Helen leads the Darfur Livelihoods Program at the Center, which combines research, capacity development and institutional change. A major component of this work is supported by UNEP and DFID, and focuses on pastoralist vulnerability, and market trends. Her early professional experience of relief management, assessments and early warning was gained working for Oxfam GB from 1985 to 1989 in Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Sudan (including two years in Darfur). Since then she has worked for UNHCR, the World Bank, FAO, WFP and others in Africa. As a Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute, at Sussex, she reviewed nutritional assessment and response to situations of food insecurity and famine.
Since joining Tufts in 1998, she has established and taught core Masters level courses on Public Nutrition in Emergencies and developed an applied research program that covers livelihoods, conflict, and public nutrition, with grants from DFID, Ford Foundation, WFP, UNEP, FAO, Mellon and others. In 2002 she developed the Sphere Minimum Standards on food security through an international consultative process. Dr. Young is Co-Editor of the journal Disasters: The Journal of Disaster Studies, Policy and Management (1998-present) and is author of a wide range of books and publications. She holds a B.Sc. from Oxford Polytechnic and a Ph.D. from the Council for National Academy Awards, Bournemouth University, UK.
The report highlights the importance of pastoralist livestock production for the country’s economy, and outlines ways in which pastoralism can be supported in the future, to benefit livelihoods and the economy of Sudan. The economic value of pastoral livestock production … Read More
The Feinstein International Center is working with several national and international organizations, with the aim of promoting understanding of pastoralists livelihoods systems among local, national and international stakeholders and strengthening the capacity of pastoralist leaders, organizations and other advocates to articulate the rationale for pastoralism.
Nutrition and mortality indicators have long been used to guide decision-makers in humanitarian and development programmes. This study provides guidance to IPC practitioners on the significance and use of nutrition and mortality indicators for the classification of different food security phases. The study is based on an in-depth literature review, combined with a two‐day technical consultation held in Rome in July 2009, attended by 33 experts representing 18 agencies and institutions, who reviewed the draft document and provided valuable feedback.
This study examined community participation throughout the food aid program cycle to understand the role of recipient communities in the targeting of food assistance under the conflict conditions in Darfur – one of the largest food aid programs in the world. The Darfur conflict is now in its sixth year, and has drawn in a complex web of local, national, and transnational interests, which play out in different types of inter-connected conflict throughout the region. From the start of the conflict in 2003, protection threats and restricted access have been major challenges to the humanitarian community.
Based on fieldwork in rural Darfur, this report uses a livelihoods lens to illustrate the processes that have contributed to the vulnerability of the Darfuri nomads who have much in common with pastoralists globally. Severe pressures on pastoralist livelihoods have contributed to ‘maladaptive’ livelihood strategies that are often linked to violence and conflict, and undermine the livelihoods of both victims and perpetrators.
It is well known in the Darfur region that peoples’ livelihoods have been devastated as a result of the conflict, both as a result of the direct asset-stripping of conflict affected households, but also as a result of the continuous erosion of the livelihood asset base of all groups in Darfur – even those who have not been directly affected by conflict.
It does not need research to demonstrate that the conflict in Darfur has destroyed livelihoods. This study attempts to go beyond the obvious and immediate impacts of the attacks, to consider the medium- and long-term consequences for people’s survival, and their longer-term future.
This report focuses on the management of disaster risks and vulnerabilities for a range of reasons. Due to the recurrent nature of crisis, Ethiopian livelihood systems have evolved to manage diverse disaster hazards, e.g. the migration patterns of pastoralists are designed to optimally manage the impact of drought on pasture and water resources; farmers seek to mitigate covariate risks through diversifying their cropping patterns; families strategically use family members to combine production with wage labor, etc. A focus on these household risk and vulnerability management strategies leads to more effective disaster preparedness, relief, recovery and prevention, and development, policies and interventions.
This briefing paper discusses findings from a study conducted in Darfur from 2006-8 that explored the changing role of migration and remittances in the livelihoods of conflict-affected people.
Competing livelihoods in the absence of good local governance has led to localized and ultimately devastating conflict over natural resources in Darfur. The lack of comprehensive livelihoods analysis in international peace processes and humanitarian assistance risks entrenching the Darfur conflict even further.
The paper presents a livelihoods conceptual framework that allows an integrated and coherent analysis of livelihoods in Darfur. The Darfur Peace Accord is full of references to livelihoods and the importance of addressing those conditions that hamper sustainable livelihoods for different groups in order to achieve peace and recovery. The paper explains the advantages of a livelihoods analysis in this context, including its capacity to bring together and make manageable complex yet related strands relating to the wider political economy of conflict, its regional dimensions, relevant customary law and institutions, markets and trade etc.
Presentation slides for the Livelihoods, Power and Choice project findings.
By Karen Jacobsen, Helen Young and Abdalmonim Osman. In Contemporary Peacemaking. Palgrave Macmillan 2nd Edition. 2008.
By Helen Young and Daniel Maxwell (2012). Disasters (forthcoming)
By Daniel maxwell, Helen Young, Susanne Jaspars, John Burns and Jacqueline Frize (2011). Food Policy , Vol. 36(4), pp. 535-543.
By H. Young. 2007. Disasters 31(S1): S40 – S56.
By H. Young and A. M. Osman, (2007). International Migration Review. 41(4): 826-849.
By H. Young and S. Jaspars. 2006. Network Paper No 56, Humanitarian Practice Network, Overseas Development Institute.
By H. Young, A. Taylor, S.A. Wey, J. Leaning. 2004, Disasters 28 (2).
By H. Young. 2004. Humanitarian Exchange, No 27, p19-24
By H. Young, A. Borrel, D. Holland, P. Salama. 2004. The Lancet 364 (9448) p1899-
Other Major Publications
By Helen Young. Presented at the Christian Aid/ ODI Special Event “Darfur, Another Chance for Peace?” Humanitarian Exchange. (In press.)
By H. Young. 2006. London, Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute.
By A. Borrel and H. Young. 2006. Present Knowledge in Nutrition, 9th edition., International Life Sciences Institute.