From the CEO

  • Partnering with a new generation of innovators for social good

    We know we have to do things differently to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. We need new ways of seeing old problems, new skills and methods to direct the technological whirlwind disrupting societies and new ways to muster political will to make hard decisions that challenge old orthodoxies.

    There is a paradox here: At a time when innovation is creating destabilizing change, the key to future stability lies in our ability to effectively harness innovation. But what does that look like?

    Most innovations are spread through traditional commercial channels where one company either develops or purchases the intellectual property or product of another. Commercializing and scaling new products, particularly in the tech sector, has been the driving force in 21st century economic growth. It has improved living standards in many parts of the world, but simultaneously produced growing — and potentially destabilizing — inequality.

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  • Preventing and resolving violent conflict

    A decade ago, around 80 percent of the international humanitarian budget went to victims of natural disasters. Now, that number has flipped, with about 80 percent of funding going to victims of violent conflict.

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  • Responding to the largest humanitarian crisis in the world

    Twenty-two million people in Yemen — roughly 4 out of 5 Yemenis — are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, making this the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. As the conflict enters its fourth year, with little sign of a peace agreement, this complex emergency demands attention and action from the international community.

    In this episode of A Deeper Look, I sit down with my colleague Greg Beck, the Director of Crisis Response and Integrated Development here at FHI 360. Greg has recently been working in Yemen.

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    Pie in the sky: Does foreign assistance make a difference?

    A full version of this article originally appeared in WorldView, a quarterly magazine published by the nonprofit National Peace Corps Association for the greater Peace Corps community. Reposted with permission. Read the entire article here.

    Patrick Fine

    Economic and social progress rarely comes fast, making it easy to question whether foreign assistance is effective. Many critiques of foreign aid expose poorly conceived and implemented programs and document bad governance, corruption, and persistent poverty. Some even argue that far from helping, foreign assistance is part of the problem. I suspect there are few self-conscious development workers who don’t ask themselves whether the treasure, sweat and tears really make a difference, especially those of us who have spent years struggling with the day-to-day management problems and frustrations that come with implementing programs in countries where progress has been slow and uneven.

    Recently, I visited the rural community in Swaziland where I worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer 30 years ago. Seeing the changes on the homestead where I lived from 1980 to 1983 helped me put into perspective our often-unsatisfactory efforts to describe and measure the value of development work and to answer the question about whether foreign aid makes a difference.

    Read the entire article here.

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  • Humanitarian response in Nigeria

    More than 1.7 million people are internally displaced, 14 million people in acute need of humanitarian assistance and 26 million people are affected by conflict in Nigeria.

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  • A personal perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis

    Saria was a young teenager when conflict broke out in Syria. His school was closed and converted into a military base, forcing him to abandon his education. He was captured by three different groups, the Syrian Intelligence, the Free Syrian Army and Jabhat al-Nusra, before fleeing to Jordan.

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  • A case study on using data and technology in crisis response

    When there is an emergency, conflict or disaster, communities affected by the crisis are often the best source of information for what is happening on the ground. Early engagement with people from these affected communities is crucial.

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  • The evolution of the U.S. role in crisis response

    The United States has been a leader in humanitarian response since the end of World War II, but how is this role changing and what are the implications?

    In this episode of A Deeper Look, I speak about the evolving U.S. role in humanitarian response with Andrew Natsios, currently executive professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service and director of the Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs at Texas A&M University. As the former head of both the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance and the U.S. Agency for International Development, Professor Natsios has a keen understanding of the complexity of international development and its place in U.S. foreign policy.

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  • Women as leaders in conflict response

    The international community is not giving enough attention to the impact that humanitarian crises have on women and girls or to the role they play in emergency response. We need to. It’s time to examine how women are disproportionately affected by conflict and emergencies and how they fill the roles of first responders, caregivers and peacebuilders.

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  • The famine and food security crisis

    Food insecurity is on the rise again. Driven by conflict, the consequences of famine and food insecurity are a central feature of today’s humanitarian crises and complex emergencies.

    In this episode, I talk with Matt Nims, the acting director of Food for Peace at the U.S. Agency for International Development. We discuss the impact of food insecurity on affected populations, the challenges in responding and the promising approaches that can mitigate the severity of a food security crisis.  

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