected by IOM and identified in OCHA’s humanitarian overview as provinces that ranked highest on vulnerability indicators collected by clusters