Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks
HNPW 2024 (29 April - 10 May 2024)

Session title: Humanitarian-development nexus in conflict contexts
Organizer(s): Centre for Social Protection, Better Assistance in Crises Research Programme (BASIC) and Irish Aid
2 May 24 10:30-12:00

Over the past two decades, social protection programmes have multiplied across the Horn of Africa. Over time, these have extended to cover a growing number of those defined as needing longer-term support rather than piecemeal humanitarian
assistance. Further, more than ever, social protection programmes and projects have been introduced at the geographic and political margins including in places affected by ongoing conflict or marked by the legacies of past wars. The interaction between social protection and conflict is an emerging area of policy analysis with particular relevance to the Horn of Africa, where conflict and political instability are habitual risks and where social protection is now a well-established field of intervention, including in response to climate-related shocks. Yet the connection between these two policy areas is poorly articulated. While frontline practitioners may be acutely aware of, and responsive to, conflict and political dynamics, these are less well reflected in the frameworks that guide social protection policy and programming. Where conflict is considered, it tends to be as a discrete shock rather than a chronic condition – the purpose being primarily to avoid doing further harm.

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS, Sussex University) will organise a panel session with academics, policy analysts, and practitioners to critically reflect on how to strengthen the conflict sensitivity of social protection in the Horn of Africa. A research team from IDS will provide a brief summary presentation(15-20 mins) of findings from a recent review of conflict sensitivity in the region, based on deeper work in Kenya, Somalia and Sudan. A panel of policy and research discussants will pose some provocations for group and plenary discussion.

Participatory group work will probe more deeply on several key questions arising from the research, including:

    • What does ‘conflict sensitivity’ mean for those delivering programmes on the ground? What does it mean for those who are the
      intended beneficiaries of assistance?
    • How are social protection actors responding to acute conflict shocks? How can learning around local practices be supported and shared more widely?
    • What is the real work to be done that could strengthen cross-sectoral cooperation and collaboration between social protection and humanitarian assistance?

    We will facilitate a plenary discussion to explore lessons from recent research and practice on opportunities and challenges for providing social protection in contexts of various stages of conflict. Themes for the discussion include:

    • implications for designing and delivering social protection in very difficult contexts (socially, politically and institutionally);
      • Offer examples of what conflict sensitivitymeans in practice and for those delivering assistance ‘on the ground’ and forthose who are most vulnerable.

      Panel of discussants will include:

      • Jeremy Lind (IDS)
      • Rachel Sabates Wheeler (IDS)
      • Becky Carter (IDS)
      • Hassan Alattar Satti (Consultant with Sudan expertise)
      • Vincent Val Halssma (WFP – Horn of Africa Regional Bureaux- social protection)
      • Sarah Dalrymple (FCDO- London: SP and Humanitarian advisor)

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