Two New Helpdesk Reports from Dr. Emilie Combaz

by | Jul 29, 2013 | Publications | 0 comments

gsdrc logoAnswering queries on the definition of humanitarian capability, and the effects of integrated UN missions on humanitarian operations,  HCRI Research Associate Dr. Emilie Combaz has submitted two new helpdesk reports to the Governance and Social Development Research Centre (GSDRC).

Pointing out that there was little consensus amongst experts on the definition “humanitarian capability” and a dearth of comprehensive reviews of humanitarian capability as a concept, Dr. Combaz also identified a lack of literature that examined how power inequalities expressed through class, gender, and ethnicity affect author’s preconcieved understandings of the concept.

On the effect of integrated UN missions on humanitarian operations, Dr. Combaz writes that currently a definite answer is difficult to give. Argument can be made for some possible benefits of integrated UN missions for humanitarian efforts, such as the increased facilitation of humanitarian advocacy and more effective protection of civilians. However there are also negative effects, particularly in situations where the UN is mandated to support a state which no longer has widespread legitimacy, and which has a related impact upon the local percieved legitimacy of UN humanitarian work in the area. Even these tentative conclusions are not uncontested as there is a severe lack of systematic evidence on the subject, due in part to the recent initiation of UN integrated missions.

The GSDRC Research Helpdesk is a service designed to supply rapid and concise reports which combine key literature and expert knowledge and skills in response to specific questions of governance, social development, humanitarian and conflict issues.

Dr. Combaz’s full reports are both publicly available:


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