Elizabeth Stites

Elizabeth StitesResearch Director for Conflict and Livelihoods; Assistant Research Professor

Elizabeth Stites, PhD, joined Feinstein in 2006 and studies the two-way relationship between livelihood adaptations and conflict environments

Elizabeth Stites, Ph.D. is a Research Director in Conflict and Livelihoods at the Feinstein International Center and an Assistant Research Professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Her work focuses on the effects of conflict and violence on civilian livelihoods. She is particularly interested in the transformation of livelihood strategies based on gender and age and on the intersection between livelihoods and protection at the individual, household and community level. On the policy level, she examines the effects of humanitarian, development and military policies on livelihoods, security, and gender roles. Her field work aims to improve the effectiveness of international and national policies through evidenced-based research reflecting the lived experiences of local communities. She has worked in multiple countries in sub-Saharan Africa and in Afghanistan and Bosnia. In 2014-2015 she is leading multi-year projects in the Karamoja region of Uganda and in Nepal, is the co-lead on a study on improving humanitarian partnerships in remote management settings (focusing on the case of Syria), is contributing to research on the transformation of justice and security systems in northern Syria, and is leading a project on improving the documentation and uptake of humanitarian evidence.

FIC Publications

Briefing Paper: Partnerships in Remote Management Settings – The cases of Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan

This publication summarizes the key insights and findings from a longer paper on humanitarian action and partnerships in remote management settings. You may access the full paper here. International organizations…

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Breaking the Hourglass: Partnerships in Remote Management Settings–The Cases of Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan

For a glimpse into key insights and findings from this study, please consult the “Breaking the Hourglass” Briefing Paper. International organizations increasingly rely on local partners to engage in humanitarian…

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“It’s Better to Sweat than to Die:” Rural-to-Urban Migration, Northern Karamoja, Uganda

Much of the literature on urbanization focuses on migration to large cities. In contrast, this report traces the process, challenges, and opportunities of rural-urban migration to towns and small cities…

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Engaging Male Youth in Karamoja, Uganda

The Feinstein International Center at Tufts University is pleased to announce a new publication in collaboration with the Learning on Gender and Conflict in Africa  (LOGiCA) Program of the World…

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Tradition in Transition: Customary Authority in Karamoja, Uganda

Customary authority in the Karamoja region of Uganda has undergone profound shifts in parallel to the changing livelihoods and security conditions in the region over the past several decades. This…

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Life in Town: Migration from rural Karamoja to Moroto and Mbale

Migration from rural Karamoja to towns, cities and other rural areas has long been part of local livelihood strategies, but attention to this phenomenon by national and international actors in…

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Milk Matters in Karamoja
By Elizabeth Stites, Emily Mitchard | October 2011

Households in the Karamoja region of northeastern Uganda have seen a precipitous drop in access to and availability of animal milk in recent years. The declining milk supply affects livelihoods,…

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Adaptation and Resilience Responses to Changing Dynamics in Northern Karamoja, Uganda

This briefing paper is the first output from the LIVE project (Livelihoods, Insecurity and Value Chains Examination in Karamoja), a collaborative study with Save the Children in Uganda funded by…

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Foraging and Fighting Community Perspectives on Natural Resources and Conflict in Southern Karamoja

This joint publication by the Feinstein International Center and Save the Children in Uganda examines the perspectives and experiences of communities in the southern Karamoja region of Uganda regarding natural…

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Changing Roles, Shifting Risks Livelihood Impacts of Disarmament in Karamoja, Uganda

This report is the result of the first phase of a partnership with Save the Children in Uganda. Based on field work conducted in April 2009 in Moroto and Kotido…

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Angering Akuju Survival and Suffering in Karamoja

Karamoja is the poorest and least developed region of Uganda. The population experiences chronic food insecurity, little access to basic services, the weakening of traditional livelihood systems, ongoing insecurity, human…

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Out-migration, Return, and Resettlement in Karamoja, Uganda The case of Kobulin, Bokora County

As part of a larger project entitled “Livelihoods and Human Security in Karamoja,” this briefing paper presents findings on causal factors and broad patterns in out-migration among the Bokora population….

