Highlights - October to December 2017

What’s new at IRIN?

IRIN reporting wins 2017 UNCA award

IRIN’s outstanding reporting on Asia and the Rohingya crisis was recognised by the United Nations Correspondents Association in November with a silver medal to former Asia Editor Jared Ferrie for the Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial Prize for written media. For more details on his award-winning entries, see the announcement on our website.

 

The 10 most popular IRIN stories of 2017

Every passing year seems to bring new record numbers in terms of displacement, people in need of assistance and gaps in funding to respond. Looking back, 2017 was no exception, with wars in South Sudan and Yemen, famine in northeastern Nigeria and Somalia, post-IS Iraq and Syria, natural disasters in the Caribbean, and more.

 

Through early warning, deep analysis, investigations and on-the-ground reporting, IRIN kept the need for effective humanitarian action high on the political and policy agenda and the aid industry accountable to promises made for reform.

 

From an inside view of reform efforts at the UN to trying out cash transfers in Lebanon, and from our front-line view of the ongoing war in Syria to emerging conflicts in Africa, our most popular stories of the year provided insights about the way the humanitarian world is changing.

 

Here are some of our other top stories from the end of 2017:

 

Nowhere to go

What has become of the hundreds of thousands of people who crossed the Mediterranean into Europe between January 2015 and 2016?  Share their journey, from brutal detention centres in Libya to squat evictions in Rome and up to the French border where they run the gauntlet to try to get to Northern Europe. Reported in four parts by @Eric_Reidy,

 

Crumbling Congo – the making of a humanitarian emergency

The Democratic Republic of Congo has been at war with itself for more than two decades.This curation of in-depth reports by IRIN contributors from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the gulf between aid funding and humanitarian needs is growing fast, provides much-need reportage and analysis on many of the country’s most serious humanitarian crises.

The denied oppression of Myanmar's Rohingya people

An explosion of violence has driven hundreds of thousands of Rohingya out of Myanmar. The continuing exodus is the culmination of decades of oppression that have stripped Rohingya of their rights, denied them an identity, and forced them from their homes. What comes next for one of the world’s most persecuted minorities?

 

Cameroon government ‘declares war’ on secessionist rebels

The secessionist crisis in Cameroon’s western region is deepening,. There are now fears of the start of a far more serious conflict that could drive a surge of additional refugees into neighbouring Nigeria,.

 

#MeToo in the humanitarian world

This powerful guest column by two anonymous aid workers brought attention to patterns of sexual harassment and assault in the humanitarian aid sector.

IRIN’s column prompted a response from social entrepreneur and former humanitarian aid worker Laura Walker Mcdonald, echoing the need for a #MeToo movement in the humanitarian world.

 

Samuel Oakford’s reporting followed this call by detailing a litany of crimes and misconduct by UN staffers from the organization’s annual report on such matters.

Security lapses at aid agency leave beneficiary data at risk

IRIN Senior Editor Ben Parker reported on a major security lapse with an online system that stores the personal data of thousands of aid recipients for several international aid groups.

 

Films from the climate change front line

Take a look at Part 1 of our special project that explores the impact of climate change on the food security and livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and Zimbabwe.

 

Looking ahead

 

Ten humanitarian crises to look out for in 2018

In 2018, we are following up on plans to continue producing high-impact journalism, including:

 

Our  Executive Editor Josephine Schmidt is leading the charge to raise the  standard of our journalism, introduce a news culture, drive the agenda, develop our  distinctive voice and apply our editorial values.  

 

Hiring an investigative reporter: Building on the foundations of our newly launched  investigative unit, which has already seen great success, we will hire a full-time, permanent investigative reporter. Our reporter will use innovative methods, open  data and creative partnerships, combined with our intimate knowledge of the humanitarian sector to dig into stories no one else can find.

 

Producing our own podcast: We will introduce an IRIN podcast on humanitarian crises, filling a gap in the current audio storytelling landscape. It may include audio reportage from the  field, “Hard Talk” style interviews with high-level officials responsible for humanitarian response and  interviews with correspondents and analysts, along with a look at current key issues.

 

Rebranding ourselves: IRIN  is well known within the  humanitarian community; our work  is associated with credibility and high  quality. However, beyond the humanitarian community,  we are little recognized. We will rebrand with a more compelling name  and tagline as well as a more modern visual identity that better articulate our mission  and purpose and allow audiences to relate to us. This new brand will reflect our new ambition and approach, and will be rolled out around the world through a series of events and campaigns – both on- and offline.

 

September - December 2017 Events

IRIN co-founder Ben Parker chaired the keynote panel, ‘Out of Order? Reshaping Humanitarianism,’ at the 19th annual Humanitarian Congress Berlin. You can watch the conversation here.

 

IRIN Direct Heba Aly chaired the opening panel discussion at the ‘Rethinking Global Philanthropy’ conference, organized in Geneva by Le Temps, Le Monde Afrique, and the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and attended by major philanthropic foundations.

 

Editor-at-Large Obi Anyadike spoke on a panel on the role of media in contributing to peacebuilding at the Positive Peace Conference at Stanford University. You can watch the discussion here.

 

IRIN Senior Editor Ben Parker did a Q&A and an informational session about IRIN for University of Sussex students from MA programmes in International Relations, Conflict, Security and Development, Geopolitics and Grand Strategy, and Global Political Economy.

 

IRIN in the press

In September 2017, the UNHCR cited IRIN’s reporting on the Burmese government’s plan to establish temporary camps in Rakhine state in a leaked document. The document raised serious humanitarian and safety concerns for displaced Rohingya if the establishment of new camps took place.

 

In October 2017, IRIN Director Heba Aly participated in the Melbourne-based Humanitarian Advisory Group’s roundtable examining the future of global humanitarian action. Read more about the key themes that emerged from the discussion.

 

Africa scholar and public policy analyst Gerald Caplan cited IRIN’s reporting on Burundi in his opinion piece in the The Globe and Mail calling for greater Canadian involvement in Africa.

 

Human Rights Watch cited IRIN’s reporting on Rohingya displacement in their November 2017 report on protecting Rohingya refugees and internally displaced persons.

 

Swiss authorities believe IRIN's coverage of refugees/migration is "relevant, trustworthy and up-to-date" and, if made available to migration authorities in Switzerland, has the potential to "contribute to facts-based decisions on requests for protection".

 

Email from an Open Societies Foundation stringer in Kenya:

"As a young journalist, I must say that I am learning new skills and knowledge on climate change by reading file copies at IRIN. Analytical and well written."

 

From an individual donor - "Appreciate a lot IRIN’s work and after 26 years as a professional with WFP, it is IRIN that keeps me up-to-date!"