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Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute

Past events

HCRI has a regular programme of events open to research students, academic colleagues and practitioners from the UK and abroad.

Past events 2016

Star lecture – Health care in Humanitarian Emergencies

Dr Amy Hughes gave the University's Star Lecture on Health Care in Humanitarian Emergencies. Drawing on examples from post‐conflict in northern Sri Lanka, Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the West Africa Ebola outbreak and the recent Nepal earthquake, Dr Hughes explored the complexities, challenges and approaches to delivering health care during and in the aftermath of such events.

This lecture provided an insight into the world of health care in humanitarian emergencies, highlighting the multiple factors affecting this. Attendees were provided with an opportunity to consider career pathways available for those interested in working in health, logistics and the humanitarian environment.

Past events 2015

The oldest war crime in the book? Humanitarian aid under fire

11th November 2015

Hospital and medical structures around the world are under fire today. Did the airstrikes on the MSF Kunduz hospital change anything? How do the laws of war apply today? Can the humanitarian campaigns led by the Red Cross Movement and MSF make a difference?

Professor Bertrand Taithe led the discussion with a panel of experts on this topic

Additional reading

HCRI Disaster Dialogue series, with David Alexander and Kathy Oldham

November 2015

The Disaster Dialogue series, hosted by HCRI, is a regular multi-disciplinary forum that responds to the urgent challenges posed by disaster events, including their interface with climate change and sustainable development.

HCRI Speaker Series, with guest speakers from Children of Uruzgan (CoU) Programme at Save the Children

26 October 2015

Speakers from Children of Uruzgan spoke about their work. Speakers included Yasamin Alttahir, Project and Research Manager, Lynne Benson, Head of International Programs, and Abdul Basir, Technical Advisor.

HCRI Speaker Series, with guest speaker Romea Bruegger

5 October 2015

Romea Bruegger is a HCRI alumni and spoke about her career so far.

Evening public roundtable with Jane Cocking: Partnerships & Principles, Addressing the Global Humanitarian Challenge

30 Septembers 2015

Jane Cocking, Humanitarian Director for Oxfam GB, lead a debate on the options for addressing the growing levels of humanitarian need in the coming decades.

Professor Tony Redmond OBE: International Crisis - How Manchester has helped shape the world’s response to humanitarian emergencies

22 September 2015

Manchester has played an integral role in developing responses to emergency situations; from the birth of “casualty” departments during the construction of the ship canal, to the first specialist fracture clinic being set in Ancoats Hospital.

International Conference: A Quest for Humanitarian Effectiveness?

14-16 September 2015

Debating the Evolution of Humanitarian Action: History, Practice, Politics and Performance

This conference, organised by HCRI and the Humanitarian Affairs Team within Save the Children UK, was officially associated to the World Humanitarian Summit, within the theme of humanitarian effectiveness, and is also formally linked to the International Humanitarian Studies Association. It reflected on the evolution and consequence of existing approaches to understanding and improving humanitarian effectiveness. It also explored effect of humanitarian action that tend not to be captured by the conventional discourse on effectiveness. This conferences used the theme of humanitarian effectiveness of frame a critical and constructive interdisciplinary conversation on the politics and practice of humanitarian action.

International Conference: Inequality, Peace and Conflict

10-11 September 2015

Inequality and the consequences of capital are back on the agenda of international relations, as well as in the public eye. Various forms of inequality have long been related to peace, in structural terms as the root and causal factor in violence, or specifically in economic and modernisation terms, as necessary or development competition, and material advancement.

Between Joyce and Remembrance - Film Screening and Director Q&A

17 March 2015

Between Joyce and Remembrance is a hard-hitting documentary about truth and reconciliation in South Africa, focusing on the family of the tortured, poisoned and murdered student activist, Siphiwo Mtimkulu.

HCRI Speaker Series with Richard Conibere

5 March 2015

In the early 2000s Richard worked at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Sierra Leone, managing and researching the 7,000 statements on wartime experiences that spanned the conflict from 1991 to 2000. In this Speaker Series Richard discussed his legacy work with the TRC, mapping the 40,000 violations to present an interactive history of the conflict.

Careers in Humanitarianism 2015

6 February 2015

The third Careers in Humanitarianism Day, hosted by the Humanitarianism and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI).

Afghanistan in Transition: Humanitarian Action in a Fragile Context

5 February 2015

Afghanistan is currently going through political, economic, security and humanitarian transitions. This roundtable discussion focused on the ongoing humanitarian needs of the country and on the ability of the humanitarian community to respond. Afghanistan has confronted humanitarian actors with a series of dilemmas and challenges. This roundtable offered an opportunity to take stock of past challenges and scope out future ones.

