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Keeping African Girls in School with Better Sanitary Care

March 1, 2018

For young girls in developing countries, not knowing how to manage their periods can hinder access to education. Research from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London demonstrates that in rural Uganda, providing free sanitary products and lessons about puberty to girls may increase their attendance at school.

A Toolkit for Integrating Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) into Humanitarian Response

October 6, 2017

This 94-page toolkit aims to provide streamlined guidance to support organizations and agencies seeking to rapidly integrate menstrual hygiene management (MHM) into existing programming across sectors and phases. It was designed to support a range of humanitarian actors involved in the planning and delivery of emergency responses. It includes key assessment questions, case studies from around the world, design considerations, resources for gathering monitoring and feedback, and links to additional resources.

The Influence of Market Support Interventions on Household Food Security: An evidence synthesis

March 30, 2017

There is growing consensus on the need to consider and support markets as part of humanitarian responses. It is assumed that this support will increase the impact of responses - yet to date such assumptions are rarely supported by data and strong evidence. This evidence synthesis, commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme and carried out by a team of independent and multidisciplinary consultants, represents the first ever attempt to identify, synthesize and evaluate the existing evidence on the influence of market support interventions on household food security in humanitarian crises. It is accompanied by a stand-alone executive summary and evidence brief. It forms part of a series of humanitarian evidence syntheses and systematic reviews commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme.

The Impact of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Interventions on People Affected by Humanitarian Emergencies: A systematic review

March 15, 2017

This systematic review, commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme and carried out by a team from the EPPI-Centre, University College London (UCL), draws together primary research on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) programmes for people affected by humanitarian crises in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). It investigates both the process of implementing MHPSS programmes and their receipt by affected populations, as well as assessing their intended and unintended effects. What are the barriers to, and facilitators of, implementing and receiving MHPSS interventions delivered to populations affected by humanitarian emergencies? What are the effects of MHPSS interventions delivered to populations affected by humanitarian emergencies? What are the key features of effective MHPSS interventions and how can they be successfully developed and implemented? What are the gaps in research evidence for supporting delivery and achieving the intended outcomes of MHPSS interventions?The systematic review, together with corresponding executive summary and evidence brief, forms part of a series of humanitarian evidence syntheses and systematic reviews commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme. Other reports in the series review the evidence on interventions or approaches to mental health, child protection, market support and household food security, acute malnutrition, pastoralist livelihoods, shelter self-recovery and urban response.The Humanitarian Evidence Programme is a partnership between Oxfam GB and the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. It is funded by the United Kingdom (UK) government's Department for International Development (DFID) through the Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme.

Recovery, Relapse, and Episodes of Default in the Management of Acute Malnutrition in Children in Humanitarian Emergencies: A systematic review

March 15, 2017

Severe acute malnutrition (SAM, or severe wasting) and moderate acute malnutrition (MAM, or moderate wasting) affect 52 million children under five years of age around the globe. This systematic review, commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme and carried out by a research team from the University of Sheffield, represents the first attempt to apply systematic review methodology to establish the relationships between recovery and relapse and between default rates and repeated episodes of default or relapse in the management of acute malnutrition in children in humanitarian emergencies in low- and middle-income countries.The systematic review, together with corresponding executive summary and evidence brief, forms part of a series of humanitarian evidence syntheses and systematic reviews commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme. Other reports in the series review the evidence on interventions or approaches to mental health, child protection, market support and household food security, pastoralist livelihoods, shelter self-recovery and targeting in urban settings. The Humanitarian Evidence Programme is a partnership between Oxfam GB and the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. It is funded by the United Kingdom (UK) government's Department for International Development (DFID) through the Humanitarian Innovation and Evidence Programme.

The Impact of Protection Interventions on Unaccompanied and Separated Children in Humanitarian Crises

March 2, 2017

During conflicts and crises, children often face multiple stressors that can have significant impacts on their physical, cognitive, social and emotional development. Because unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) have lost the care and protection of their primary caregivers, they face a heightened risk of abuse, neglect, exploitation and violence (Maestral International, 2011). As a result, programming for UASC cases is often prioritized in the context of humanitarian interventions (Maestral International, 2011; Hepburn et al., 2004). But what is the impact of protection interventions on UASC in humanitarian crises in low and middle income countries? How effective are child protection activities specific to UASC at restoring a protective environment? How effective are interventions aimed at preventing and responding to abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect at ensuring the safety of UASC? How effective are mental health and psychosocial support interventions in promoting the mental health and psychosocial well-being of UASC? This systematic review synthesizes and evaluates the existing evidence base in order to find a response. It is accompanied by a stand-alone executive summary and evidence brief. It forms part of a series of humanitarian evidence syntheses and systematic reviews commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme.

The Effectiveness and Efficiency of Interventions Supporting Shelter Self-Recovery Following Humanitarian Crises

February 15, 2017

Shelter is critical to the survival of people affected by humanitarian crises as it provides safety and security, protection from the climate and resistance to ill health and disease (The Sphere Project, 2011; Zetter, 2012). Having somewhere safe, secure and healthy to live, with access to livelihood opportunities, healthcare and education is also fundamental to sustaining family and community life during post-crisis recovery and reconstruction or displacement, return and resettlement. But what effects do humanitarian interventions that support affected populations' own shelter self-recovery processes have on household-level outcomes following a crisis? And what factors have helped or hindered the implementation of such interventions? This evidence synthesis represents the first ever attempt to systematically review the existing evidence for an answer. It is accompanied by a stand-alone executive summary and evidence brief. It forms part of a series of humanitarian evidence syntheses and systematic reviews commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme.

