PeaceWire | Spring 2019

Women Helping Reduce Nuclear



Maritime Security and Peace


Datayo: Women In Nuclear Policy

The Datayo Project started at OEF in November 2018 with the goal to make open source information more accessible to the users who need it most via an online web portal. After its launch at the Rhode Island School of Design, Datayo contracted a UX designer and software developer to build a minimum viable product (MVP) by March. The UX design took into account features and products that could prove useful to Datayo in a competitive analysis. UX Designer Jen Hersh also interviewed 9 types of users to determine user needs, and designed a wire-frame that will serve as a template for our future development. 

This minimum viable product allows beta testers to browse two types of data in multiple workflows. First, users can map geospatial data such as Notice to Airmen (NOTAMs) over satellite imagery. Second, users can query and analyze text data such as North Korean state media. Melissa Hanham and Lexie Buskirk demonstrated the MVP in a one hour presentation to 200 members of the "Youth Track" at the Carnegie International Nuclear Policy Conference on March 10-12, as well as provided hands-on demonstration to attendees at the OEF table. 

In the next quarter, Datayo's software developer Arshdeep Sing will develop the underlying data warehousing and functionality to allow Datayo to scale up to four more types of data and larger data sets, as well as add functionality such as a mechanical turk interface and user alerts. Datayo is seeking grant funding for its activities after June 2019. 

Stable Seas: Sulu and Celebes Seas

In February, the Stable Seas team released the report titled Stable Seas: Sulu and Celebes Seas. The Sulu and Celebes Seas are positioned in Southeast Asia between Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Maritime activities here, including piracy, armed robbery, kidnappings, and drug trafficking, have been linked to financing the activities of terrorists and insurgents including the Abu Sayyaf Group and regional affiliates of the Islamic State. Attacks like the January 2019 Jolo Cathedral Church bombings in the Philippines have been funded by illicit maritime activity in these seas.

The report has already generated requests for further technical assistance from the coast guards of Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as from non-government actors in the Philippines and Singapore.

Report co-author Alexandra Amling and Stable Seas Asia Project Manager Asyura Salleh presented the findings of the report at the second Contact Group Meeting on Maritime Crime in the Sulu and Celebes Seas, which was hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Maritime Crime Programme in Manila.

The full project team includes Alex Amling, Curtis Bell, Asyura Salleh, Jay Benson, and Sean Duncan.

The full report can be found at: 

Our Secure Future: The Women, Peace and Security Agenda

In late January, Our Secure Future was proud to launch Just the Facts: A Selected Annotated Bibliography to Support Evidence-based Policymaking on Women, Peace and Security The bibliography is dedicated to answering one critical question: How does implementing the Women, Peace and Security agenda make international peace and security efforts more effective? 

In four sections covering the issues of governance, peacebuilding and conflict resolution, peace and security operations, and countering violent extremism and counterterrorism, this publication highlights the many ways in which women's participation and gender mainstreaming improve effectiveness across a variety of sectors. 

To view the full report, click here

In March, Our Secure Future and International Peace Institute co-hosted the launch of Mobilizing Men as Partners for Women, Peace and Security. Led by OSF Fellow Ambassador Don Steinberg, the Partners Initiative brings together individuals from the defense, diplomacy, development, civil society, and corporate spheres, all of whom are dedicated to advancing the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. The group aims to ally with, listen to, speak with (not for), and open doors for women’s groups and individuals working to advance gender equality within international peace and security efforts.

Speakers at the public panel included:

Ana Maria Menéndez, Senior Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Policy,
Anwarul K. Chowdhury, former UN Undersecretary-General and High Representative
Donald Steinberg, Executive Director of Mobilizing Men as Partners for Women, Peace and Security
Fatima Kadhim Al-Bahadly, Director of the Al-Firdaws Society in Basra, Iraq
Karin Landgren, Executive Director of Security Council Report
Mirsad “Miki” Jacevic, Vice Chair of the Institute for Inclusive Security
Sahana Dharmapuri, Director of Our Secure Future
Sarah Taylor, Senior Fellow at the International Peace Institute

Watch the webcast of the launch event online, here

Secure Fisheries:
Somalia Fisheries Forum 2019

Progress on Project Kalluun The Federal Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, City University of Mogadishu, and Secure Fisheries are improving the collection of fish catch data in Somali waters. Project Kalluun facilitated training in catch data collection for six Somali students who subsequently collected data from 20 different fishing boats. The Somalia Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources presented Project Kalluun at the 14th Session of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission Working Party on Data Collection and Statistics, where it formally committed to continuing and expanding the project. Read more about Project Kalluun in our newest blog post A Day at Lido Beach: How Somali Youth Are Leading the Way in Fisheries.  We highlight how the Somali students collecting data through Project Kalluun are contributing to a more sustainable and profitable fisheries sector. 

IUU Task Force Secure Fisheries and EUCAP Somalia co-hosted a workshop in Mogadishu, Somalia to build capacity for combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. The workshop provided lessons on vessel identification and evidence collection, applying lessons from the 2018 Caught Red-Handed workshop series. Attendees included the Federal Minister for Fisheries, H.E. Abdullahi Bidhan Warsame; the Federal Minister for Ports and Maritime Transportation, H.E. Marian Aweys; and senior staff from the Ministry of Fisheries, Maritime Police, the Ministry of Ports, and the Attorney General’s Office. 