Panellists

  • Kevin Davies (MBE) is Emeritus Professor at the University of South Wales. He is the author of numerous publications focusing on disaster nursing and emergency preparedness. A trained nurse, he has been a member of both the Territorial and Regular Army and, as a Reservist, has been deployed to many areas of the world, including Afghanistan.
  • Vickie Hawkins is the Executive Director of MSF UK. In February 2014 Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) published a research report 'Between Rhetoric and Reality: the ongoing struggle to access healthcare in Afghanistan' that reflects on progress made as well as the ongoing medical humanitarian needs of the Afghani people, including the serious and often deadly risks that people are forced to take to seek both basic and emergency care.
  • Boris Mahammad Fawad is an MA student at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), The University of Manchester, studying Humanitarianism and Conflict Response. He grew up in Afghanistan and has worked as an interpreter for the British Army in Afghanistan.

The event was chaired by Roger Mac Ginty, Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI). The panel of experts reflected back on more than a decade of international aid and investment and discussed what is next for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan: The transition - public exhibition

John Rylands Library, 1 December 2014 to mid-February 2015

Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)'s photography exhibition, in collaboration with documentary photographers Andrea Bruce and Mikhail Galustov, presented a series of highly evocative photographs capturing personal stories from MSF's Afghanistan projects to highlight the serious ongoing problems of accessing basic health care in Afghanistan.

The exhibition was on display in collaboration with the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI). It was intended to inform and support policy and decision makers, and foster increased understanding and debate within the field. HCRI provides a centre of excellence for practitioners in emergencies and conflicts, delivering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

The exhibition was e on display at the John Rylands Library in The Atrium Gallery, from 1 December 2014 to mid-February 2015.

Read MSF's accompanying report 'Between Rhetoric and Reality: The Ongoing Struggle to Access Healthcare in Afghanistan'

For images from the opening of the exhibition, you can read our blog post about the event.

Past events 2014

HCRI Speaker Series - Rising From Ashes

2 December 2014

The film screening of Rising From Ashes was introduced by HCRI alumni Sam Garbett and was followed by a Q&A with Rony Cohen who worked with Rwandan cyclist Adrien Niyonshuti in founding the Adrien Niyonshuti Cycling Academy. Cohen's work for the Rising From Ashes foundation supports the on-going success of the Academy, fulfilling Adrien's dream of 'giving back' to his country.

Book Launch - Dr Tanja Müller's Legacies of Socialist Solidarity

11 November 2014

Dr Müller’s new book Legacies of Socialist Solidarity – East Germany in Mozambique was published in August. At the book launch, on Tuesday 11.11.2014, Dr Tanja Müller (HCRI and IDPM) spoke about her book, followed by a response from Professor Barry Munslow (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine) and Professor Phil Woodhouse (Institute for Development Policy and Management, Manchester).

Understanding Ebola - Tri-Institute Lecture

6 November 2014

Held in partnership with the Brooke World Poverty Institute (BWPI) and the Institute for Development and Policy Management (IDPM), the 2014 Tri-Institute Lecture featured speakers working at the forefront of the current Ebola Response in West Africa. It brought together anthropologists, medical doctors and humanitarian workers to critically reflect on progress to date and what more can be done.

Speakers

Vickie Hawkins is the Executive Director of MSF UK. She joined MSF in 1998 after 3 years working in the Emergencies Department at Oxfam. She has undertaken successive missions in a range of countries as a Project Coordinator, Head of Mission and Head of Programmes, before starting her current role in May 2014.

Mukesh Kapila (CBE) is Professor of Global Health and Humanitarianism in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences (FMHS) and Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI). Mukesh has extensive experience in the policy and practice of international development, including his time as Special Advisor to the UN and Director at WHO. 

Ann Kelly joined the University of Exeter as a Senior Lecturer in Anthropology in 2012. Prior to this she worked at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Ann's work focuses on the relevance of anthropological insights and methods for public health.

Tony Redmond (OBE) is the Deputy Director of HCRI and Director of the UK International Trauma Register (UKIETR). Professor Redmond has led medical teams to sudden onset disasters, complex emergencies and conflicts for over twenty five years. He is currently part of the team coordinating the national medical response to Ebola in conjunction with the Department for International Development of the UK Government.

Fernanda Falero Cusano can no longer attend the event as she has been deployed to work in the crisis. Fernanda is an Anthropologist and Health Promotion Advisor at Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Spain. She has more than 11 years of humanitarian fieldwork experience working with emergency medical humanitarian organisations in various countries and is also completing her MPhil at HCRI.

Lecture video

HCRI Speaker Series - Bernard Manyena

4 November 2014

Bernard Manyena, Lecturer in Disaster Management spoke about his own experiences, his career path, research areas of interest, and links with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities, Civil Contingencies and Resilience Unit.

