2000 Mellon-MIT Grantees


June – September 2005
Traumatic Stress and the Repatriation Process: Bong and Loca Counties, Liberia
NGO Partner(s): The Center for Victims of Torture, MN
This study will develop a base of knowledge for examining the relationship between trauma-related mental illness and repatriation in the post-conflict context of Liberia. Working in collaboration with the Minneapolis based NGO, Center for Victims of Torture, this study will collect preliminary information on the dispersion of trauma-related mental health symptoms, as well as on resettlement contexts. Focusing principally on adult male and female Liberian repatriates, this study will track social, political, economic, and logistic challenges that confront Liberians as they move in and through Lofa and Bong counties into new areas of residence. It will also consider the ways in which mental illness is mediated socially, culturally, and institutionally in the context of instability. This data will (a) inform current NGO practices about mental health needs among repatriates, (b) build up a base of knowledge about the experiential dimension of the repatriation process, and (c) lay the foundation for further comparative research for an analysis of the impact of mental illness on reintegration over time. This knowledge is essential for the development of meaningful and directed post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia, and will be helpful in developing protocols and services for future interventions in other West African contexts.



July – August 2005
Rape as an Instrument of Forced Migration: The Case of Darfur
NGO Partner(s): Salmah, Sudan
Since the Darfur conflict erupted in February 2003, hundreds of thousands of indigenous communities in the region have been enduring the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Furthermore, the women of Darfur have been subjected to systematic torture and rape. In collaboration with Salmah, a Sudanese NGO working on violence against women, this project will investigate women's experiences of rape within the wider context of political violence engulfing Darfur. Through detailed ethnographic narratives, this project will analyze the relationship between rape and forced migration. The participants in the study will be strategically selected from several camps in Darfur and in other parts of the country. An examination of women's views on how to improve their own lives will be fully explored. The project will help develop culturally-sensitive approaches for future documentation of rape.

July – September 2005
From Beirut: Three Generations in Displacement. From the South to the City Center to a Suburb: Now Where?
NGO Partner(s): Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA), Beirut, Lebanon
This paper investigates the reasons for the increasing vulnerability of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Beirut, Lebanon. I focus on the displacement trajectories of a group of Lebanese Shiites who had to cope with three phases of internal displacement (i) from South Lebanon to Beirut Central District (BCD) during the civil war (1975-1990) (ii) from BCD to Beirut's suburbs due to a market driven urban renewal program (1992-2004); and (iii) resistance by suburban local governments controlled by political parties not sympathetic to the needs of the Shiite families.
I have studied in particular the third phase through personal interviews as well as secondary sources to understand why and how local governments used land use policies and service delivery mechanisms to discourage the relocation of the Shiite families. My research so far suggests that the following factors have collectively increased the vulnerability of the IDPs: (a) Lebanon's multi religious composition and the civil war ( b) an unstable central government influenced by religious factions and with little control over local authorities (c) local authorities that were not consulted on relocation policies and are controlled by political parties of different religious affiliation than the central government and (d) a market driven urban reconstruction process which ignored the IDPs vulnerability in Beirut's volatile housing market.


June – August 2005
Disaster Intervention and IDPs: A Critical Assessment of the Impacts of Natural Disaster Interventions on IDPs in Indonesia/Aceh
NGO Partner(s): Search for Common Ground, and The Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (HIVOS) Indonesia
In multi-ethnic societies, distribution of resources is usually sensitive and controversial. It is even more sensitive in situations where identity-driven conflicts already exist. In Indonesia, the Aceh people have been engaged in violent conflict with the Governments of Indonesia particularly since the emergence of the secessionist movement in 1976 spear-headed by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). As a result of this conflict, the majority, if not all, of the Acehnese people have been affected directly or indirectly. Out of the 4 million Acehnese living in the fourth most populous country in the world, thousands had died, hundreds of thousands internally displaced and a significant number of them forced to emigrate to other States. To make the situation worse, Aceh was one of the places that was severely devastated by the 2004 Tsunami. The response of the international community to the plights of millions of victims of the disaster was commendable. In light of this, this research will attempt to explore whether the various agencies that have been engaged in the relief and reconstruction process in Aceh tried to devise conflict-sensitive disaster interventions.
Through a field-based research, the researcher will attempt to establish how disaster interventions had an impact on the peace and security of the civilians, particularly the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Indonesia/Aceh. For this purpose, the researcher will investigate if and how the relief and reconstruction agencies developed conflict sensitive projects and programs. The research will be conducted in Aceh, Jakarta and other appropriate places, in coordination with, among others, Search for Common Ground and HIVOS, which have direct experience in humanitarian, development, and peace building activities in Indonesia/Aceh. Representatives of NGOs, IGOS, government agencies, civil societies, and IDPs are among the major target groups for interviews, surveys and participatory observations planned to take place during the course of the research. The research is expected to provide insights primarily based on the identification of best practices in planning and implementing humanitarian interventions in conflict situations.


