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

Q&A: UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi on South Sudan's 'dead ends'
20 Jun 2017

South Sudan is the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency's Global Trends report released Monday. Devex accompanied U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on his trip to Bentiu's U.N protected camp, and spoke with him about his impressions after the visit.

6 habits of a successful 'head of risk'
13 Jun 2017

It’s a sector of the international development community that likes to remain under the radar. Yet it serves as a lifeline for thousands of humanitarians who risk their lives on a daily basis. As part of an in-depth report, Devex spoke extensively with Andrew Firth, head of risk for one of South Sudan’s leading security companies, to find out what it takes to be a leader in this field.

What goes on inside one of South Sudan's leading security firms?
9 Jun 2017

As the world’s youngest nation heads into its fourth year of conflict, humanitarians in South Sudan are both stretched thin and concerned for their safety. As a result, many rely on external security contractors, such as WS Insight, to help inform and guide their movements. Devex caught up with the firm's head of risk to find out what it looks like to collect and collate information to keep aid workers safe.

Q&A: WFP and FAO chiefs on South Sudan’s creeping donor fatigue
30 May 2017

Less than two months into his new position of executive director of the World Food Programme, David Baisley, former governor of South Carolina, is taking his first trip to South Sudan, together with José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization. In an exclusive interview with Devex, they speak about what their respective organizations are doing to combat the famine and the potential dire consequences of donor fatigue.

Q&A: How to win USAID grants in South Sudan
27 Apr 2017

The government of the United States is the largest donor to South Sudan, giving more than $2 billion since 2013. In this exclusive interview, Devex sat down with two leaders of the U.S. Agency for International Development's Vistas program, which awards small grants to NGOs across the country, to find out what it takes to win USAID funding.

Q&A: Canada's ambassador to South Sudan on embassy's reopening
17 Apr 2017

When fighting erupted in South Sudan’s capital of Juba in July 2016, the Canadian Embassy — along with many others — shut its doors and evacuated staff. Eight months later, the embassy officially reopened. Devex sat down with Ambassador of Canada to South Sudan Alan Hamson to discuss the current realities on the ground.

6 ways to recruit and retain talent in South Sudan
21 Mar 2017

What does it take to attract and retain staff in one of the world’s most unstable countries? Devex spoke with leaders of several agencies operating in South Sudan to better understand the challenges — and to glean tips for how to do it well.

Is South Sudan set to reverse its $10,000 aid worker permit fee?
20 Mar 2017

Two weeks after its announcement, NGOs and government officials are pressuring South Sudan to reconsider its dramatic aid worker permit fee hike. Recent diplomatic meetings in the country could spell a reverse for the directive.

This is what it's like to deliver aid in South Sudan
6 Mar 2017

Emergency teams are stretched in one of the world's most expensive countries to deliver aid. The humanitarian community is bracing for resources — both human and financial — to be further strained in coming months due to a particularly challenging mix of geographical, logistical and bureaucratic factors.

USAID’s Pakistan strategy: Partner with local government – a conversation with Julie Koenen
6 May 2011

<p>In an exclusive interview with Devex, the U.S. Agency for International Development&rsquo;s regional office chief in Karachi, Julie Koenen, discusses USAID funding trends, the agency&rsquo;s focus on working with the Pakistani government, and strategies for aid implementers to secure funding.</p>