HCRI Speaker Series - Jane Cocking, Humanitarian Director of Oxfam 

7 October 2014

Kicking off HCRI's events programme of the 2014/15 academic year, Humanitarian Director of Oxfam Jane Cocking gave a talk to a packed room. Talking about her career, the operational considerations of Oxfam and her thoughts on where the humanitarian sector was progressing, Jane then took part in a thought-provoking and engaging Q&A session.

Third Annual Conference of the International Association for Peace and Conflict Studies: Shaping Peace - Local Infrastructures and State Formation

11-12 September 2014

September saw the commencement of our annual Peace and Conflict Studies conference. Focusing on the role of local infrastructure and state formation in shaping peacebuilding, the conference featured keynote speeches from Professor Thania Paffenholz and Professor Keith Krause.

Recordings of the keynotes coming soon.

Careers in Humanitarianism 

19 May 2014

In May, students of HCRI held a Careers in Humanitarianism day or current, past and prospective University of Manchester students. Featuring presentations and discussions from leading figures in the humanitarian sector, members of HCRI, HCRI alumni and The University of Manchester Careers Service, the event explored the different aspects of working within the sector.

The Creation of Non-Warring Peace Systems as a Form of Peacebuilding

3 April 2014

War is not always present in human societies. Peace systems, defined as groups of neighbouring societies that do not make war on each other, exist on different continents.

In this workshop, Douglas P. Fry delivered a lecture comparing three peace systems—the Upper Xingu River basin tribes of Brazil, the Iroquois Confederacy of upper New York State, and the European Union—highlight six features hypothesized to be important in the creation and maintenance of intersocietal peace:

  • an overarching social identity
  • interconnections among subgroups
  • interdependence
  • non warring values
  • symbolism and ceremonies that reinforce peace, and
  • superordinate institutions for conflict management.

The existence of peace systems demonstrates that it is possible to create social systems free of war.

This talk was followed by an afternoon debate examining the implications for peacebuilding.

HCRI Medical Lecture Series - Medicine and the Humanities (a match made in HCRI?)

2 April 2014

In this first annual HCRI Medical Lecture, HCRI Honorary Professors Richard Williams OBE and Honorary Professor Adrian Sutton explored how an understanding of the Humanities has affected their work in Medicine, and how the limitations of Medical practice and theory can often be understood and overcome by reaching out to fields beyond. Their presentations can be found below:

Their presentations were then reflected upon by Dr Anisa Jafar, Dr Amy Hughes and Professor Tony Redmond, and an in-depth Q&A session was held thereafter.

'Does the idea of imperialism help us to understand contemporary conflicts?'

19 March 2014

Organised under the Peace and Conflict North Network, Professor Alex Callinicos (Kings College London)gave a seminar paper presentation which examined how an understanding of imperialism ties into our understanding of the causes contemporary conflicts.

HCRI Speaker Series - Selin Neilson

19 March 2014

Selin Neilson gave our third Speaker Series seminar of semester two, in which she examined the plight of Syrian refugees living in Turkey. After giving a brief history of the country of the region and how this has influenced events in Syria, Selin examined the efforts to ensure the continuing education of children inside the refugee camps in Turkey and how issues such as language learning interacts with hostilities and mistrust between the refugees and those people already living in areas of Turkey affected. Finally, she explored how the refugee situation has been affected by the home and international politics of Turkey.

Urban Risk and Humanitarian Response

5 - 7 March 2014

As part of the 11th International Conference on Urban Health, HCRI organised Urban Risk and Humanitarian Response - an integrated conference co-organised with Global Urban Research Centre (GURC). The conference explored areas including stress in the city and mental health, climate change and urban insecurities, and urban violence and conflict.

For an itinerary of sessions and speakers, see the conference programme.

You can find live tweets from the conference on the HCRI Twitter feed (search '#ICUH2014'), or longer summaries from each day on the HCRI News blog.

Global Health: 2015 and Beyond

5 - 7 March 2014

As part of the 11th International Conference on Urban Health, HCRI organised Global Health: 2015 and Beyond - an integrated conference co-organised by Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC). The conference focused on knowledge and evidence that has been accumulated in different development settings through the implementation of MDG initiatives and explore the emerging agenda beyond 2015.

For an itinerary of sessions and speakers, see the conference programme.

You can find live tweets from the conference on the HCRI Twitter feed (search '#ICUH2014'), or longer summaries from each day on the HCRI News blog.

HCRI Speaker Series - Dr Christine Ryan

5 March 2014

Dr Christine Ryan joined us as our second speaker in our Semester 2 Speaker Series for 2013/14, leading a discussion based on her research into the experiences of child soldiers in the Second Sudanese Civil War.

Examining the self-confessed motivations of previous child soldiers for joining , Christine contrasted these experiences with the common understandings held by NGO workers in the region which often victimised and denied the agency of children and their capability of making rational choices based on a political awareness that originated from their own personal experiences of war.

