Archive

Humanitarian Spaces: Understanding Military-NGO interaction in conflict and disaster

Abstract This paper is a precursor to an in-depth study being carried out with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and RMIT University, outlining the need for improved understanding of the challenges and opportunities of Military-NGO interaction in complex post-conflict spaces. It is well known that military and NGO operations occupy overlapping spaces in conflict environments, with distinct and divergent cultures and mandates for those operations. However, their understanding of and attitudes towards each other and their missions are equally significant in defining their capacity and willingness to work constructively in tandem. Indeed, the minimum requirement of civilian and military organisations is to work in the same location, if not necessarily cooperatively or collaboratively. Harris highlights that as a result of geo-political and combat developments globally, key actors now regularly find themselves outside of their traditional zones of operation – militaries as peacekeepers, transitional police; NGOs operating in increasingly violent environments, while attempting to maintain independence. Humanitarian Spaces outlines important differences in the meaning of common terminology, such as “humanitarian” and “CIMIC/CMCoord”, the combination of significant security needs and human needs necessitating distinct multi-sector responses to conflict, and the difficulties of perceptions of conflict response operations by those affected, as key…

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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 1-2013 – Gendered Crises, Gendered Responses

Abstract Armed conflicts and natural disasters are inherently gendered crises; they can affect women, men, girls and boys in profoundly different ways. It is increasingly accepted that understanding these differences—or adopting a gender perspective—improves the effectiveness of responses to these crises, as well as the efforts of policy-making, advocacy, research and training institutions that focus on them. A gender perspective is more frequently recognised as a core requirement for all personnel involved in these efforts. However, there are many who are expected to engage with gender issues, yet remain unfamiliar with them. For this audience, there is a dearth of literature that provides an introductory overview of gender issues in crisis environments. This paper is intended to be an educational and awareness-raising resource for those who are beginning to engage with gender issues in crisis environments, whether they are civilian, military or police. It examines gender dimensions commonly observed in conflict and disaster environments, such as differences in casualty trends, risks, threats, vulnerabilities, needs, opportunities and stresses. It provides examples of the operational benefits of a gender perspective and the harmful consequences resulting from the absence of a gender perspective. Downloads View this publication on Academia.edu

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Disaster response: lessons from Christchurch

Abstract Lying in New Zealand’s Canterbury Region, Christchurch is a city of about 400 000 people. It is the nation’s second largest city and the South Island’s largest. Although it is mainly on flat land, there are hilly suburbs between the port of Lyttelton and the city itself. At 4.35 am on 4 September 2010 Canterbury suffered an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter Scale, on the previously unknown Greendale fault line. A local state of emergency was declared that morning, and Christchurch’s central business district was closed to the general public. The New Zealand Army was deployed to help in the worst affected areas of the city. Despite this being a very serious earthquake, no lives were lost. About 5 per cent of the city had been damaged, mostly infrastructure. But this turned out to be only the beginning: on 26 December a 4.9 magnitude aftershock caused further damage, mainly in the CBD. No state of emergency was declared for this event, and nor were any lives lost. Then, at 12.51 pm on 22 February 2011, Christchurch suffered a shallow 6.3 magnitude quake 10 kilometres east of the city centre. Again, this was on a previously unknown fault line, and…

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Improving the Civil-Military Dimension of Disaster-Related Humanitarian Logistics

Abstract The 21st Century has seen a significant rise in all forms of disasters and this has resulted in military and humanitarian personnel becoming more frequently engaged in the provision of support to those affected. Achieving an efficient and effective logistic preparation and response is one of the key elements in mitigating the impact of events, but the establishment of mechanisms to deliver an appropriately integrated civil/military approach remains elusive. Whilst the challenges inherent in the interface between military and humanitarian organisations and personnel are fully acknowledged, it is argued that the development of an improved way of working is of major importance. Failure to do so, will lead to a continuation of unnecessary loss of life and/or suffering for those affected. Not least because of the high percentage of assistance budgets spent on logistics, this area represents fertile ground for developing improved processes and understanding, especially when faced with the challenges of assessing the beneficiaries’ needs and of inter-agency coordination. In practice, the demands placed on both civilian and military logisticians are broadly similar, as is the solution space. By speaking a common language and using common concepts, it is argued, therefore, that the logistic profession should be in…

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