Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New report on human security in war-torn societies contrasts local views with outside personnel

09.06.2005


Village elders, destitute widows and students in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Sierra Leone weigh in

A new study by researchers at the Feinstein International Famine Center at Tufts University found that local people in war-torn societies view peace and security in vastly different ways than international military and aid personnel serving there.
The report, entitled "Mapping the security environment: Understanding the perception of local communities, peace support operations, and assistance agencies" notes that local people within such settings identified jobs and education as a priority, in contrast to international military and humanitarian personnel who put protection from physical harm at the top of their own wish list. The study highlights the need for moving more quickly beyond physical security to provide a range of social benefits if the gains of peace are to be consolidated.


The report contrasted the views of local people with those of international military and aid personnel serving in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Sierra Leone. The views conveyed come from 350 persons interviewed individually and in focus groups earlier this year. Interviewees included, in addition to the military and aid personnel, a broad cross section of people such as tribal elders, destitute widows, and university students in Afghanistan; ethnic Serbs and Albanians from four cities in Kosovo; and war-wounded and civil society representatives in Sierra Leone.

The study found marked differences between the views of each of the three groups, and also within each group. For example, while all the military personnel interviewed were concerned about security, the American contingent serving in Afghanistan took a much more restricted approach to engaging the local population than did other troops, who sought security in part precisely through such engagement. On the aid side, some agencies sought security by "blending in" with the local population, others through maintaining their distance.

Attitudes also evolved over time. As conflicts receded, local people moved quickly beyond their need for protection from violence (physical security) to articulate a wider range of needs, including employment, health care, and education (human security). "Peace is jobs and electricity," said an illiterate shopkeeper in Kabul. Local people seemed to appreciate what they received rather than debating whether it came from military or civilian institutions.

Reflecting on the report, Larry Minear, director of the Humanitarianism and War Project at Tufts, found the gap between popular perceptions of security and international aid programs ominous. "This report sends a warning to donors: short-term investments in keeping the lid on through military presence and keeping the wolf from the door through stop-gap economic aid need to give way to the serious pursuit of a wider human security agenda if durable peace is to become a reality." "There seems to be a major disconnect in how outsiders and local people look at security issues," added team leader Antonio Donini, a senior researcher at the Tufts’ Famine Center who led the research in Afghanistan. "If aid agencies and peacekeepers want to be more effective, they should spend more time listening to what communities have to say."

Other members of the team were Ian Smillie, a Canadian consultant based in Ottawa; Anthony C. Welch, a former British military officer; and Ted van Baarda, an instructor in ethics of the Netherlands Armed Forces. The report was commissioned by the United Kingdom Non-Governmental Organization--Military Contact Group and was funded by the UK Department for International Development. The report, which includes maps and photos as well as quotations from the interviews, will be available shortly on the Feinstein International Famine Center’s web site (http://famine.tufts.edu). It has been the subject of debriefings in London and New York and will be featured in upcoming discussions with governments and aid agencies in Geneva and Washington, D.C.

The Feinstein International Famine Center, part of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts, engages in research to promote new models of effective humanitarian action. The Center is currently involved in work in Afghanistan, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya and Uganda and in the past year has also worked in Kosovo and Bosnia.

Siobhan Gallagher | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.tufts.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern

nachricht Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>