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Movement on the Margins Livelihoods and Security in Kitgum District, Northern Uganda

The protracted conflict in northern Uganda has created profound insecurity, brought the widespread loss of agrarian livelihoods, and pushed nearly two million people into internal displacement camps. With the current…

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Humanitarian Agenda 2015: Principles, Power, and Perceptions Preliminary Report

This report summarizes the findings of the first phase of a major research project on the challenges and compromises that are likely to affect humanitarian action in the next decade….

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Humanitarian Agenda 2015: Northern Uganda Country Study
By Elizabeth Stites | June 2006

The HA2015 study examines the effects of four broad challenges on the humanitarian enterprise: universality, terrorism, coherence and security. Each of these has resonance in the context of northern Uganda….

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Coping with War, Coping with Peace Livelihood Adaptation in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1989-2004

This study uses a livelihood framework to examine and analyze household livelihood strategies across three time periods in six rural villages in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The three time periods examined are the…

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Human Security and Livelihoods of Rural Afghans, 2002-2003

This report documents and analyzes recent countrywide trends in the relationship between human security and livelihoods throughout rural Afghanistan from 2002-2003. All countrywide information is generated by analyses of 2003…

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Partnerships in remote management settings

International organizations increasingly rely on local partners to engage in humanitarian action. This is particularly the case in highly insecure situations or when host governments limit or deny international access. Despite these trends, there have been few attempts to examine the effectiveness of international-local partnerships either in general or in insecure “remote management” contexts. This study explores these partnerships in the setting of cross-border assistance from Turkey to Syria in 2014. The case of Iraqi Kurdistan provides historical perspective.

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The Humanitarian Evidence Program

The Humanitarian Evidence Program produces a series of evidence syntheses to distill humanitarian evidence and communicate it to key stakeholders in order to enable better decision-making and improve humanitarian policy and practice.

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Milk Matters in Karamoja
By Elizabeth Stites | September 2013

The objective of the project was to understand how milk had changed in the diets of children under age five and in household livelihood strategies.

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Promoting Evidence-based Livelihood Programming in Karamoja, Uganda
By Elizabeth Stites | September 2013

In 2009-2011, the Tufts/FIC team worked in collaboration with SCiUG on research to improve and inform programming, policy making, and advocacy through the collection and dissemination of qualitative data on key livelihood issues.

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Livelihood Programming for Disaster Risk Reduction Kenya, Nepal, and Haiti

This FIC study is designed to improve our knowledge of livelihoods in the context of a disaster (before, after, and during), evaluate the impact of specific interventions intended to reduce risks, help articulate livelihoods approaches to DRR programming, and aid policy makers, donors and agencies in designing and implementing better and more effective DRR programming.

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Customary Law, Livelihoods Change, and Conflict Mitigation in the Karamoja Cluster The Case of Uganda

Under a two-year research project with funding from Irish Aid/Kampala, FIC researchers are studying how groups are using customary mechanisms to respond to the changing social, political and economic environment in Karamoja.

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News Items

Evidence and the World Humanitarian Summit: a Humanitarian Evidence Program submission
August 10, 2015

The Humanitarian Evidence Program, a partnership between Oxfam GB and the Feinstein International Center, recently filed a submission to the World Humanitarian Summit consultations. The submission, titled “Humanitarian evidence: going…

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Kimberly Howe and Elizabeth Stites present FIC’s work on partnerships at US Department of State and USAID
May 15, 2015

Kimberly Howe and Elizabeth Stites presented on FIC’s work on cross-border partnerships and humanitarian assistance into northern Syria at the US Department of State and USAID on April 27, 2015. The briefings focused…

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Elizabeth Stites presents FIC’s work on cross-border partnerships at IRC
April 21, 2015

Elizabeth Stites presented on FIC’s work on cross-border partnerships and humanitarian assistance into northern Syria at the International Rescue Committee in New York on March 25th, 2015. The brownbag at the International…

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