June – August 2005
Internship: Case Evaluation of a Non-Governmental Organization’s Devolution of Primary Health Care Units in Rural, Post-Conflict Sierra Leone
NGO Partner(s): World Vision, Sierra Leone
During this internship, I will assist with the final project evaluation for the five-year refurbishment and support of 35 rural clinics undertaken in Kono District by World Vision Sierra Leone (WV). WV’s general goal for their primary health care (PHC) rehabilitation project in Konois to “Reduce mortality and improve the health and nutritional status of children under five, mothers, and the population at large”. Specific indicators proposed by WV for measuring the attainment of this goal focus on provision of the drugs and supplies needed to decrease mortality for children under five years of age (<5). Other major indicators are based on health worker skills in the management of common childhood illnesses and management of the clinics.
I plan to examine the success or failure of WV in meeting these targeted indicators and their overall success in rehabilitating and devolving PHC in Kono. My goal is to answer several discrete questions pertinent to rural healthcare in most poor, post-conflict countries: Were correct systems instituted during the devolution to ensure drug and supply availability? Was there enough training given to the health workers in illness and clinic management? What are health worker experiences with the devolution and their current jobs at the clinic? I will develop a case study based upon data collected in response to these questions.


December 24, 2005 – January 20, 2006
Internship: Beneficiary Accountability and Humanitarian Outcome
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
NGO Partner: HAP International
The primary focus of our internship will be to conduct exploratory research for HAP International’s (Humanitarian Accountability Partnership) research unit on their central question: Does beneficiary voice in NGO project operations improves humanitarian outcomes? We will provide field level input for this question by evaluating accountability practices of Jesuit Refugee Services, one of HAP’s international partners, at a health clinic for Achenese, Burmese and Filipino refugees in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.
Key informant interviews will be conducted to gather qualitative evidence from the following stakeholders: physicians working at the health clinic, JRS volunteers and beneficiaries. Interviews will be carried out at health service access points to determine how the current monitoring and evaluation system in place operates, whether it includes beneficiary accountability and if the existing system operates effectively. We will also implement a qualitative rapid nutrition assessment for JRS on the prevalence of malnutrition and determine how to best attain beneficiary input into this area to improve nutritional outcomes.
The results from our internship will feed into the development of HAP International’s new accountability framework.


June – August 2005
Internship: Field work with ARC in Uganda
NGO Partner(s): American Refugee Committee International (ARC), South Sudan and Uganda
There is currently a new operation being launched in Uganda by the American Refugee Committee (ARC). ARC is planning an expansion of its humanitarian relief operations in Sudan to include development assistance for internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Uganda. I will participate this summer in collaborative research, not only to contribute to an effective transition of ARC field operations, but also to contribute to the scholarly literature on the subject of transition.
In order to facilitate transition, the ARC is forming a team on the ground consisting of local consultants, researchers, and other ARC staff with experience working with IDPs to assess the needs that are currently unmet in the region. This group will formulate a strategy of transition in cooperation with other NGOs in the area. It will also draft concept papers and proposals to bring the necessary resources for implementation. My role will be to perform field survey research, interviewing local ARC employees, employees of other NGOs in the region, and local consultants. Central to my research will be the following questions: What local norms and power structures bear influence over whom the ARC may hire in the region? What loyalties and prejudices will exist among the local employees available for hire? How effective might the ARC be in training some of the IDPs to help other IDPs? Is the knowledge of public health currently implemented in Sudan transferable to the traumas and diseases afflicting the Ugandan IDPs? Will an expansion from humanitarian to development programs require different funding sources? The goal of this project will be to draw lessons from the experience of ARC Uganda that may benefit other NGOs in transition.


June – August 2005
Challenges of Basic Service Provision for Internally Displaced and Reintegrated Persons in Mozambique
NGO Partner(s): WaterAid, Mozambique
This study will investigate the impact of displacement in a post-conflict society on households' and communities' willingness and ability to (1) engage in collective action and (2) make long-term investments in order to obtain public services, particularly water supply and sanitation (W&S). Our principal research hypothesis is that communities or neighborhoods within Mozambique's capital, Maputo, that have a high proportion of internally displaced and/or reintegrated persons will have implemented fewer collective-action initiatives, and will have lower levels of basic W&S services, as compared to communities with comparatively fewer displaced and/or reintegrated households.
Currently, the majority of international development agencies employ what is called a 'demand driven' infrastructure planning strategy. This approach emphasizes community participation--in the form of cash, time and labor contributions, as well as involvement in collective-action institutions such as neighborhood committees--as central to the delivery of appropriate and sustainable infrastructure services. Communities that are unable or unwilling to contribute their 'fair share' to such initiatives are deemed to lack 'effective demand' and are simply moved to the end of the queue, while those ready to participate receive improved infrastructure services. Whether this model of development planning prejudices communities comprised largely of groups impacted by conflict (e.g., reintegrated and internally displaced persons) is a topic that appears to be overlooked by development and infrastructure planning scholars. Our research will seek to fill this knowledge gap in the literature using the case of water and sanitation services in several neighborhoods of Maputo, Mozambique.


