Dorothee Weiffen and Tilman Brück present at HiCN Workshop

The 2023 Annual Workshop of the Households in Conflict Network (HiCN) took place at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management of the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Prof Philip Verwimp hosted the workshop under the theme of Trust and Development. Every year since 2005, HiCN has organized this workshop to foster academic research and discussion on the micro-level experiences and consequences of conflict.

As in previous years, ISDC also presented some of their most relevant research and used the platform offered by HiCN to exchange ideas with colleagues. 

Dorothee Weiffen, from our Welfare Research Program, presented from our OCHA-funded project in Bentiu, South Sudan. Here, we leverage a one-off forecast-based cash transfer intended to reduce the negative flood impacts on households in a camp for internally displaced people in South Sudan in anticipation of seasonal floods. This unique setting enables us to rigorously test the treatment impact of forecast-based financing in a poly-crisis setting and explore the corresponding mechanisms. With a pre-registered quasi-random design, we assess the treatment effects of the transfer immediately at the onset of the seasonal floods, and six months later during the recovery phase using fixed effects models. Through the cash transfer, the chances of reported severe flood distress decreased by 29%, which is mediated through better shelter conditions at the onset of the seasonal floods. However, welfare outcomes were not significantly impacted by the transfer.

Tilman Brück presented from our work on mental health in Palestine. In this study with the World Bank, Zentrum Überleben and the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, we research the impact of conflict exposure on depression and PTSD. In this report, we found find that more than half the adult population screen positive for depression. The study is based on the analysis of a nationally representative survey of 5,876 individuals and presents four key findings:

  • The prevalence of mental health problems in the West Bank and Gaza is very high.
  • Many mental health issues vary systematically across areas and socio-economic characteristics.
  • Poor mental health is closely linked with worse economic outcomes.
  • Poor mental health is strongly associated with exposure to violent conflict and traumatic events.

The 2024 Annual HiCN Workshop will take place in Berlin on 12 and 13 September. Subscribe to our newsletter to be notified as soon as more information becomes available.

Our Initiatives