HCRI Speaker Series - Ibrahim Olabi

5 February 2014

We were delighted to welcome Ibrahim Olabi from the Syrian Legal Development Programme (SLDP) as the first speaker in our Semester 2 Speaker Series for 2013/14.

The aim of the SLDP is to formulate and deliver a number of educational programmes focused on international law which will help the Syrian people set the foundations for a future Syria. Ibrahim is a final year Law student at the University Of Manchester and founder of the SLDP. During summer 2013, he spent almost the entire summer in Aleppo providing training seminars near the front lines. In this Speaker Series Ibrahim talked about the work of the SLDP and his first-hand experiences in Syria.

University of Manchester Professorial Inaugural Lecture - Professor Mukesh Kapila

3 February 2014

Professor Mukesh Kapila is Professor of Global Health and Humanitarianism, in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences (FMHS) and Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI).

Professor Kapila delivered his lecture Can health be a bridge for peace, in a fractured world? on Monday 3 February 2014. Lecture footage to follow.

Past events 2013

HCRI speaker series - Dr Amy Hughes

4 December 2013

Dr Amy Hughes joined us this year as our new Clinical Lecturer in Emergency Response. Amy has extensive knowledge and experience of emergency medicine and the field of global health more generally.

In this Speaker Series lecture she reflects on her own experiences in the field and the lessons that can be learned for humanitarian interventions.

Please email hcri@manchester.ac.uk to reserve your place at this event.

HCRI speaker series - Dr Emilie Combaz - Reflections on past and present research

6 November

Emilie joined HCRI as a Research Associate in 2012. Her PhD, awarded in 2011, examined how the issue of torture was handled at the UN, the Council of Europe and the Organization of American States from 1945 to 2009. Her current research interests are in critical human rights, autonomy and collective action and she recently returned from fieldwork in Palestine.

In this Speaker Series event Emilie discussed her previous research on torture as well as her current work in Palestine.

HCRI Inaugural Lecture - Professor Roger Mac Ginty

23 October

We are delighted to host Professor Roger Mac Ginty's inaugural lecture at HCRI on Wednesday 23 October 2013.

Roger joined HCRI in the last academic year and led on the delivery of HCRI’s first peacebuilding conference New Frontiers for Peacebuilding: Hybridity, Governance, and Local Agency in September 2012. Based on the success of this event Roger launched the annual conference series, the second conference of which Power and Peacebuilding was held in September 2013.

Retrak Seminar Series on Leadership in International Development: Rob Williams, CEO, Warchild

15 October

HCRI is pleased to partner with Retrak and the Brooks World Poverty Institute to present this seminar series on Leadership in International Development.

The third in the series, this seminar will be presented by Rob Williams, CEO, Warchild

3.30pm - 5.30pm, 15 October 2013

Room 3.213 University Place, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL

For map and more information see seminar poster or email: mailbox@retrak.org

HCRI speaker series - Dr Anisa Nasir

2 October

A “Humanitarian” at the starting block: Which race to join? When? How?... And Why?

Anisa was awarded her MBChB(e) by the University of Manchester in 2008. Since then she has followed an academic clinical training route including gaining a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Liverpool and a rural placement in South Africa. She is now back in Manchester as an Academic Clinical Fellow (ACF) in Emergency Medicine with HCRI and studies a part-time Masters in Public Health.

In this Speaker Series event Anisa reflected on what has led her to the work she does now and the questions raised when entering this field of work.

HCRI Conference: Power and Peacebuilding

12-13 September

Following the success of the HCRI conference New Frontiers for Peacebuilding: Hybridity, Governance, and Local Agency in September 2012, we were pleased to present this conference in September 2013.

The programme is still available and you can find updates on the conference on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

You can also visit the Peacebuilding journal Facebook page and the International Association for Peace and Conflict Studies IAPCS to keep in touch with fellow scholars.

We will be uploading short interviews with our speakers on the theme of power and peacebuilding in the coming weeks.

18th World Congress on Disaster and Emergency Medicine

28-31 May

HCRI's Senior Lecturer in Global Health, Dr Darren Walter was Chair of the organising committee for this large scale conference held in Manchester on 28 - 31 May 2013.

Retrak Seminar Series on Leadership in International Development: Terina Keene, CEO, Railway Children

15 May

HCRI is pleased to partner with Retrak and the Brooks World Poverty Institute to present this seminar series on Leadership in International Development.

The second in the series, this seminar was presented by Terina Keene, CEO, Railway Children.

MSF Book Launch Event hosted by HCRI

22 April

HCRI hosted this joint event with MSF, to launch two dynamic books: “In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid, and “Dilemmas, Challenges, and Ethics of Humanitarian Action”, both edited by Caroline Abu-Sada.