January 2-16, 2006
Recruitment for Sex Trafficking among Nepali Women and Girls: An Investigation of the Source Population
NGO Partner: Maiti Nepal
Sex trafficking, or migration within or across nations for the purpose of sexual exploitation (United Nations, 2000), has been identified as a key mechanism for forced migration and displacement among Nepali women and girls (Hennick & Simkhada, 2004). While sex trafficking risk factors and recruitment mechanisms have been assessed among Nepali victims of trafficking, a comprehensive assessment is needed to describe the source population of at-risk women and girls in Nepal as well as potential recruitment experiences among women and girls who were not successfully trafficked. The current study provides exploratory research to clarify patterns of sex trafficking recruitment and patterns of response, avoidance, and refusal of such invitations among at-risk Nepali women and girls in the Katmandu Valley, Nepal to inform primary prevention efforts conducted by the partner NGO, Maiti Nepal.
The current study will utilize a two-phase sequential research design; Phase 1 consists of interviews conducted with Maiti Nepal staff members involved in primary prevention efforts (n=3) to review and build upon prior research identifying common trafficking mechanisms and vulnerabilities. Staff will describe the range of trafficking mechanisms among their recent clients including nuances of the interaction between trafficker and victim (e.g., repeated offers of assistance to travel or work abroad), as well as any victim attempts to refuse or avoid such offers.
Phase 2, informed by Phase 1 findings, consists of a short anonymous survey to assess experiences of potential sex trafficking recruitment among 60-80 at-risk women and girls (ages 14-25) in Katmandu Valley. Surveys will be co-administered by Maiti Nepal staff and the researcher in conjunction with outreach activities in designated at-risk communities.


June – September 2005
NGO Partner: Refugee Law Project (RLP)
Connecting Research and Advocacy in Forced Migration: A Framework for Practice
The means by which to connect academic research to productive advocacy and policy-making have not been systematically explored within the field of forced migration. Practitioners, policy-makers, and academics—on both national and international levels—persist in calling the problems faced by refugees “intractable” and yet continue to collaborate little. Using my own research on the education of refugee children as a pilot case, I propose the development of a framework to connect research and advocacy. I will work in collaboration with the Refugee Law Project (Kampala, Uganda) to implement a theoretical research-advocacy loop that we have developed together. Using methods of participatory action research (PAR), we will document and analyze the successes and challenges of this pilot project with advocacy workshops, visioning process, and interviews. We aim for the applied research to contribute to the development of a framework that can be used both in the on-going research and advocacy work of the Refugee Law Project and by other scholars and NGOs who seek to have their research play productive roles in advocacy work around forced migration issues.


June – September 2005
Traumatic Stress and the Repatriation Process: Bong and Loca Counties, Liberia
NGO Partner(s): The Center for Victims of Torture, MN
This study will develop a base of knowledge for examining the relationship between trauma-related mental illness and repatriation in the post-conflict context of Liberia. Working in collaboration with the Minneapolis based NGO, Center for Victims of Torture, this study will collect preliminary information on the dispersion of trauma-related mental health symptoms, as well as on resettlement contexts. Focusing principally on adult male and female Liberian repatriates, this study will track social, political, economic, and logistic challenges that confront Liberians as they move in and through Lofa and Bong counties into new areas of residence. It will also consider the ways in which mental illness is mediated socially, culturally, and institutionally in the context of instability. This data will (a) inform current NGO practices about mental health needs among repatriates, (b) build up a base of knowledge about the experiential dimension of the repatriation process, and (c) lay the foundation for further comparative research for an analysis of the impact of mental illness on reintegration over time. This knowledge is essential for the development of meaningful and directed post-conflict reconstruction in Liberia, and will be helpful in developing protocols and services for future interventions in other West African contexts.

January 22 - February 10, 2006
Acting on the Duty of Care: Participatory Approaches to Field Research
The mission of the Refugee Law Project (RLP) is “to ensure fundamental human rights for all asylum seekers, refugees, and internally displaced persons within Uganda.” This autonomous project within the Faculty of Law at Makerere University, Kampala, struggles with how to balance their high-level policy mission with acting on their concomitant ‘duty of care.’ An idea for how to address this issue emerged from a series of advocacy workshops that I facilitated in collaboration with the RLP this past summer. RLP staff began to ask: rather than involving refugees and other stakeholders in reflecting on the results of research, why not engage them in the process of research itself? Through encouraging refugee participation in research, RLP staff believes that this organization could simultaneously help to better the daily lives of refugees and work for solutions to long-term challenges. To actualize this goal, the proposed research will pilot a participatory approach to field research. The research questions for the study center around the community-identified priority of documenting the experiences of unaccompanied minors in Kyaka II refugee settlement and examining programmatic practices for this population to determine possible solutions to lack of protection and assistance. According to the philosophy of participatory action research (PAR), which guides the proposed study, the study design is negotiated and constantly evolving due to the inherently collective nature of the research processes and outcomes. This applied research has three aims: 1) to pilot a participatory approach to research that can be used both in the on-going work of the RLP and by other scholars and NGOs; 2) to generate awareness of the issues around unaccompanied minors in Kyaka II refugee settlement through the development of local capacity to do research and take follow-up action; 3) to contribute to the scholarly debate on durable solutions for unaccompanied minors.


