ResilienceLinks Webinar | Connecting through Crises: Opportunities and Challenges in Strengthening Informal Support Networks
How can donors, policymakers and practitioners help strengthen informal support networks as part of their efforts to build resilience in vulnerable communities?
To date, aid actors have paid little attention to the ways in which external assistance may either strengthen or undermine informal support networks. Despite growing recognition of the critical role that communities themselves play in responding to crises and growing calls for more localized approaches to aid, aid actors continue to operate in ways that are divorced from locally-led support networks.
On October 20, 2022, ResilienceLinks, USAID’s Center for Resilience and Mercy Corps partnered for a panel discussion to present research findings and explore how donors, policymakers and practitioners can help strengthen informal support networks as part of their efforts to build resilience in vulnerable communities.
Maha Elsamahi is a research and learning adviser with Mercy Corps’ Research and Learning team, where she supports the resilience, livelihoods and food security portfolio. She received her master’s in conflict resolution from Georgetown University, where she focused on refugees and humanitarian emergencies, with a particular interest in gender and post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation.
Dr. Jessie Anderson, Ph.D. leads the USAID Center for Resilience’s work on conflict integration and humanitarian-development-peace coherence. She has 15 years of aid experience and was previously a democracy fellow in conflict, fragility and peacebuilding at USAID. Prior to joining USAID, she founded a startup supporting post-conflict peacebuilding efforts and consulted for aid organizations. She also researched peace operations as a fellow at the Stimson Center and coordinated events on the future of humanitarian aid at The George Washington University, where she earned her Ph.D. in political science.
Guhad M. Adan has 30 years of humanitarian and development programming, research and consulting in Somalia. Over the past five years, his work has focused on social protection, particularly the humanitarian-development nexus and political economy of aid in Somalia. Guhad has been part of numerous research projects, including those for Tufts University, the London School of Economics and several other marginalization and drought response advocacy articles. He holds a B.A. in development studies from the University of South Africa and an M.Sc. from the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies.