Strategic planning undertaken in 2004/5 has paid off. The Center has revised its research portfolio to focus on three critical themes of research: Lives and Livelihoods, Rights and Protection, and Politics and Policy. In July 2006, the Center staff moved into a new, larger space in an office building at the Tufts Medford campus, and we have opened a permanent second office in Addis Ababa. Our team of researchers, both in Medford and in Addis, has expanded over the year, and we are set to continue this expansion into 2006/7.
2005/6 has seen the continuation of a number of valuable partnerships—and the formation of exciting new ones—promoting both our research and institutional change agendas.
- We continue to work in Sudan with the World Food Programme both to support the evaluation of their work and to facilitate the creation of their first long-term country-wide strategic plan.
- In the tsunami-affected countries in South Asia, we are partnering with Oxfam America to support PhD research into post-disaster reconstruction and to work with local Oxfam researchers in Sri Lanka, assisting them in developing a community-based research program.
- In Ethiopia we have major partnerships with NGOs and the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
- In Uganda we are working closely with UNICEF.
The Center has also strengthened its commitment to education and teaching during the past year. In May 2006, five students graduated from our Masters in Humanitarian Assistance program, and we accepted seven students into the degree for 2006/7. Seventeen students successfully completed the Humanitarian Studies Initiative, a program run jointly with Harvard University and MIT. Center faculty are currently advisors to five PhD students, and in June 2006 we welcomed our first Post-Doctoral appointment, Dr. Lacy Gale.
In January 2006 the Center received a major three-year commitment towards its core funding from the Pierre and Pamela Omidyar Fund at the Peninsula Community Foundation. This generous grant has allowed us to expand our base in Africa and to focus more of our time on long-term research and institutional change programs.
In the spring of 2006 we signed an agreement with the Ministry of Justice in Ethiopia, giving the Center legal status in the country and allowing us to open a per¬manent office in Addis Ababa. The Addis office houses faculty and staff currently working on livelihood issues in the Horn of Africa, reviewing the impact of humanitarian aid projects in Africa, and supporting faculty who work with the Africa Union and the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.