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The Unfreedom Monitor: A Methodology for Tracking Digital Authoritarianism Around the World

April 1, 2022

Digital communications technologies have been a powerful tool in the advancement of democratic governance, but in recent years there is concern that they are being used to undermine democracy as well. The Unfreedom Monitor, part of Global Voices' Advox project, aims to study and report on this growing phenomenon. This briefing document provides an overview of key developments in digital authoritarianism in a sample of 10 countries, while explaining the theoretical framework and methodology behind the project. The document also provides a basis for expanding this research to other countries so we can deepen our understanding of digital authoritarianism globally as well as its crucial implications for the future.

No One Is Spared: Abuses Against Older People in Armed Conflict

February 1, 2022

This report describes patterns of abuses against older people affected by armed conflict in Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, South Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine. It also draws on the situation of serious protracted violence in two English-speaking regions of Cameroon, Myanmar security force atrocities against older ethnic Rohingya in Rakhine State, and the experiences of older refugees in Lebanon displaced by conflict in Syria. It also includes abuses against older people in the 2020 armed conflict in the ethnic-Armenian-majority enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh.

The Decade of Defiance & Resistance: Reflections On Arab Revolutionary Uprisings And Responses From 2010 – 2020

May 26, 2021

The dynamics fostered by the wars and revolutions plaguing many Arab states today represent the most consequential national transformations since World War I, culminating in a period of civilian defiance and resistance that was especially distinct between 2010 – 2020. Despite being pauperized by predatory governments, citizens have challenged their heavily militarized states, emerging to fight battles that have been brewing for decades. Both the protesting citizens in the streets and the hardline governments that try to blunt their momentum are highly motivated. The outcome of these historic confrontations remains unclear. Yet, it is already possible to identify the causes, actors, motivations, and tactics on both sides that have fueled the waves of rebellion and repression over the past decade. Since the start of the 2010 – 2011 uprisings across the Arab world – the so-called "Arab Spring" – long-term transformations in the mindsets and actions of citizens have emerged that have the potential to catalyze political change across the region for decades to come, shaping political relationships between the governed and governors.

Amplifying Voices: Decade Edition 2005–2015

January 22, 2020

This is a special edition of Amplifying Voices that includes highlights of the Open Society Initiative for East Africa's work from 2005 to 2015. Amplifying Voices documents different journeys the foundation has traveled with its partners since its launch in 2005 and the collective efforts to realize human rights and freedoms for all.Amplifying Voices pays particular attention to those on the margins of society, including stories of working on the forced sterilization of HIV-positive women or those with mental health illnesses, promoting the rights of sex workers, or addressing the question of human rights and counterterrorism.The Open Society Initiative for East Africa started as a one-program initiative in 2005 in Kenya and today has grown to include eight programs in the region. Geographically, the foundation now works in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Sudan. It addresses issues including health and rights, disability rights, and food security.

Economic Empowerment for Women Affected by Conflict

May 1, 2019

Since 1993, Women for Women International has served more than 479,000 marginalised women affected by conflict. Through our yearlong programme marginalised women are supported to: earn and save money; influence decisions; improve their well-being; and connect to networks for support. We see promising results in our monitoring and evaluation efforts.Based on our evidence and complemented by global studies, we highlight four key, interlinked components that are necessary for effectively supporting women's economic empowerment in conflict:1. Work with men to address discriminatory gender norms. All members of society suffer from patriarchal attitudes and have a role to play in promoting gender equality – these are not just "women's issues".2. Holistic and integrated programming. Women's needs and experiences in conflict are complex and interlinked. Solely economic interventions alone have not proven to yield long-term benefits.3. Build women's economic knowledge and skills. This is vital to supporting them to build agency and influence decisions, increase their income and increase their resilience to economic shocks.4. Informal and formal support networks. In the absence of government and financial services, networks are key to supporting women to access financial support, particularly for savings and income.In conclusion, this paper makes five recommendations for international governments and donors to effectively deliver on international commitments and support marginalised women's economic empowerment in conflict-affected contexts:1. Urgently increase funding for women's rights organisations.2. Support economic empowerment programmes that include men in their programme design.3. Target the most marginalised women.4. Support holistic and integrated programming.5. Listen to the needs of marginalised women and actively include them in the design, implementation and review of economic empowerment programmes.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in Post-Emergency Contexts: A study on establishing sustainable service delivery models

