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Blog newsletter

Syrian refugees in Lebanon: limited livelihoods and untold challenges

Dr Saja Taja Al Zoubi diagnosed the living situation of Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley in the recently published working paper, Enhancing the Livelihood and Food Security of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon .The study used information and survey data collected from refugee households, refugee workers’ managers, camp leaders and local and international humanitarian organizations in the Bekaa Valley and applied a sustainable livelihoods framework to understand the livelihoods of refugee families and the challenges they face.

Tracing the consequences of child poverty: reflections from co-author Andrew Dawes on findings from 15 years of research

When asked by Jo Boyden to assist in this venture, I asked myself how on earth do we extract and synthesise Young Lives findings gathered over 16 years, to produce a concise account of the impact of poverty on children’s lives in four countries, that is at once scientifically rigorous, of interest to researchers in diverse fields, and perhaps most importantly, provides evidence that assists policy makers in their efforts to improve children’s lives?

Failed Pilots: Evaluations of Blockchain Interventions Need Transparency

But beyond the inherent ethical issues that arise from a framework that assumes refugees can be test subjects, the very terms of these ‘experiments’ on refugee bodies must be further interrogated. What constitutes failure in so-called proof-of-concept blockchain interventions? What questions are asked about outcomes, and how are they answered? How should blockchain-based pilot projects self-report to maximize long term success and preserve the rights of beneficiaries?

Why Blockchain?

The business of roots: why DNA testing companies are not cracking the code of mobility and belonging

It made the headlines of American newspapers when DNA data from testing finally made it possible to solve the case of the Golden State Killer. Last month, an Aeroméxico commercial that advertised ‘DNA discounts’ – offering American citizens price reductions proportional to their percentage of Mexican DNA – went viral.

The responsibility to protect: time to move on?

R2P was a helpful vehicle for shifting the focus of the debate from ‘humanitarian intervention’ (the prefix ‘humanitarian’ possibly deserving an extra set of inverted commas) – a term with both conceptual and political baggage – to responsible protection. However, the new discourse, while an improvement on the former, premised on a discretionary right of (unilateral, unauthorised) intervention, brought with it a host of new challenges that undermine both the analytical usefulness, as well as the political expediency, of R2P.

Three perspectives on Zimbabwe’s 2018 elections

When Zimbabweans went to the polls in July, Robert Mugabe’s name was missing from the ballot paper for the first time in 38 years. The 93-year-old leader had been removed from office the previous November in a ‘military assisted transition’ – a coup according to most commentators – that ushered in the former vice-president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, as the country’s head of state and leader of the ruling party, ZANU(PF).

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