Getting Away with Murder: Genocide & Politics

15 April

HCRI collaborated with the Manchester Salon to host this public discussion looking at the politics relating to genocide. If you weren't able to attend the event watch it now online.

The event was chaired by HCRI's Executive Director Professor James Thompson, with contributions from HCRI Director Dr Rony Brauman, HCRI's Professor of Global Health and Humanitarian Affairs Professor Mukesh Kapila, and The University of Nottingham's Dr Vanessa Pupavac, Lecturer in International Relations.

Retrak Seminar Series on Leadership in International Development: Matthew Frost, CEO, Tearfund

19 March

HCRI is pleased to partner with Retrak and the Brooks World Poverty Institute to present this seminar series on Leadership in International Development.

The first in the series, this seminar was presented by Matthew Frost, CEO, Tearfund.

Joint workshop - Humanitarians and corpses: NGOs and the disposal of dead bodies in situations of mass violence, war and genocide

18 March

9am - 5pm, Room E2, Reynold Building, 18 March 2013

This workshop was a collaboration between the EU funded Research Programme “Corpses of mass violence and genocide” and HCRI. It considered how humanitarians engage with and dispose of corpses in situations of mass violence, war with civilian victims, and genocide.

As a preliminary, methodical workshop, this gathering brought together both experienced humanitarians and social scientists. It addressed simple but fundamental questions:

  • What is the fate of corpses under NGO responsibility?
  • Do procedures exist within NGOs to prescribe the treatment of dead bodies?
  • What is the true risk to the health of the living from the unburied dead?
  • Are the corpses given back to the family? In which condition (clothes, coffins, etc.)?
  • What happens when there is no family? Do humanitarian bury the corpses themselves? With or without religious rituals? Have NGOs in some cases been involved in the exchange of corpses?
  • Can differences be noticed in the treatment of corpses in various situations: sporadic events linked to civil wars, long lasting political violence or mass atrocities occurring in situation of genocides or natural disasters?

HCRI Public Lecture - In/Tangible Boundaries: In and Out of Place, Professor Carolyn Nordstrom

11 February

Professor Carolyn Nordstrom from the University of Notre Dame delivered this public lecture

Visit Prof Nordstrom's profile

HCRI Masterclass - The idea of romanticizing vs enabling the local in peacebuilding run by Professor Carolyn Nordstrom

11 February

Professor Carolyn Nordstrom from the University of Notre Dame delivered this workshop

Visit Prof Nordstrom's profile

HCRI Speaker Series Fragile development, precarious peace with Dan Smith

30 January

Dan Smith (Secretary General of International Alert) presented the third seminar in the HCRI’s Speaker Series for 2012/13.

Focus: The idea of an orderly progression from something called peacebuilding to something called development is misleading. It is based more on the shape and mandate of the international institutions involved than on the needs of countries and communities. But recent discussions of fragility and of peacebuilding, tussling with the question of how best to support the emergence of peaceful states, have unearthed some important insights and findings, which highlight issues and flaws in the general idea of development that most donors and development agencies operate with. Development and peacebuilding are difficult processes. They only work when driven by national and local interests, but there are many countries where precisely such interests have more to gain in the short-term by blocking peaceful development. Outsiders need both clarity and humility in figuring out how best to give their support.

Dan Smith is the Secretary General of International Alert (since 2003). He was Chairman of the UN Peacebuilding Fund’s Advisory Group in 2010-11, Director of the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (1993-2001), Director of the Transnational Institute, Amsterdam (1991-3) and Chairman of the Institute for War & Peace Reporting (1992-2006). He is the author of over 100 scholarly articles and contributions to anthologies, along with several books including The State of the World Atlas (9th edition forthcoming, January 2013). He blogs on peace, development and international politics at Dan Smith's blog

Joint conference with Islamic Relief: Islam and Conflict Transformation

24 January

The conference was jointly organised by the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at the University of Manchester, and the Birmingham based INGO Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW). For further information, please see the following links:

Past events 2012

Tri-Institute Lecture Humanitarian Intervention and US Foreign Policy: Why Libya? Why not Syria? Tom Weiss

26 November

BWPI, HCRI and IDPM are leading centres of research and teaching at The University of Manchester. Working in the closely related fields of poverty, conflict and development, we explore and analyse the complex and difficult areas of inequality, peace and progress.

This lecture was the second in a series of such events and aimed to provide a forum in which these issues can be considered and discussed.

Our guest speaker was Thomas G. Weiss and the lecture was chaired by Professor Keith Brown, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities.

