Sam is a Devex Contributor based in South Sudan. Over the past 12 years she’s reported on conflict, post-conflict, and development stories from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe. Her work has appeared in Devex, the Associated Press, VICE, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and The New Humanitarian, among others. Sam also produces and hosts the Happiness at Work Podcast, interviewing authors, speakers and thought leaders about what it takes to live productive and fulfilling lives.
In September 2018, the Burundi government demanded an ethnic breakdown of local staff from all international organizations in the country. The request is indicative of an emerging trend, where "assertive authorities" seek to influence how humanitarian operations function.
When fighting broke out in South Sudan almost six years ago, 39-year-old Galla Michael found himself living in a swamp in the country’s northwest, trying to help 20,000 people flee from war. Devex speaks with three aid workers on what it takes to work in the bush.
Humanitarian groups have assisted over 3,500 internally displaced people in South Sudan to return home since April. The moves have sparked debate about what constitutes safe and dignified returns in a country still reeling from five years of fighting.
The shorter the questionnaire, the more likely the responses are correct. Devex collects insights from organizations that specialize in compiling and analyzing data and information in challenging contexts.
The humanitarian response has made strides in collecting and using data. But more digestible reports and streamlined data sets are just two items on a long list of areas to improve, aid workers tell Devex.
Bribery relating to the allocation of grants and jobs in South Sudan's aid sector is rife, according to South Sudanese humanitarians who shared their stories. Devex digs into the alleged culture of corruption in a sector that has long helped fuel the nation's economy.