June – August 2005
Internship with NGO Partners
NGO Partner(s): World Relief Mozambique
Feinstein International Famine Center, Alchemy Project
The Alchemy Project funds and conducts research on educational and microfinance opportunities for refugees and internally displaced persons in African countries. The project seeks further understanding about the entrepreneurial behavior and livelihood activities of refugees and IDPs in conflict-affected regions. In this context, the following questions are explored: what types of income-generating and microfinance programs are most likely to succeed, and why do so many fail? How can the success of micro-enterprise in conflict areas be increased? Can micro-enterprise contribute to poverty alleviation and conflict reduction?
My particular Alchemy internship with World Relief in Nampula, Mozambique will entail assisting the NGO with impact evaluation of its income generation and community service projects in the Marratane refugee camp. This will include conducting interviews and focus groups centered on the aforementioned questions, continuing the installation and testing of the monitoring instrument, providing technical assistance, and assessing WR’s agricultural and animal husbandry programs in the camp.


January 2 - 16, 2006
Exploring Family and Intimate Partner Violence and Sex Trafficking Among Girls Rescued from Sex Work
NGO Partner: Rescue Foundation, Mumbai, India
The purpose of this exploratory study is to investigate the role of intimate partner violence and family violence as risk factors for increased vulnerability to sex trafficking among female sex trafficking victims in Mumbai, India. This work is a follow-up of data collection conducted by the graduate student investigator in June 2005 in collaboration with the Rescue Foundation in Mumbai, India to assess the health care needs and life contextual vulnerabilities associated with sex trafficking victimization (Principal Investigator: Jay Silverman, PhD, Harvard School of Public Health). Preliminary findings from this work indicate a high prevalence of experiences with violence in the forms of family violence and intimate partner violence. The goals of this project are to elaborate upon previous work in order to: 1) clarify the mechanisms by which intimate partner violence and family violence victimization may relate to heightened vulnerability to trafficking, and 2) guide the partner NGO’s work in improving prevention and repatriation efforts as well as informing similar anti-trafficking efforts elsewhere. Phase 1 of this project will consist of key informant interviews with Rescue Foundation Staff for the purpose of better understanding the familial situations and violence experiences of rescued trafficked victims. Phase 2 will include in-depth interviews with rescued women and girls experiencing pre-trafficking violence.


June –August 2005
Tufts Research Internships in Uganda:
“Documenting and Supporting the Resiliency of War Displaced Women and Children”
NGO Partner(s): Friends of Orphans, Uganda
United Movement to End Child Soldiering, Washington, D.C.
This research project proposes to directly support Friends of Orphans’ (FRO) program priorities in Uganda’s Jinja District. There about 5,000 women, mostly widows, and children, mostly orphans, who were re-settled from war torn Northern Uganda to the Jinja District in southeastern Uganda. Friends of Orphans (FRO) has been working with the women leadership in these Jinja communities to help them develop income generating projects and small businesses until they can return to their villages in the north after the war ends.
As the result of the FRO participatory planning processes held with Jinja community members, particularly the Jinja Women’s Group, they have developed community priorities. The Tufts University internship program is designed to support the research component of these community initiatives. Current efforts in the Jinja IDP camps focus on the pressing issue for women, as identified by a community-based needs assessment, of entrepreneurship training and related education programs.
My research will consist primarily of asset mapping work by conducting assets inventory for program planning purposes to support the FRO Jinja Women’s Program. Initial assessments by FRO indicate that resources and markets exist for a range of income generating activities (IGA), including: agricultural projects, clothes making, sewing and tailoring, soap and candle making, wholesaling, small shops, and bakeries. The asset inventory will assist in identifying training resources, prospective training sites, and other needed system inputs for training. I will conduct a further resource and needs assessment in regards to the market for expansion of FRO program offerings, such as vocational, entrepreneurship, and micro-enterprise development training.
Significant literature has documented how women are sociologically well positioned to build peace and advance psychosocial healing post-conflict. Forced migrant communities like Jinja are reserves of other assets that aid healing within post-conflict settings. I will conduct additional research profiling women and girls and the role that income generating activities have in coping with loss, trauma, healing and reconciliation in the Jinja community.


June - August 2005
UNRWA and the Palestinian Refugees in Jordan: Re-examined Relationship
NGO Partner(s): United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
The study aims at identifying key elements that have formed and transformed the mission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Of special interest for this study is the huge body of refugees working for UNRWA, of whom the majority are street-level bureaucrats who might have played their role in shaping the UNRWAs mandate through the daily decision-making process they had to undertake. It is through these street-level bureaucrats that the bargaining relationship between the UNRWA and its beneficiaries provided legitimate chances for the refugees to express themselves and engage their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the projects undertaken by the agency-officially or unofficially. Consequently, the study suggests that one reason for UNRWAs survival is the moderate policy-making process that did not suppress the autonomy of the refugees but negotiated with them. By doing so, policy-makers in UNRWA were able to generate constituency for themselves among the international donor community as well as the beneficiaries of refugees.


February 2005 - January 2006
Forced Marriage as a Crime Against Humanity and a War Crime in Northern Uganda
NGO Partner(s): Concerned Parents Association, Uganda
This project draws upon international humanitarian law, international human rights law, international criminal law, and the national laws of Uganda and Sudan to investigate forced marriage practices by the armed opposition group the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) operating out of Northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. Building on international law, including the development of criminal cases and anticipated rulings within the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the project seeks to explicate forced marriage as a crime against humanity and a war crime in Northern Uganda. However, while the project draws upon international and national law, the understanding of forced marriage and its repercussions (both negative and positive) will be shaped by in-depth discussions with formerly captive girls and their children born into LRA captivity. This is done for the purpose of having the analyses of and recommendations surrounding forced marriage shaped by the captive girls themselves. It is our goal that by carrying out the work in a manner sensitive to the perspectives of the community, and in a participatory manner with the girls and their children, the findings could inform the International Criminal Court, the Ugandan government, the UN, NGOs and CSOs in a way that would move the communities of Northern Uganda forward in their search for both peace and justice.


June – August 2005
Internship: Establishing a Needs-Assessment Program for Trafficked Children in the Community of Cambodia
NGO Partner(s): Kokkyo naki Kodomotachi (KnK, Children without Borders), Battambang
All modes of assistance for trafficking victims require improvement. Assistance includes prevention, discovery, rescue, return, and reintegration. This research will focus on direct and psycho-physical needs of children trafficked from Cambodia to neighboring Thailand, with emphasis on identifying critical needs to ensure reintegration of returned trafficked children into their home community.
Identifying the kinds of assistance needed to reintegrate trafficked Cambodian children into their community of origin – Battambang – requires urgent investigation. The social reintegration of trafficking victims is an essential part of victim’s assistance. Successful social reintegration could not only ensure the recovery of victims, but also contribute to the prevention of re-trafficking. Currently in Cambodia, social reintegration of trafficked children is not sufficiently addressed, and responsibility for their social reintegration has been devolved to local NGOs.
The objective of this research project is to conduct a needs assessment to enhance the reintegration of trafficked children and to contribute to Children Without Borders’ reintegration project design. The needs assessment will identify the gaps between the needs of trafficked children and the goal of reintegration.
The extent of human trafficking from Cambodia to Thailand is difficult to estimate. One available indicator is the number of deportations from Thailand to Cambodia: More than 1,000 persons per month, half of whom are women and children. Currently it is estimated that 30 percent of deported children are re-trafficked to Thailand as a result of the lack of effective reintegration, the continuing root cause of trafficking (poverty), the existence of organized criminal trafficking networks, and the “pull” of economic opportunities in Thailand. Further, the lack of knowledge about the realities and risks of trafficking exacerbates the situation.
Successful reintegration of trafficked children requires both financial and psychological support for children. Unless the fundamental causes of trafficking are solved, the forces pushing children to be trafficked will remain in the society. Thus, it is crucial for children to become “untraffickable” by equipping them with legal and appropriate self-supporting means where possible.


June – August 2005
Internship: Illegal Immigration from Bangladesh to India
NGO Partner(s): South Asia Research Society, Calcutta
Unrestrained and unregulated immigration from Bangladesh to India for far too long a period has reached a numerical high and acquired the proportions of a demographic invasion of West Bengal, Assam, and other North-eastern states of India. While the long-term security implications of this phenomenon are self-evident, the escalating migration pressures have occasioned a host of social, economic, political, and environmental concerns. Under such circumstances, this field project will examine the problems posed by illegal immigration in two border areas in India/Bangladesh and ascertain local, regional, and national policy makers’ suggestions for their amelioration.
The objectives of the project, to be undertaken in conjunction with the Calcutta-based NGO, South Asia Research Society, will be three-fold: a) To study two border areas – West Bengal and Assam – which have experienced high levels of illegal immigration from Bangladesh, for the purpose of identifying and comparing the problems that illegal immigration pose for these border states. The research will include a gendered analysis of the illegal immigration in these two border areas; b) ascertain the views of a range of local, regional, and national policymakers to such immigration and their perspectives on how conflicts engendered by immigration can be ameliorated; and c) identify and communicate possible policy and practice options that emerge from the study to appropriate local, regional, and national policymakers, including politicians. The project shall rely on census statistics of India and Bangladesh to ascertain not only that illegal immigration continues unabated, but also analyze data to establish the “missing millions” and the differences in the decadal rate of growth of population in the border districts of India. A key element of the methodology would be interviews with residents of districts on both sides of the Indo-Bangla border, as well as with identified illegal immigrants and government officials, local peoples’ representatives, political leaders, and legislators of the two countries, at the village, district, provincial and national levels. Extensive research works and literature on historical patterns, actual trends and implications of migration to the immigration countries of Europe, North America and Australia would be referred to and drawn up to project analogies of the process in South Asia.


June –August 2005
Developing an Integrated Approach to IDP Peacebuilding in Uganda: The Peacebuilding Map Framework
NGO Partner(s): Friends of Orphans, Uganda
United Movement to End Child Soldiering, Washington, D.C.
This research project seeks to identify peacebuilding assets in Uganda’s Jinja and Pader districts. It is undertaken in support of a Ugandan NGO, Friends of Orphans (FRO), which is planning to expand its programming in the areas of conflict transformation and reconciliation. While the most visible efforts to end conflict typically involve high-level actors and settings, key assets for building sustainable peace are also to be found in community level actors and institutions. The latter are often overlooked and not leveraged for peacebuilding. Taking examples from this researcher’s work in Indonesia, such assets may include women or traditional leaders whose social roles (in particular social spaces) enable them to informally mediate, build confidence, or focus attention on shared identities and interests. Working with FRO, the researcher will seek to locate such assets in forced migrant communities and their wider local, districts, and national contexts. A “peacebuilding map” will be developed to help FRO plan and operationalize peacebuilding strategies within and beyond its current project activities.


August 2006 - September 2006
Field Research Documenting the Challenges faced by the Nigerian Government and NGO’s in Addressing the Problems of IDP’s Arising from Violent Hausa-Kataf Ethnic-Religious Conflict
NGO Partner: World Peace Institute
This field research will document the challenges faced by the Nigerian government and NGO agencies in addressing the problems of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) arising from the violent Hausa-Kataf ethno-religious conflict in Kaduna, Northern Nigeria, in 2000, and eliciting recommendations for the better management of IDP problems in Nigeria.
The project is designed in three phases. The first phase will consist of a study of existing management of IDPs in Nigeria, for the purpose of identifying the challenges faced by government agencies and NGOs involved. The second phase will consist of a series of interviews with local, state and national policymakers, as well as NGO staff to gain understanding of how they perceive the IDP problem and their approaches to solving them. The results of my analysis of the IDP situation and this survey of current perceptions and practices will form the basis for identifying policy challenges and potential strategies for addressing them. The third phase of the project will consist of an effort to communicate the policy and practice options that emerge from these analyses to relevant Nigerian agencies and NGOs. Finally, the project will include an effort to suggest an evaluation system that could be undertaken by relevant government agencies and NGOs, aimed at making the intervention strategies outlined above effective.


May 2005 – December 2005
A Critical Assessment of the Impacts of Natural Disaster Interventions on IDPs in Sri Lanka
NGO Partner(s): Ahimsa, Sri Lanka
The destruction caused by the tsunami in South East Asia provided a unique opportunity to evaluate how disaster interventions have affected the inter-communal/intra-state relations in Sri Lanka. The vision is to make a significant contribution to the development of frameworks that harness disaster intervention mechanisms in ways that promote positive inter-communal and inter-party engagement in regions affected by natural disasters and inter-community/intra-state conflict.
By investigating the following three questions, the researcher will compare and contrast ways in which inside and outside actors and the reconstruction process are either ameliorating or exacerbating the situation in Sri Lanka. By exploring the impact of disaster relief and reconstruction processes in relation to the precarious condition of returning refugees and IDPs in Sri Lanka, the researcher will gain insight into different ideas and models for constructive interventions in relief/aid and development work.
• What changes did disaster relief interventions in Sri Lanka generate concerning the situation of the IDPs? • What are the effects of the interventions on the relations among the IDPs, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and Sri Lanka government? • Is the protracted conflict in Sri Lanka interfering with the capacity of disaster relief/aid and development agencies to provide the necessary and appropriate services for the IDPs?
The result will provide policy makers, the research community, and practitioners with constructive insights into the ongoing efforts to address the precarious situation of IDPs in divided societies that have been affected by natural calamities.
The researcher will be using various methodologies such as interviewing representatives from the international, national, NGOs, IGOs, and civil society organizations, government officials working with IDPs and conducting participative observation and survey.


17 days - 2005
Health and Healthcare Needs of Nepali Women and Girls Trafficked to India for Sex Work
NGO Partner(s): Maiti Nepal (“Mothers’ House of Nepal”)
The initial stage of this project involved traveling to Mumbai, India for a period of two weeks in March 2005 to meet with staff from our partner NGO, Maiti Nepal, as well as with Rescue Foundation and several other NGOs involved in sex trafficking prevention and abolition, and serving the health and social needs of trafficked women and their children. We also visited government facilities housing rescued minor girls not involved with Rescue Foundation. Rescue Foundation, headquartered in Mumbai, works to combat trafficking and prostitution in Mumbai and provides immediate shelter, medical and mental health assistance, and rehabilitation assistance to girls rescued from Mumbai brothels. Rescue Foundation has strong cooperative relationships with three longer-term care/rehabilitation agencies, Maiti Nepal (Kathmandu, Nepal), Saati (Chennai, India), and Saanlap (Kolkata, India); rescued girls and women are housed and cared for at Rescue Foundation until they are able to be transported to one of the three long-term care agencies.
Maiti Nepal works to rescue, rehabilitate, and reintegrate Nepali sex trafficking victims and to prevent the trafficking of Nepali women and children through public education, legal advocacy, and border surveillance and intervention. Similar to the work of Maiti Nepal, Saanlap and Saati provide long-term shelter, rehabilitation and reintegration to trafficking victims from their respective regions: Bangladesh and other northwestern areas of South Asia in the case of Saanlap, states of southern India in the case of Saati.
Phase 1: Acute Care and Trafficking Mechanism Documentation (Rescue Foundation)
In March 2005, in-depth interviews were conducted with Rescue Foundation staff and leaders, resulting in a thorough understanding of the process by which girls and women are trafficked, placed into brothels, rescued, provided care and counseling, and transferred for longer-term rehabilitation and reintegration. Detailed medical, legal and counseling records kept by Rescue Foundation are currently being reviewed to systematically assess the mechanisms involved in trafficking and the acute psychological and physical health needs of girls and women housed at Rescue Foundation. The resulting report will document these mechanisms and health consequences of trafficking within a health and human rights framework.
Phase 2: Medical and Mental Health Care Needs Documentation at Long-term Care Centers (Maiti Nepal, Saanlap, Saati)
In June and July of 2005, two graduate research assistants will review medical records and conduct interviews with staff at Saanlap and Saati to further elucidate and systematically assess the long-term medical and mental health needs of women and girls who have been victims of sex trafficking, and to document the process of attempting to reintegrate women and girls back into their families and native communities. (This same data will be collected from Maiti Nepal in January of 2005 by Dr. Silverman and one graduate research assistant.) The inclusion of three long-term care centers will allow for comparisons across these distinct source regions of sex trafficking regarding factors related to trafficking mechanism, social and health concerns, and ease of reintegration.
Phase 3: Documentation of Prevention Efforts and Forced-Migration Source Vulnerabilities (Maiti Nepal)
The final stage of our project entails documentation of primary prevention, education, border surveillance, and advocacy efforts conducted by Maiti Nepal in Kathmandu and surrounding areas as well as an in-depth assessment of unique vulnerabilities to trafficking represented by this major source region for sex trafficking. The assessment, conducted via key informant interviews, review of local surveillance data, review of case records, and participant observation will encompass social, economic and political factors which may contribute to trafficking risk. The intent of the resulting report will be to inform both policy reform and community-based prevention and intervention efforts in Nepal and elsewhere in the region. This report will also represent an important case study of sex trafficking prevention in the context of specific regional vulnerabilities. This final phase of data collection is scheduled for January 2006.


June – August 2005
Tufts Research Internships in Uganda: “Documenting and Supporting the Resiliency of War Displaced Women and Children
NGO Partner(s): Friends of Orphans, Uganda
United Movement to End Child Soldiering, Washington, D.C.
My research is intended to uncover the broad parameters as well as the specifics of problems and issues that Internally Displaced women and children face in the Jinja communities of Uganda. Many suffer from trauma and depression resulting from war related ordeals of loss and trauma. Some have participated in, personally suffered, or witnessed murder and major physical abuse - sexual abuse, beatings and mutilations by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), including of close family members. Despite these circumstances, the women and children in these communities survive and some thrive.
Within the context of the women in the Jinja communities, I will strive to capture what stories reveal about resilience. My research goals are to look for patterns that emerge in the life histories that the women volunteer to share, to identify and uncover coping mechanisms and the techniques that women employ. It will be important to understand the role culture plays in women’s ability to cope and the social, cultural, and economic pressures that reinforce or weaken their ability to cope. As part of the process of inquiry, I will look for the ways in which their victories are manifested on a day to day basis and how these victories reinforce resilience in the community. The end goal is to dig beneath trauma, to look for resilience and to better understand how to forge ahead.


