3ie Policy Brief: What works to improve nutrition and food security in the Sahel?

ISDC researchers contributed to the 3ie Policy Brief “What works to improve nutrition and food security in the Sahel?

This brief summarises the main findings and lessons from a synthesis of four 3ie-supported impact evaluations of the World Food Programme’s interventions to improve nutrition and food security outcomes. It offers recommendations to improve operational efficiency and programme coverage in the Sahelian countries of Chad, Mali, Niger and Sudan.

UNICEF Blog on administrative data: Missed opportunity for learning and research in humanitarian emergencies?

Tilman Brück contributed to a blog discussing the strengths and weaknesses of using administrative data collected during emergencies for research on children. The blog was written by researchers from the recent UNICEF Social Protection Workshop.

Source: Administrative Data: Missed opportunity for learning and research in humanitarian emergencies? – Evidence for Action

Tilman Brück Speaking to UNICEF on Social Protection in Emergency Situations

The latest UNICEF Research Watch explores the challenges of providing social protection in emergencies and identifies future directions for research. Listen to the interview with Tilman Brück, Founder of the International Security and Research Center, speaking on how the mounting crises are blurring the line between humanitarian and development work.

Listen to the interview with Tilman Brück and watch a video on social protection in humanitarian situations.

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Assets For Alimentation? The Nutritional Impact Of Assets-Based Programming In Niger

A new paper by Tilman Brück, O.M. Dias Botia, N. T. N. Ferguson, J. Ouédraogo and Z. Ziegelhoefer titled “Assets For Alimentation? The Nutritional Impact Of Assets-Based Programming In Niger” has been published in the UNICEF – Innocenti Working Papers Series.

A recent strand of aid programming aims to develop household assets by removing the stresses associated with meeting basic nutritional needs. In this paper, authors posit that such programmes can also boost nutrition in recipient households by encouraging further investment in diet. To test this hypothesis, they study the World Food Programme’s “Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation (PRRO)” in Niger, a conflict-affected, low income country with a high share of malnourishment. The authors conclude, first, that certain forms of food aid function well in complex, insecure environments; second, that assets-based programmes deliver positive nutritional spillovers; and, third, that there are theoretical grounds to believe that asset-based programmes interact positively with more nutrition-focussed programming.

The complete paper can be found here.

Webinar: Do Jobs Aid Peace? The Impact of Employment Programming on Peace

Tilman Brück and Neil T. N. Ferguson will lead a discussion on “Do Jobs Aid Peace? The Impact of Employment Programming on Peace” as part of the M&E Thursday Talks series organised by  DME for Peace. The webinar will take place on Thursday, May 24th at 10:00am EDT.

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Call for Papers: Doctoral Workshop of the Development Economics Committee of the German Economic Association

This 2018 Doctoral Workshop of the Development Economics Committee of the German Economic Association (Entwicklungsökonomischer Ausschuss – Verein für Socialpolitik) will be organized by Prof. Tilman Brück at ISDC – International Security and Development Center in Berlin. The workshop will take place on 6 and 7 September 2018.

The aims of the Doctoral Workshop 2018 are:

  • to enable advanced doctoral students in development economics at German-language universities to improve their ongoing research,
  • to advise on the preparation of a refereed journal article,
  • to practice academic discussion with like-minded students from other universities, and
  • to establish an informal network of young scholars in the field.

The two-day seminar will be conducted entirely in English.

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Call for Papers: A Micro-level Perspective on Centrifugal Societies

ISDC – International Security and Development Center, the Institute of Development Studies (UK) and the Households in Conflict Network will host an international research workshop in Berlin, Germany, on 20-21 September 2018 on the micro-level analysis of centrifugal societies. We invite submissions of complete papers or extended abstracts in any relevant discipline by 20 June 2018.

The background to this workshop is the observation that across Europe and beyond, economies, societies and nation states appear to have started falling apart, with authoritarian governments and heads of state coming in power from the United States, Russia, China and the Philippines, secessionist movements growing in Scotland and Catalonia, parts of Ukraine being occupied, anti-European governments being elected in the UK, Hungary and Poland, and an unprecedented rise of far-right parties across democratic Europe, including in France, Austria, the Netherlands and Germany.

Parts of the European and indeed global social contract are being questioned, with extreme consequences for how societies organise and govern themselves and with impacts on the behaviour and well-being of citizens around the world. Drivers may be universal phenomena like globalisation, technological change and inequality – but these clearly differ by institutional and local context and their impacts are felt differently across heterogeneous groups and individuals.

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Call for Papers: Annual ‘Life in Kyrgyzstan’ Conference

Institute of Public Policy and Administration of the University of Central Asia (UCA), Leibniz Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops (IGZ), and International Security and Development Center (ISDC), are pleased to announce the next fourth annual ‘Life in Kyrgyzstan’ Conference to take place in Bishkek on 17-18 October 2018.

The two-day conference will bring together national and international experts from government and the public sector, development agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia and research institutions, and media to exchange knowledge and experiences on recent socio-economic developments in Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia, and to promote evidence-based policy making.

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Tilman Brück and Angela Merkel speaking at a panel discussion of the German Catholic Convention

Tilman Brück was a speaker at the panel discussion “Germany in the Changing World: What can be done about conflict spots and aggressive regimes?” of the German Catholic Convention (Katholikentag). Among other speakers of the discussion were Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, and Cardinal Peter Turkson. The discussion took place in Münster on 11 May 2018. Please see the programme for more details.

