Maxwell. Santschi et al, 'Questions and Challenges Raised by a Large-Scale Humanitarian Operation in South Sudan,' 2015
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The present paper reports on field research conducted in October 2014 in Juba, Mingkaman (Lakes State) and Ganyiel (Unity State), inquiring into the nature of the humanitarian response and the questions and challenges raised by it. The analysis shifted slightly from the framework of ‘unintended consequences’ as it became clear that (a) the analysis addresses the interactions between humanitarian aid and the conflict context, not necessarily the consequences of the former upon the latter; and relatedly (b) it may be too early and the situation too fluid to have a clear view of ‘consequences’ as such. This is not intended to be an analysis of the conflict itself, nor the myriad consequences arising therefrom; it is focused on the humanitarian operations only. We have also not attempted to deal consequentially with the myriad shifts in the situation since our visit and initial drafting of this paper in late 2014; to do so would entail never-ending updates to this text. The reader should keep in mind that descriptions of territorial control and other dynamics were current as of October 2014, unless otherwise noted. Building on a wide range of earlier fieldwork, some 90 interviews were conducted with GRSS officials, donor and agencies staff in Juba, Mingkaman and Ganyiel, and with leaders and members of displaced and host communities affected by the conflict and being reached somehow by the humanitarian response. All interviews were uploaded to Dedoose software for coding and qualitative analysis. During the stay in Mingkaman and Ganyiel, the team also had opportunities to observe some activities of organisations serving the displaced persons as well as the activities by members of the internally displaced person (IDP) and host communities in the existing communal spaces.