Henry Mayhew 200

23 November

The programme for the Henry Mayhew bicentenary gathering sponsored by HCRI at The University of Manchester comprised 3 successive panel sessions:

  • London Labour and the London Poor (Panel Chair: Prof. Karel Williams)
  • Mayhew as Author (Panel Chair: Dr Julie-Marie Strange)
  • Visualising Mayhew (Panel Chair: Prof. Bertrand Taithe)

Visit Mayhew at 200 for details of the full programme

HCRI Speaker Series seminar in collaboration with MICRA: Ageing, Global Health and Humanitarian Crisis

21 November

HCRI collaborated with MICRA to deliver this seminar on Ageing, Global Health and Humanitarian Crisis

Speakers:

  • Chair: Professor Chris Phillipson (Social gerontology)
  • Professor Tony Redmond (HCRI) Elderly people: the forgotten vulnerable
  • Pascale Fritsch (Emergency Health and Nutrition Advisor, HelpAge International) The impact of humanitarian crisis on the health and nutrition of older people
  • Malcom Rodgers (Emergency Policy Advisor, HelpAge International) The neglected generation: the impact of displacement on older people#

HCRI conference: Humanitarianism: Past, Present & Future?

8-10 November

While the field of humanitarian studies is growing rapidly, it remains unclear if and in what way the research offered by historians and social scientists enters into the reflections of practitioners and policy makers.

This 2.5 day conference explored the past, present and future of humanitarianism, emphasising links between scholars and practitioners in order to forge better understanding of the humanitarian field. It provided a platform for mutual reflection by showcasing recent historical and social science scholarship, whilst also involving practitioners as respondents to such work, so as to better inform both contemporary scholarship and the practice of humanitarian intervention.

Final conference programme to follow together with short video interviews with key speakers and delegates.

HCRI Speaker Series Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo; State Violence in Peacetime: the forgotten angle

24 October

Abi Dymond from the Omega Research Foundation presented the first seminar in HCRI's speaker series for 2012/13 which will tackle both of the following issues:

  • Sexual Violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Voices of the People and NGO Responses
  • State Violence in Peacetime - the forgotten angle: Security, Policing and Weapons in the Modern World

Abi graduated with an MA in Development Studies from IDPM, The University of Manchester, in 2009. Since then she has engaged in both research and practice in the field of conflict and human rights. In this Speaker Series event, Abi reflected on her previous research and discusses her current work with Omega.

HCRI public lecture: A humanitarian surge and its demise, 1997-2003 - a personal account - Clare Short

26 September

The annual HCRI lecture series is designed to provide a public forum for engagement and debate about such broad reaching humanitarian issues.

We were delighted to welcome Clare Short as our esteemed speaker for this, our inaugural, annual public lecture.

HCRI conference: New Frontiers for Peacebuilding: Hybridity, Governance, and Local Agency

13-14 September

New Frontiers for Peacebuilding conference programme. This conference inaugurated a new academic journal Peacebuilding, and a new policy-scholar network, the International Association for Peace and Conflict Studies.

You can also follow the journal twitter feed

Joint event with Dept of Social Anthropology Biopolitics and Humanitarian Citizenship Workshop

16-17 May

This workshop provided an in-depth intellectual exchange on theory and practice in relation to humanitarian citizenship and forms of biopolitical control and exploited the opportunity of having Professor Steven Robins here in Manchester as a visiting Hallsworth Fellow. A distinguished scholar in the field, Prof Robins is based in the department of Sociology and Social Anthropology at the University of Stellenbosch.

For further information about the event and any outputs contact HCRI's Dr Tanja Müller.

Joint event with Dept of Social Anthropology Student Masterclass in Biopolitics and Humanitarian Citizenship

16 May

This masterclass gave PhD and MA students from the department of social anthropology, HCRI and related fields an opportunity to engage in debate and discussion with the speakers of the above workshop.

Joint event with Centre for Global Health Policy (The University of Sussex) Towards an International Political Sociology of Health and Medicine, The University of Sussex, Brighton

11 May

This workshop explored new avenues of research emerging and considered the following questions: What can the study of health and medicine tell us about the workings of international relations, security and global governance? What can an international approach offer in terms of advancing the sociology of health and medicine? What are the most pressing questions now in the study of health and medicine, and what questions arise specifically when they are approached as a matter of international political sociology?

For further information about the event and any outputs contact HCRI's Dr Alison Howell.

Past events 2011

MSF book launch: Humanitarian Negotiations Revealed

8 December

This event brought together speakers from MSF and HCRI to discuss and debate the issues raised in this bold new book.

HCRI film night: Human Terrain

15 November

Free film screening with expert panel discussion

HCRI hosted this free public screening of the film Human Terrain which was followed by an expert panel discussion, Q&A, and a drinks reception.

'Access for All': Incorporating Disability into Emergency Humanitarian Assistance 

11 November

This seminar explored disability and rehabilitation during war and humanitarian crises. Keynote speaker, Antony Duttine, Rehabilitation and Advocacy Officer for Handicap International lead this event which had a particular focus on Afghanistan and sub-Saharan Africa.

