‘I just won’t give up’ – 13 year old Ogen Ronald thinks football holds the key to a brighter future. And he may be right

May 16, 2019
As northern Uganda continues gradually to recover from the LRA war, peace/youth interventions using sports are playing a vital role. Former Ugandan soccer star and LSE researcher Francis Aloh (right) is studying the work of a Canadian charity, Athletes for Africa (A4A) and reports back on a recent visit. It has been said that football can heal the social wounds

Book Review: A Savage Order, by Rachel Kleinfeld

January 16, 2019
Rachel Kleinfeld is speaking in London tomorrow (Thursday 17th January) from 17.30-19.00. Book here In A Savage Order, Rachel Kleinfeld casts an unflinching eye on the many ways in which human beings physically hurt each other at a societal level. Not just war, but the much more ubiquitous everyday violence that springs from political and social breakdown, or organized crime.

Should the UK (or other aid donors) ‘hold its nose’ and support an unjust end to civil wars?

September 5, 2018
Guest post from Anna Chernova, Oxfam’s Senior Humanitarian Policy Adviser There was some jubilation recently in South Sudan and amongst war-weary diasporas when the two leaders of the factions who have been driving the brutal conflict signed the Khartoum Agreement, which commits parties to a permanent ceasefire and lays the foundation for a peace deal currently expected to be signed

What restrains extreme violence – Culture or the Law?

August 2, 2018
Ed Cairns on how advocates of international humanitarian law have started getting excited about culture and norms Do we need to get used to war? That’s the frightening question from the 2018 Armed Conflict Survey, from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), launched with the blunt message that ‘peace processes are stalling… the number of armed groups is rising,’

Empowerment and Accountability in Messy Places: what’s the latest?

October 19, 2017
Spent a fascinating two days at IDS last week taking stock of year one of a 5 year research programme: Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA). The aim is to understand how social and political action takes place in ‘Fragile, Conflict, Violence Affected Settings’ (FCVS) and the implications for ‘external actors’ (donors, INGOs etc, but the term always makes me

A philanthropist using systems thinking to build peace

February 10, 2017
Steve Killelea is an intriguing man, an Aussie software millionaire who, in the words of his bio ‘decided to dedicate most of his time and fortune to sustainable development and peace’.  Think a more weather-beaten Bill Gates. He also (full disclosure) bought me a very nice lunch last week. In pursuit of this aim he set up the Institute for

How can the international community help put women at the heart of bringing peace to South Sudan?

November 9, 2016
Oxfam’s Shaheen Chughtai reports back from a recent conversation at the UN Once in a while, the shroud of coded, diplomatic language that envelops discussions at the United Nations Security Council is ripped away by reality. On 25th October, it was the words of a women’s rights activist from conflict-ridden South Sudan, Rita Lopidia, which gripped the chamber. “I meet