This article challenges the way we traditionally think about conflict early warning systems and introduces readers to a new form of aid that can be deployed when civilians are trapped in conflict zones and the chance of reaching them in time with conventional relief and protection is unlikely. The author calls our attention to the “egocentric” tendency of conflict early warning systems to merely warn “outsiders” located away from the conflict zone while failing to also warn those facing the imminent danger of being attacked. Finally, the author introduces and advocates a new form of aid known as Locally-Led Advance Mobile Aid (LLAMA) that would enable threatened populations to build local early warning networks.
Early warning analysis must not only establish where crises are more likely to occur, but also, help shape strategies aimed at preventing and preparing for humanitarian crises. This paper outlines a policy relevant early warning template which can be used in a variety of institutions, including international governmental and non-governmental organisations and within governments. It examines the types of information that should be included, listing indicators that are aggregated into seven over-arching factors. Finally, it outlines a template for early warning analysis for the development of both conflict prevention and preparedness measures.
The West is characterised by dynamism and moral reflexes to bring about good. Within the world’s political domain, the West holds positions of power as well as key economic positions. In practice, the combination of these two factors periodically lead to the former being used to maintain the latter. We need to be aware that this discord will continue to cast a shadow on what – at first sight at least – is undoubtedly a noble aim: to help bring peace and prosperity to the world.