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Humanitarian Action in Situations other than War

The past two decades have seen both a decline in warfare and an increase in state and city fragility resulting from other forms of political and criminal violence. In response, the humanitarian sector has shifted to what agencies such as the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) describe as "other situations of violence." International aid agencies are increasingly involved in these new sites of relief, including cities experiencing intense organized violence, notably Rio de Janeiro, Medellin, Port-au-Prince, and Ciudad Juarez. Agencies are finding that violence in urban settings generates new challenges that may affect avowed principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence, prompting a deeper examination of the intended and unintended impacts of their interventions.

This grant will allow a team of researchers at the International Relations Institute of the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and partners in Colombia, Haiti and Mexico to critically assess the dynamics of urban violence in selected cities. The team will also examine the ways in which aid agencies are adapting their practices, and the wider implications for humanitarian action in non-war zones. Through interviews, surveys, and focus groups, the humanitarian action in situations other than war (HASOW) project will engage with state and community actors in violence-affected neighborhoods to obtain an understanding of how these new humanitarian landscapes are affecting state-society dynamics and citizen security.

Start Date03/01/2011
Duration36 month(s)
Area Under Study[Latin America and the Caribbean][Americas][South America][Brazil][Colombia][Caribbean][Haïti]
Responsible OfficerGottsbacher, Markus
Total Funding$505,000.00

Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro
Institution Address Rua Marques de Sao Vincente 225 Gavea, 22453-900 Rio de Janeiro Brazil
Component NameIRI-CUB
Researcher NameDr. Paulo Esteves
Researcher RoleCP-PROJ CO-LEADER
Researcher NameDr. Robert Muggah
Researcher RoleCP-PROJ LEADER
Project Details
IDRC funds researchers in the developing world so they can build healthier, more prosperous societies
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