Money Can’t Buy Love But Can it Buy Peace?

Tilman Brück’s and Neil Ferguson’s letter to the Editor on the peace process in Northern Ireland has been published in the Economist. The letter refers to their study “Money Can’t Buy Love But Can it Buy Peace? Evidence from the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation” that looked at the second wave of PEACE programmes and found no measurable effect on indicators of peacefulness in the communities where spending was targeted. The authors find that communities that bore the brunt of the violence, to this day, lag behind the rest of the province on the usual range of socioeconomic indicators. The paper is forthcoming in Conflict Management and Peace Science. 

Tilman Brück speaking at the 2017 International Conference on Social Protection in Contexts of Fragility and Forced Displacement

Tilman Brück was a speaker at the 2017 International Conference on Social Protection in Contexts of Fragility and Forced Displacement that took place on 28-29 September 2017 in Brussels. His contribution was included in the session on “Thinking Long (er) Term in Fragile Contexts”.

The objective of the conference was to shed new light on the prospects of using social protection  systems in context of fragility and forced displacement, with the overall aim to better operationalize international commitments. The international conference brought together over 220 participants from governments, international and bilateral organisations, civil society and research institutes from 40 countries to discuss concrete and technical implementation of the international commitments. The report of the session and the complete conference report can be found here.

Workshop on Measuring Violent Conflict in Household Surveys

 

ISDC researchers provided training at the first “Measuring Violent Conflict in Household Surveys” workshop, held on  19-23 March in Perugia, Italy, as part of a workshop series organised by the World Bank. The participants included staff from National Statistical Offices (NSOs) in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. The instructors included staff from the World Bank, the International Security and Development Center, and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. The workshop was developed in response to the needs of NSOs for information on how conflict, in their own and in neighboring countries, is affecting the well-being of households. The workshop included sessions on (i) the Conflict Exposure Module – a generic household survey module that captures the multifaceted individual- and household-level effects of violent conflict; (ii) data collection among Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees; and (iii) where to find and how to use other conflict event data such as the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data, among other topics. The workshop will be held again in September and November 2018.

New Article: Can rigorous impact evaluations improve humanitarian assistance?

A new study by J. Puri, A. Aladysheva, V. Iversen, Y. Ghorpade and T. Brück has been published in  Journal of Development Effectiveness under the title “Can rigorous impact evaluations improve humanitarian assistance?”. The article reflects on the challenges of rigorous impact evaluations of humanitarian assistance. The authors find that theory-based impact evaluations can crucially inform humanitarian programming. However, popular methods, such as orthodox RCTs, are seen as less suitable. The study explains that factorial designs and quasi-experimental designs can be ethical and robust, answering questions about how to improve the delivery of assistance. The authors argue that it helps to be prepared, planning impact evaluations before the onset of emergencies. The article can be accessed here.

 

Webinar on Social Protection in Fragile Contexts

Tilman Brück is a speaker in the webinar on Social Protection in Fragile Contexts, hosted by UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti on 8 November 2017.

One of the key commitments under the Grand Bargain revolves around increasing social protection programmes as mechanisms for humanitarian action, including with a specific commitment on building evidence on their benefits and impacts. Drawing on established research under the ‘Transfer Project’ and from recent initiatives in fragile and displacement contexts, UNICEF’s Office of Research – Innocenti will be hosting an online event to contribute findings and lessons as part Humanitarian Evidence Week 2017. Bringing together in-house experts, field practitioners, and researchers from academia, the discussion will present recent efforts and findings from conducting impact evaluations of social protection programmes in emergencies, discuss research designs, and share lessons from challenges and opportunities to scale-up research efforts and contribute in building the body of evidence on social protection in fragile contexts.

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BIGSSS​ ​Summer​ ​School​ ​in​ ​Computational​ ​Social​ ​Science: Data-driven​ ​Modeling​ ​of​ ​Conflict

Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (BIGSSS) cordially invites applications for participation as an expert and supervisor in the computational social science (CSS) summer school on data-driven modeling of conflict to take place at Jacobs University Bremen (Germany) from 23 July to 3 August 2018. The summer school will serve as a research incubator aimed at fostering the use of computational methods in the social sciences and developing a topical contribution to the field.

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Workshop: What Drives Mixed Migration from the MENA Region?

The workshop will take place on 27 September 2017 at 10:30 – 12:30 at the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law headquarters in the Hague. It will start with an introduction of the project followed by a discussion on the context in which the migration process has taken place. We will deliver midterm findings of a case-study focussing on mixed migration from a range of MENA countries into the EU28.
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Opening Workshop on the Drivers of Mixed Migration from the MENA Region

A workshop on the Drivers of Mixed Migration from the MENA Region will be held on 20 July in Tunis. This workshop is the inception event of the project “Drivers of Mixed Migration: Analysing the Role of Development and Security Policies in the MENA Region”.  It is a six-month research and policy programme funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research and led by ISDC. The project brings together a group of leading researchers, practitioners and policymakers with significant experience in the MENA region. The consortium includes the following partners: International Development and Security Center (ISDC); United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA); Spark; and the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT).

Closed vacancy: Research Assistants in Applied Development Economics

ISDC is hiring Research Assistants in Applied Development Economics to support on-going research work on a variety of projects on the relationship between conflict and development. Some projects will include the analysis of large-scale household panel data (reference “Panel”) while others involve the study of country-level migration data (reference “Migration”).

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