December 4, 2018

Large-scale and complex emergencies often occur in countries where government institutions have weak coping capacity. They may struggle to deliver essential services routinely, even in non-emergency situations. This has serious implications for the way in which emergency water, sanitation and hygiene services are managed long-term and in the transition from emergency to post-emergency situations.UNHCR and Oxfam commissioned a study to understand more about how emergency WASH services are delivered, and to identify how the provision of infrastructure can lead to sustainable service delivery and a more professional management mechanism. As many humanitarian crises are protracted in nature, emergency WASH services need to be sustained once humanitarian agencies depart. This report aims to review and identify alternative service delivery options, and to provide some pragmatic guidance that can be incorporated into emergency response programmes and tested, evaluated and built on in the future.

Supporting sustainable water service delivery in a protracted crisis: Professionalizing community-led systems in South Sudan

April 27, 2018

This report shares Oxfam's experience with a water treatment plant community-led operator in Juba, South Sudan. It contributes to the debate on the role that communities can play in the process of managing water supply systems amid protracted crises. The report gives guidance on how to support professionalization of community services by providing business, governance and institutional support, and calls on donors and implementing agencies to develop WASH programmes which consider medium-term institutional support that ensures sustainability and pro-poor accessibility.

Hungry for Peace: Exploring the links between conflict and hunger in South Sudan

March 5, 2018

In December 2017, South Sudan marked four years of devastating conflict. Only a few months later, it has reached another critical point: more South Sudanese are hungry than ever before.While the February 2018 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) does not declare famine, any classification of IPC 3 upwards means people need aid to survive. This means that 6.3 million people are struggling to get enough to eat, and are dependent on humanitarian aid that is increasingly difficult to access.This report examines the impact of the ongoing conflict on hunger through the prism of livelihoods; women's empowerment; displacement; water, sanitation and hygiene; and the spread of disease. It provides recommendations for the international community and warring parties on what they can do to stop the violence, increase access to humanitarian aid and allow the people of South Sudan to recover.

Wastewater Treatment Plants in Rapid Mass Displacement Situations

November 7, 2017

This rapid review report has identified the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) options used in emergency settings, with decentralised wastewater treatment systems (DEWATS) and mobile wastewater treatment units performing most effectively and with minimal costs. Examples are taken from refugee camps and internally displaced people (IDP) settlements due to the Iraq war, the Israeli-Palestine conflict, and the civil wars in Syria and Sudan. WWTP options used in Finland, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Sudan and Turkey are discussed. Lessons learned from China and suggestions for the Rohingya crisis are also included.

Everything Except the Soil: Understanding wild food consumption during the lean season in South Sudan

October 30, 2017

Wild plants are a critical part of the regular South Sudanese diet and become even more important during the lean season. This paper explores seasonal consumption patterns and recent significant changes in those patterns in Panyijar County, Unity State during the acute food crisis in 2017. It provides information on local preferences and health perceptions of wild foods, and reconsiders the idea that wild food consumption is primarily a coping strategy.This report draws on and is accompanied by research conducted in 2015 and presented in the report Indigenous Solutions to Food Insecurity: Wild food plants of South Sudan, by Michael Arensen.

South Sudan Gender Analysis: A snapshot situation analysis of the differential impact of the humanitarian crisis on women, girls, men and boys in South Sudan

March 6, 2017

The continuing conflict in South Sudan, which began in December 2013, is having a devastating impact on the lives and livelihoods of millions of South Sudanese women, men, boys and girls, with the result that South Sudan is now one of the most food-insecure countries in the world. Women and men of all ages are suffering from the effects of conflict, including abuses and loss of control over, and access to, vital resources.This report presents the results of a gender analysis field study conducted in South Sudan in May-June 2016. The study was carried out as part of the ECHO-ERC project 'Institutionalizing Gender in Emergencies: Bridging Policy and Practice'. The report highlights the different impacts the conflict is having on women and men; whether and how these needs are being addressed; and where opportunities may exist for UN agencies, donors, South Sudanese authorities and civil society to incorporate a stronger gender element into their programmes and responses. It also aims to explain how programmes can be gender-sensitive in times of protracted conflict. 

Frontline: Helping Women Deliver in South Sudan

September 15, 2016

Claire Reading is a midwife in Somerset, UK, who has worked in England's National Health Service since 2007. On her second mission with Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), she is serving as a midwife supervisor at a primary care health clinic in the remote South Sudanese town, Bentiu.