Experimenting with leadership: trials and tribulations - Dr Mukesh Kapila, Under Secretary General, National Society and Knowledge Development, IFRC

1 November

This lecture celebrated a pioneering collaboration between The University of Manchester (via HCRI) and The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) which will see us deliver practical and affordable online postgraduate teaching in global health to the humanitarian sector around the world.

PhD masterclass by Dr Alex de Waal: Researching in areas affected by Political Violence and Humanitarian Crises

14 October

Dr. Alex de Waal supported an informal and candid discussion on his experiences of conducting research in areas affected by violence, conflict and natural disasters. Drawing on his breadth of experience in researching war, famine and disease across several African states, Prof de Waal explored the ethical, methodological and political issues with which researchers are confronted.

Alex de Waal is Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and a research professor at Tufts University. During 2009-11 he served as senior advisor to the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and Program Director at the Social Science Research Council. His academic research has focused on issues of famine, conflict and human rights in Africa.

Tri-institute lecture 'Evidence Based Peacekeeping in Darfur' - Dr Alex de Waal

13 October

BWPI, HCRI, and IDPM hosted the inaugural Tri-Institute Lecture on 13 October 2011 "Evidence Based Peacekeeping in Darfur" delivered by internationally renowned guest speaker Alex de Waal.

Alex de Waal is Executive Director of the World Peace Foundation and a research professor at Tufts University. During 2009-11 he served as senior advisor to the African Union High Level Implementation Panel for Sudan and Program Director at the Social Science Research Council. His academic research has focused on issues of famine, conflict and human rights in Africa.

BWPI, HCRI and IDPM are leading centres of research and teaching at The University of Manchester. Working in the closely related fields of poverty, conflict and development, they explore and analyse the complex and difficult areas of inequality, peace and progress. This lecture is the first in a series of such events and aims to provide a forum in which these issues can be considered and discussed.

Non-western donors and aid recipients: exploring 'hybridity' beyond the 'liberal peace'

22 June

A joint workshop delivered by HCRI and Peace Studies, University of Bradford, this event explored the interaction of non-western donors (including but not exclusive to BRIC) and local aid recipients through case study examples and critical engagement with the concept of 'hybridity'. Recent work on hybridity has focused on the interaction of liberal peace interventions and local realities - this workshop sought to expand and apply this to include an analysis of non-western donors in war-torn and fragile states to further "conceptualise" the 'variable geometry' of peace".

Led by Dr Jen Peterson (HCRI) and Dr Mandy Turner (Peace Studies, Bradford), guest speakers included Dr Roger Mac Ginty and Dr Stefanie Kappler (St Andrews), Drs Macaulay, Lewis and Buxton (Peace Studies, Bradford), Dr. Ayla Göl (Aberystwyth) and Dr. Eli Stamnes (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs).

The demise of the humanitarian: the need for dialogue in reclaiming the humanitarian space

16 June

Organised by MA students this conference addressed the most important current and widely debated issues faced by academics and practitioners in the field of humanitarianism. Speakers included HCRI's Director Dr Rony Brauman and Executive Director Prof Bertrand Taithe, who were joined by Dr Hugo Slim (CforC and University of Oxford), Dr Christopher Cushings (University of Bradford) and Dr Stephen Hopgood (SOAS University of London). Panel discussions were complemented by group work sessions on disaster response.

ESRC seminar - Trajectories of Displacement

24, 25 February

Following on from previous HCRI-ESRC seminars including ‘Who are the humanitarians now?’ and ‘Conflict, intervention and the politics of knowledge’ this interdisciplinary seminar addressed key issues relating to population movement and displacement in the modern world. It reflected the fact that displacement arises not only from various kinds of disaster, including violent conflict, but can equally be grounded in modern aspirations and global opportunities.

Key topics for discussion included: understanding the trajectories and narratives of ‘people on the move’ in different settings; encounters between refugees and non-refugees, the latter including humanitarian aid workers and other civil society actors; and the resources, material and non-material, that are available in different settings and which may indeed in some circumstances be the ultimate reason for displacement.

Chaired by Professor Peter Gatrell and Dr Tanja Müller, the seminar included a keynote presentation from Prof Peter Loizos, input from academics and practioners, and a drama workshop with refugees residing in the Manchester area.

Past events 2010

ESRC seminar - Conflict, Intervention and the Politics of Knowledge

25 - 26 November

Areas affected by conflict invariably find themselves at the centre of practices of knowledge production as a vast array of experts attempt to understand and explain the situation whilst developing appropriate responses to alleviate suffering, mitigate tensions and search for peaceful solutions. Knowledge about the causes and consequences of conflict is produced through a variety of sources and this knowledge then informs and circumscribes possible responses to the conflict, enabling certain forms of intervention whilst rendering others unthinkable. Knowledge is also produced, circulated and disseminated through the training of those individuals and organisations intervening in the conflict, such as militaries, security personnel and NGOs. The transfer of knowledge from the international community to the local population forms another integral component of many interventions, with various organisations devising strategies aimed at developing the political, economic and social foundations for post-conflict recovery (e.g. World Bank grants to community entrepreneurs, UNESCO education projects, human rights training, amongst numerous other examples).

Chaired by Drs Jenny Peterson and Alison Howell, with panel presentations from Dr John Heathershaw, Dr Vanessa Pupavac, and Professor Alan Smith, this conference brought together many PhD students and early career academics to reflect on these concepts.

ESRC event - Darfur Diaries: Message from Home

27 - 28 May

Public film screening followed by post-film discussion.

ESRC seminar - Darfur: Assessing the Assessments

26 February

The ‘iconic’ status of Darfur raises important questions for how local, regional, national and international forces intersect to produce knowledge about complex events. Assessments of the Darfur crisis have been used to demand humanitarian intervention, to defend inaction, to campaign for legal redress and to justify political, social and military interventions. They have been produced by political campaign groups in the US, INGOs in Sudan, politicians in Khartoum and circulated within rebel groups in the Darfur region. They have fed into peace negotiations and arguably worked both to facilitate and stall their progress.

Chaired by Professor Steve Reyna with panels comprising Sudanese academics and leading practitioners, the seminar evaluated current understandings of the causes, consequences, and humanitarian interventions of the Darfurian situation roughly since 1980, with an emphasis on the current situation. Specifically, it sought to appraise prevailing historical and social science accounts of the causes and consequences of the conflict as well as evaluations of the efficacy of medical, political, and economic humanitarian interventions in the conflict.

Presented papers

ESRC event - Emergency in Haiti: Where Medics, Missionaries and Militaries Collide 

26 February

HCRI's first public event. 

In the days following the earthquake in Haiti, the lead stories on our television screens changed tone. From the original focus on mass destruction and human suffering, the narrative shifted to the 'lootings' and civil violence, the undelivered supplies sitting at Port-au-Prince airport, and the problematic role of certain organizations such as the US military and church groups. Indeed, the story moved from a tale of vital needs to one of security and assistance malfunction.

With this in mind, this public seminar brought together influential speakers (including Professor Tony Redmond and Dr Rony Brauman) who have been involved in coordination and rescue efforts both in Haiti and from abroad to consider whether the above shift in focus was warranted.

ESRC seminar - Assessing Humanitarianism: Disaster and Data Dissemination

In convening this seminar HCRI adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to the evaluation of humanitarian aid. Exploring previous and current approaches we reviewed what various assessments entail, what they were aiming to measure, and highlighted what these methodologies can reveal or conceal. Case studies were utilised to provide a context for discussions.

Chaired by HCRI Director Professor Tony Redmond, the programme included input from both theoreticians and practitioners.

Speaker Slides

The following speakers kindly agreed to share their presentations from this ESRC funded seminar. These presentations reflect the views of the speakers - those interested in exploring the content in more detail should approach the speaker directly.

Past events 2009

ESRC seminar - Who are the Humanitarians Now?

24 - 25 November

There are many examples where agencies have been forced, required or felt compelled to leave a conflict or disaster zone – but efforts labelled by some as ‘humanitarian’ continue. Humanitarian and relief organisations question when they should keep working in spite of government obstacles, political pressure or manipulation of their effort. Similarly governments are increasingly asking when do international agencies overstep their remit.

This two-day event was chaired by Rony Brauman, Director of the HCRI, ex President of MSF, and Director of Research at the MSF Foundation in Paris. It offered a platform to articulate and debate these challenges and involved practitioners and scholars of contemporary and historical humanitarian crises. The seminar included keynote speeches, research papers and master classes and was aimed at students, practitioners and academics with an interest in humanitarianism and contemporary conflict.

Speaker Slides

The following speakers kindly agreed to share their presentations from this ESRC funded seminar. These presentations reflect the views of the speakers - those interested in exploring the content in more detail should approach the speaker directly. HCRI is not responsible for the content and the views expressed are entirely those of our guest speakers.

Film Footage

Dr Rony Brauman '1989 - 2009 What has changed?'

Dr Mandy Turner 'What does Palestine tells us about the humanitarian agenda?'

Dr Dan Brockington 'Celebrity & humanitarianism'

Dr Isabelle DeFourny 'MSFF nutritional programs in Niger'

Panel discussion: 1989 – 2009 What has changed?

Dr Jonathan Benthall 'Islamic charities, the "religious field" and the international aid system'

Dr Jonathan Goodhand 'Aid, counter insurgency and stabilization in Eastern Sri Lanka'

Panel discussion: Who are the humanitarians now?