The Impact of In-Kind Food Assistance on Pastoralist Livelihoods in Humanitarian Crises

February 15, 2017

Pastoralists rely on coping and adaptation strategies that have historically allowed them to achieve high levels of productivity, manage the hazards and unpredictability of life in the marginal areas that they occupy and moderate the impacts of shocks (Butt et al., 2009; Hesse and Pattison, 2013; Morton, 2006). But despite the unique suitability of these strategies to their livelihoods, the food security of many pastoralist populations - especially in Africa - is increasingly under threat. Crises faced by pastoralists have increased in frequency and intensity in recent decades. Assistance has taken many forms, but nutrition and food security have been the priorities of most humanitarian interventions, which have usually involved direct provision of food in-kind to affected populations. But can such food aid address food security? Does it contribute to the erosion of livelihoods? Does it lead to a change in mobility patterns?This evidence synthesis represents the first ever attempt to identify, synthesize and evaluate existing evidence on both the short- and long-term impacts of in-kind food assistance on pastoralist populations and their livelihoods in humanitarian crises. It is accompanied by a stand-alone executive summary and evidence brief. It forms part of a series of humanitarian evidence syntheses and systematic reviews commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme.

What Practices Are Used to Identify and Prioritize Vulnerable Populations Affected by Urban Humanitarian Emergencies?

February 15, 2017

Individuals and organizations responding to humanitarian crises recognize the need to improve urban emergency response and preparedness - including the need to devise better methods for assessing vulnerability within urban populations. This systematic review represents the first ever attempt to systematically search, sort and synthesize the existing evidence in order to consolidate findings on the tools, methods and metrics used to identify and prioritize vulnerable people, households and communities, including those displaced within and to urban areas. It is accompanied by a stand-alone executive summary and evidence brief. It forms part of a series of humanitarian evidence syntheses and systematic reviews commissioned by the Humanitarian Evidence Programme. 

2016 Annual Impact Investor Survey

May 18, 2016

The sixth edition of the Annual Impact Investor Survey is based on an analysis of the activities of 158 of the world's leading impact investing organizations, including fund managers, foundations, banks, development finance institutions, family offices, pension funds, and insurance companies. The survey provides detailed insight into investor perceptions and a number of key market variables such as types of investors, the number and size of investments made, target returns, attitudes towards liquidity and responsible exits, and impact measurement practices. This "State of the Market" analysis explores how investments continue to be made across different geographies, a range of sectors, and multiple asset classes, signaling continued market growth and an increasing interest in impact investing opportunities. J.P. Morgan is an anchor sponsor of the 2016 survey. The study was also produced with support from the U.K. Government through the Department for International Development's Impact Programme.

The State of Civil Society Organisations Sustainability in Ghana

January 1, 2015

This study was commissioned by the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI) to explore the status of civil society (CS) sustainability in the context of the changing aid and development landscape in Ghana. The report captures the views, perceptions, opinions, fears, anxiety, excitement and the hopes of CS in relation to the current development landscape and operating space in Ghana. The report also throws light on how CS in Ghana are grappling with profound questions about their future, purpose and role in socio-economic development, as well as their legitimacy, recognition and visibility, operations, relationships and funding in Ghana. The report further tells the story of the mutable meanings of sustainability, the perceived present state of sustainability, the diverse challenges threatening sustainability of CS, the different strategies being employed by CS to ensure that they are sustainable and the roles that government and pool-funding mechanisms can play for CS in Ghana. The methodology for the study involved a combination of an online survey together with interviews and conversations with a wide range of actors within the civil society fraternity and beyond.

Consumer Goods and Deforestation: An Analysis of the Extent and Nature of Illegality in Forest Conversion for Agriculture and Timber Plantations

September 16, 2014

A comprehensive new analysis released earlier this month says that nearly half (49%) of all recent tropical deforestation is the result of illegal clearing for commercial agriculture. The study also finds that around half of this illegal destruction was driven by overseas demand for agricultural commodities including palm oil, beef, soy, and wood products. In addition to devastating impacts on forest-dependent people and biodiversity, the illegal conversion of tropical forests for commercial agriculture is estimated to produce 1.47 gigatonnes of carbon each year -- equivalent to 25% of the EU's annual fossil fuel-based emissions. The world must wake up to the scale of how much of this agricultural production is taking place on land that has been illegally cleared. According to the study 90% of the deforestation in Brazil from 2000 to 2012 was illegal, primarily due to the failure to conserve a percentage of natural forests in large-scale cattle and soy plantations, as required by Brazilian law. (Much of this occurred prior to 2004, when the Brazilian government took steps to successfully reduce deforestation.) And in the forests of Indonesia, 80% of deforestation was illegal -- mostly for large-scale plantations producing palm oil and timber, 75% of which is exported. While other countries also experience high levels of illegal deforestation, Brazil and Indonesia produce the highest level of agricultural commodities destined for global markets, many of which wind up in cosmetics or household goods (palm oil), animal feed (soy), and packaging (wood products).