Sam Mednick


Sam is a freelance journalist based in South Sudan. Over the past 12 years she’s reported on humanitarian, human interest and conflict stories from around the world. Sam’s work has taken her to the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America and Europe, writing for VICE, the Associated Press, Devex, Barcelona Metropolitan and iPolitics among others. Sam also produces and hosts the Happy Melly Podcast, interviewing authors, speakers and thought leaders about what it takes to live productive and fulfilling lives.

Latest Articles

What South Sudan's increasingly fragmented war means for aid delivery
12 Jun 2018

What many conflict analysts describe as an "alphabet soup of groups," is seen by some aid organizations as easier access to local communities. But others view the armed group fragmentation as a threat, grappling with how to deliver aid without exacerbating existing insecurity.

Q&A: How UNICEF is mapping South Sudan's most remote states
8 May 2018

A new map seeks to be the first to combine service points, communities, and topography in one of the most challenging humanitarian contexts in the world. Devex sits down with mastermind Shah Jamal Akhlaque to find out more about mapping South Sudan's most remote states and how this can inform strategy, budgeting, partnerships, monitoring, and evaluation.

Humanitarians fuel South Sudan's growing sex trade
20 Mar 2018

The United Nations and international NGOs worldwide have been under scrutiny in recent months for accusations of sexual abuse of vulnerable people. South Sudan is no exception. Devex spoke with several sex workers in Juba who count international aid professionals as their best-paying customers.

Despite the UN's 'zero tolerance policy,' sexual exploitation continues in South Sudan
12 Mar 2018

The United Nations is treating transactional sex allegations against South Sudan's Ghanaian peacekeeping unit as an isolated incident. But several stakeholders tell Devex this is unlikely — and that it is time for the U.N. to relinquish a larger investigation to an independent body.

Coping with curfew: How 5 expat aid workers manage their restricted lives
6 Mar 2018

In addition to being one of the most challenging contexts in which to work, South Sudan also poses stringent lifestyle limitations for aid workers accustomed to freedom of movement. Many told Devex that the early curfew coupled with other constraints takes a toll on their overall quality of life. Here's how they've learned to adapt.

UNICEF's new executive director proposes a shift in priorities
31 Jan 2018

The United Nations children fund's new executive director, Henrietta Fore, is proposing a bold new approach for 2018. Devex spoke exclusively with the leader during her recent trip to South Sudan to find out more about her global vision, philosophy, and plans for the future of UNICEF.

To gain access in South Sudan, humanitarians walk a political tightrope
23 Jan 2018

Aid actors providing services to the most vulnerable in Southern South Sudan say the key to their success is being able to strategically gain favor with both the government and the opposition.

From pirate ships to iPhones: What it takes to ‘get things’ into complex environments
5 Dec 2017

Risks riddle the supply chain in South Sudan, with rigorous customs clearances, volatile security on major import routes, and an overall harsh operating environment. Devex caught up with several logistics experts navigating this challenging procurement context to find out what it takes to get goods into South Sudan.

6 ways one procurement company navigates the complexities of South Sudan
5 Dec 2017

Global Mission Support Services is a one-stop-shop for logistical needs in South Sudan and around the world. Devex spoke with country director Wilhelm Du Toit and owner Roy Shaposhnik about what it takes to bypass the red tape in order to bring items such as armored cars or communication equipment into one of the most dynamic and complex environments in the world.

Q&A: South Sudan's UN chief on a 'nimble, proactive' peacekeeping approach
27 Nov 2017

The U.N. peacekeeping mission in South Sudan has long been criticized for failing to carry out its mandate: protecting civilians. Devex sat down with David Shearer, who took the helm of the U.N. mission in January, to learn more about his approach to managing 13,000 peacekeepers in the country.