Sam Mednick


Sam is a Devex Contributor 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

The power of mindfulness in a war zone
2 Jan 2019

Mindfulness expert Paula Ramirez brought her practice to South Sudan to help aid workers reconnect with their own emotions. But focusing on humanitarian mental health isn’t always a priority in emergency contexts — especially when it comes to using less traditional approaches.

In Ethiopia, a multipronged approach to tackle avoidable blindness
28 Nov 2018

When Orbis' Danny Haddad visited Ethiopia in 1996, he found a lagging eye health industry and an alarming number of trachoma cases. The sight-saving NGO has spent the past 20 years treating infectious blindness and building a pool of eye health experts in the country.

Is the international aid community failing its frontline partners?
9 Oct 2018

Local aid organizations in South Sudan don’t feel well-equipped with security training or adequately funded to purchase the resources to make their operations safer — yet they commonly find themselves on the frontlines of the conflict.

Q&A: A new, UN-backed global fund to support former child soldiers
25 Sep 2018

The current reintegration model for child soldiers isn’t working. Instead, the international community "must grit its teeth and actually pay for peace," says Virginia Gamba, new chief of the U.N.’s Children and Armed Conflict arm.

The company taking a risk to electrify Congo
22 Aug 2018

Home to one of the world's most complex and longest standing humanitarian crises, the Democratic Republic of the Congo offers a challenging business environment. But one private company is determined to bring affordable solar power to the millions of people in the country without access to electricity.

Suffering in silence: The deadly economic burden of NCDs
26 Jun 2018

South Sudan's fragile health care system leaves patients facing the financial strain of living with chronic diseases, and health workers struggling to provide adequate care. Devex reports on some of the crucial steps that need to be taken to improve the situation for patients living with noncommunicable diseases.

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.