The IUU fishing workshop catalyzed action to create an interagency task force to support information sharing, coordination, and collaboration between federal maritime agencies in the fight against IUU fishing in Somali waters. The delegates at the Mogadishu workshop recommended that this task force be jointly chaired by the Ministry of Fisheries and the Ministry of Ports and Marine Transport and function as the federal mechanism for enforcement of Somalia’s IUU fishing laws. The IUU Fishing Task Force will enable collaboration between the Federal Government of Somalia’s and  Regional Member States’ maritime agencies to reduce IUU fishing in Somali waters.  

Upcoming: 2019 Somalia Fisheries Forum The Puntland Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and Secure Fisheries are co-hosting the second Somalia Fisheries Forum in Garowe, Somalia to build a roadmap for small-scale fisheries in Somalia. Secure Fisheries is coordinating with local and international stakeholders to generate a Somali-led, outcome-oriented agenda with expert speakers from Somalia and abroad. General topics to be covered include increasing knowledge and skills, expanding fishing sector capacity, and increasing management capacity. Look for Somalia Fisheries Forum outcomes in the following newsletter. 

Shuraako: Tailored business development services to small and medium size enterprises 

Shuraako has had a gainful first quarter as it continues to create credit additionality in Somalia by expanding lending opportunities for Somali entrepreneurs. 

Shuraako was asked by one of its donors, Oxfam, to extend its Work in Progress! (WiP) Program through 2019. WiP! is a three-year capacity building project funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands as part of LEAD (Local Employment in Africa for Development) that ended in 2018. Due to successful implementation of the three-year WiP! project, Shuraako was awarded a one-year extension that began in December 2019. 

Since signing the Somalia Credit Guarantee Scheme (SCGS) into effect in March 2018, Shuraako has taken comprehensive measures to work with Project partners and financial institutions to manage and implement the SCGS throughout the Somali region. To-date Shuraako has guaranteed 25 loans totaling $994,397 at a rate of ~4 packages per month. The loans have been regionally distributed and the current portfolio is 31% female-owned and 46% youth-owned. 

Shuraako continues to grow its footprint with the Nordic Horn of Africa Opportunities Fund (NHOA Fund), and in Q1 it approved four new companies for financing totaling over $380,000. Shuraako also closed two loans for the Arsenault Family Foundation (AFF) Fund, proving its model is working for the Somali SME market. 

Shuraako represented OEF at the Sankalp Forum in Nairobi on February 22 to highlight the work Shuraako is doing with SMEs in Somalia, and the successes they've had along the way to challenge notions associated with doing business in Somalia. 

Lastly, Shuraako was invited to speak at IFC’s “Conflict Affected States in Africa (CASA) initiative” event on January 30 in Nairobi. Shuraako spoke on a panel describing how it deployed risk capital in Somalia as part of the learning event.

PASO Colombia: Rural Alternative Schools Program Participation and Success

Rural Alternative Schools (ERAs) are productive and educational collaboration networks, developed by One Earth Future's PASO Colombia program. After the first year of implementation of the model, a research firm was hired to evaluate the perception and satisfaction of its participants. 90 percent of them rated their experience as positive or very positive. PASO Colombia is very pleased with these results and is using the feedback provided to improve its work and back the expansion of the ERA model to cover 20 municipalities by the end of 2019. 

Read more: The Alternative Rural Schools Project

OEF Research: Peace is Ours

Comic book and report on gendered aspects of the Colombian DDR process. OEFR launched a report "The Missing Peace," focusing on how gender has influenced the experiences of men and women in Colombia around the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) process. Based on extensive interviews with ex-combatants, this report illustrates how gendered expectations have shaped their experiences negotiating the post-conflict environment and draws out recommendations for how to improve reintegration. The report itself, which was released in English with a Spanish version to follow, is geared towards technical and policy audiences, and was paired with a comic book "Peace is Ours" illustrating some of the experiences that the research identified. This comic is geared towards general audiences in Colombia and is a response to requests from research participants that the results of the research be shared with the larger Colombian community.

Discussion paper on diaspora investments. Remittances and other funds from diaspora communities are a major source of income for many developing and conflict-affected states.  Despite this, there has been relatively little formal work by development professionals on how these income streams may be used strategically to support peace and sustainable development. Building on past work done by OEF on how Somali diaspora members are making decisions about how to place their funds, this discussion paper identifies a number of different in-principle pathways that international financial institutions and development organizations can use to partner with diaspora communities for sustainable development.

Upcoming report launch on the changing face of conflict at Stimson Center in April. The Stimson Center, Alliance for Peacebuilding, and USIP have agreed to collaborate on an April launch of the new report "Reassessing Rebellion: Exploring Recent Trends in Civil War Dynamics."  This report tracks a number of different trends in sub-state violence and finds that the data suggest some conclusions not currently represented in the policy discussion.  These include the fact that civil war is, on balance, becoming less urban, more conventional, and less directly targeting of civilians than is popularly assumed.   
Choice Outstanding Academic Title. OEFR'S Director Conor Seyle's book "Governance for Peace" was named as one of Choice’s prestigious Outstanding Academic Titles list in 2018.