Humanitarian research is a crucial element of good disaster management: to learn lessons, to share good practice, to find solutions. Osman Consulting Ltd offers academic and practical expertise within the humanitarian field. We are currently developing international and national partnerships with other organisations. We are currently working on a shelter options evaluation research assignment, plus research on education in emergencies. Do get in touch if you require bespoke research and policy advisory work, conducting high-quality applied research. With our understanding of the underlying causes of all kinds of crises – from natural disasters to conflict to long-term insecurity – we can support your organisation with your research needs. We are committed to ensuring that joint research with communities and stakeholders responds to their priorities and draws on their experience and expertise. See our 1-pager introducing our humanitarian research services (June 2015).
To contact us about your humanitarian research needs and how we may help you, do email research [a] osmanconsulting.co.uk , replacing ‘[a]’ with @ . Osman Consulting Ltd is registered in the European Commission PIC code (938405743).
We have recently undertaken a number of research and academic assignments (besides responding to consultations such as Enabling closer working between the UK emergency services, Solihull Local Flood Risk Management and responding to request for input on the Global Protection Cluster (GPC) revised Strategic Framework for 2016-2019), e.g:
Dealing with Disasters Conference
In September 2015, OC’s Head of Research will speak at this two day conference ‘Health Centred Disaster Risk Reduction: A new agenda for a new era‘. The focus of the conference is to stimulate debate, innovation and advances in answering to recent demands for greater progress in health centred disaster risk reduction. Improved health is both a prerequisite and outcome of disaster risk reduction. Whether in relation to individuals, communities, institutions, the state of the nation or ecosystems, our health is the more tangible aspect of what is implied by resilience.
CDMHR conference Training Exercises for Disaster Resilience programme
In July 2015, OC’s Head of Research spoke at the event ‘Training Exercises for Disaster Resilience‘ at Coventry University’s Centre for Disaster Management and Hazards Research about our work in Viet Nam in mainstreaming disaster risk reduction. Copies of all speakers’ abstracts are available online. The conference opened a channel for both academic and professionals to share best practice in planning, designing and delivering training and exercises for the emergency services. It also provided an opportunity for analysing a range of approaches to enhance the effectiveness of training and exercising for increasing resilience to disasters.
Religious minorities in Iraq
The situation in Iraq is most complex (one of 4 ‘L3’ emergencies). In March ’15 a US-based client asked us to research the situation of religious minorities in Iraq as they seemed particularly at risk. The findings suggest that although indeed the viability of their communities is more fragile, from a humanitarian point of view they should not per se be prioritised as this could lead to more not less vulnerability. Besides principled humanitarian response, perhaps human rights advocacy would be relevant. If humanitarian response is not done in a principled manner (impartial, neutral, needs-based…) then this could make the fragile, complex situation in Iraq only worse.
Contribution to Tufts University study on emerging humanitarian actors
After two reasonably good years of recovery, 2014 appears to be (again) shaping up as a difficult year for Somalia. Donors and agencies are ringing alarm bells about deteriorating conditions. There is some discussion in humanitarian circles in Nairobi of “another 2011” – only this time competing for attention and funding with higher-profile crises, such as Syria. Tufts University Feinstein International Center over the past 18 months has been researching key areas of learning from the 2011-12 famine. OC provided input for the final report of the University’s research, due at the end of 2014.
Contribution to EU-funded study on impact of counter-terrorism measures
SECILE (Securing Europe Through Counter-Terrorism: Impact, Legitimacy, and Effectiveness) is a part-EU funded project of assembled European human rights and legal research experts tasked with exploring the true impact of European counter-terrorism policy since 2001. In the first European project of its kind, the project team looks to assess and understand the extent to which various actors have been impacted by counter-terrorism legislation in Europe – from the citizen, to the legislator, to the security services, and the domestic courts. Following OC’s involvement in the UN OCHA’s ‘Impact of Counter-Terrorism Measures Impact on Principled Humanitarian Action‘ (see hereunder), OC was invited to this ‘behind closed doors’ (Chatham House rule) event to the project’s second workshop to see the project’s consortium partners, case study leaders, end users, and external experts come together to discuss the findings from the European Anti-Terrorist Legislation in Operation (Work Package 4) phase of the work. OC’s focus was to highlight that of course no terrorist act can be condoned, any CT measures should not unnecessarily stifle legitimate humanitarian aid.
The Humanitarian and Leadership Academy (the Academy) aims to address the critical shortage of skilled staff and leaders in the face of the increasing number of humanitarian crises. The Academy prioritises local level empowerment to enable country level humanitarian response whilst strengthening the wider system. Through collaboration with key local, regional and global networks, local organisations and regional Academy Centres, it will harness the provision of professional development, support quality programming, and deliver innovative thinking. This transformative approach will enable greater delivery of quality humanitarian assistance worldwide.
An estimated 2.1 million Iraqis were internally displaced as of the end of 2012, of whom more than three-quarters were living in protracted displacement. Iraq has experienced multiple waves of displacement over the past 30 years, the most serious of which took place after the 2006 bombing of the Samarra shrine, when more than two million people fled sectarian violence. Iraq’s IDPs live with families, in rented accommodation or in informal settlements in urban areas.
Osman Consulting was recruited by the Danish Refugees Council (DRC) to identify durable solutions to displacement issues, in particular for Baghdad, Missan and Diyala. DRC started working in Iraq 2003, from project work focusing on direct assistance to one that includes a strong emphasis on capacity development within Protection, Livelihood, Shelters, Education/ WASH and Capacity Building. Specific objectives of the assignment were to assess the capacities and willingness of the government and local communities in finding durable solutions to protracted displacement as well as asses displaced individuals plans; options which could include assimilation into host communities and return to places of origin and to map out available services that are relevant to supporting durable solutions for displaced individuals and families. The findings suggest that different solutions are suitable for different groups and Governorates; that whatever way forward is chosen, it will be a challenging one. Osman Consulting had previously provided training for DRC in Iraq with focus on Government Emergency Cells (GECs).
The impact of counter-terrorism measures on humanitarian action has been the source of growing concern within the humanitarian community. A particular fear has been that people in areas controlled by non-state armed groups designated as terrorists may have no or diminished access to humanitarian assistance and protection. Thus, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) commissioned, on behalf of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a research report – released in July 2013 in Geneva – assessing the consequences of counter-terrorism policies epitomised by the Patriot Act introduced in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the USA in 2001. Full report is available online.
OC was recruited to look at the cases of Turkey, Somalia and Qatar as donor countries, and Somalia and oPT as recipient countries. The research uncovered a significant level of self-limitation and self-censorship. This was particularly acute in organisations which perceived their reputation to be highly vulnerable, most notably faith-based Islamic NGOs.
Should your organisation have any humanitarian research needs, do get in touch!