October 2005 – April 2006
Child Warfare and Popular Culture: Lessons from Sierra Leone
NGO Partner(s): Christian Children’s Fund (CCF)
The global penetration of popular culture icons like Rambo and Michael Jordan is well known. But what is still not understood is the alarming influence of popular culture on child-based warfare and war-affected youth. Using the case of civil war in Sierra Leone, this research endeavor proposes to: (1) Provide a preliminary analysis of the tactics and strategies of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and other rebel groups that served their military purposes and forced most Sierra Leoneans to become forced migrants; and (2) Examine one of the rebels’ featured innovations – manipulating international popular culture figures to serve military ends – by tracking the most dramatic example of this phenomenon: the role of Tupac Shakur’s music and mythology from the late civil war years to the influence of Tupac on present-day youth lives in Sierra Leone.
With logistical support from Christian Children’s Fund, field research trips to former rebel-held territory and Sierra Leone’s capital will test four hypotheses: (1) That child soldier methods are learned and adapted across contexts and over time; (2) That the military tactics of the RUF and other rebel groups were designed to force the migration of large numbers of civilians; (3) That the RUF and other Sierra Leonean rebel groups applied popular culture icons to address military ends; and (4) That allegiance to Tupac Shakur’s music and message, as well as the works of other revered popular culture figures who broadcast alienation and violent rebellion, disengage youth from post-war peacebuilding and reintegration efforts.
Lessons drawn from this research will be directed at policymakers, humanitarian practitioners, and low intensity conflict and terrorism experts.


June – August 2005
The Role of Clothing and Personal Possessions in the Identification of Missing Persons from Srebenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina
NGO Partner(s): The International Commission on Missing Persons
In this research project, I will examine the process of identification of missing persons from the genocide at the UN safe area of Srebrenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina in July 1995. In particular, I will consider how clothing and personal possessions exhumed with human remains from mass graves serve to augment the DNA-led identification process, at the same time that they provide the surviving family members with a tangible connection to their missing relative. In collaboration with staff from the International Commission on Missing Persons, I will spend six weeks documenting cases for which clothing and personal possessions play a critical role in determining or confirming the identity of a missing person. I will also focus on the commemorative aspect of such personal articles, studying the proposed designs for displays within the museum at the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Center.


March – October 2005
Economic Impact Analysis of the Forced Migration of the Three Gorges Project in China
NGO Partner(s): Global Village of Beijing, Beijing
The Three Gorges Project that will be studied in this research is the largest water conservancy project in the world. Matching its scale, its resettlement of displaced persons is paramount. According to research conducted by the Changjiang Water Resources Commission (CWRC) in 1997, the Three Gorges Project will involve resettlement of over 1.3 million persons over 17 years. The displacement of people caused by the projects is an important issue China has to face, with concerns about the economic, social, and environmental consequences. The current literature on the impacts of the forced migration resulting from the Three Gorges Project focus more on the social and ecological impacts of the project. Few scholars have ever conducted a comprehensive study of the economic impact of the forced migration of the Three Gorges Project on both the resettlers and the recipient regions. Our study aims to fill this research gap.
The research will explore the economic consequences on both the resettled people and the recipient regions, focusing on both the economic-impact analysis and on the income equality aspect of the migrations. To examine the economic consequences on the resettled people, we will classify the resettlement of the displaced people into three categories: (1) urban-to-urban resettlement, (2) rural-to-rural resettlement, and (3) rural-to-urban resettlement. In each category, we will compare the migrants’ post-displacement standard-of-living to their pre-displacement standard-of-living as well as the average standard-of-living of the original residents of recipient regions to evaluate the displacement effect and the relative economic conditions for the resettled people in the recipient regions, respectively. Using the surrounding regions with similar economic and environmental conditions, which are not or only marginally affected by the resettlement of the Three Gorges Project, as the control group, we will use the difference-in-differences approach to evaluate the economic impact of the influx of migrants on the economy of the recipient regions.


March 2006
Livelihoods, Migration and Remittance Flows to Conflict-Affected Regions
NGO Partner: Mercy Corps, Sudan
In conflict zones, traditional migration routes and the sending of remittances become disrupted, and complicated. New migration routes must be negotiated and remittances can become a resource to support war economies or the continuation of the conflict. This research covers the first stage (pilot) of a larger research project, which will eventually explore issues related to livelihoods, migration and remittances in three neighboring zones of conflict—Darfur, South Sudan and northern Uganda, and in the diaspora communities of five destination countries-- Libya, Egypt, Kenya and the US and UK. Building on our earlier research in Darfur, we intend to develop and test the methodology we will use to explore our research questions. Given the specific challenges and constraints of undertaking research in a conflict setting, this type of pilot research is essential to test both the research instruments and sampling strategy. We will explore and test both quantitative (survey) and qualitative methods of data collection.