Helen Young

Helen YoungResearch Director for Nutrition, Livelihoods and Conflict

Working with Feinstein Since: 1998
Based in: London, England

Since 2004, Helen Young’s research has focused on  livelihoods and conflict in Sudan. Within that context, she leads an inter-disciplinary research program on livelihoods, environment and conflict, and public nutrition that has had grants from donors including, DFID, the Ford Foundation, the World Food Program (WFP), the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Mellon. As a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition, Helen established and taught a core master’s course, “Public Nutrition in Emergencies.” In 2002, she led the development of the Sphere Minimum Standards on food security. She is the author of more than 60 books, book chapters, practical guides, reports, and peer reviewed publications. She is co-editor of the journal Disasters.

Active in humanitarian response and development since 1985, Helen has professional experience with Oxfam GB, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Bank, the FAO, the WFP, and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), mainly in Africa. She has combined field-based deployments and consultancies with applied research, including work as a visiting research fellow at the Overseas Development Institute where she analyzed nutrition, food security, and famine responses during the eighties.

Helen received her bachelor’s degree in food science and nutrition from Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University), and her Ph.D. from Bournemouth University.

Feinstein Publications

Briefing Paper: Risk and Returns: Household Priorities for Resilient Livelihoods in Darfur
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By Merry Fitzpatrick, Helen Young | April 2017

Livelihood systems in Darfur have experienced massive shocks and extreme changes over the past two decades. Though most communities are making positive progress, their recovery from multiple shocks over the…

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(Arabic) Briefing Paper: Risk and Returns: Household Priorities for Resilient Livelihoods in Darfur
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By Merry Fitzpatrick, Helen Young | April 2017

Livelihood systems in Darfur have experienced massive shocks and extreme changes over the past two decades. Though most communities are making positive progress, their recovery from multiple shocks over the…

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Risk and Returns: Household Priorities For Resilient Livelihoods in Darfur
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By Merry Fitzpatrick, Helen Young | March 2017

This report describes exactly how shocks have affected specific livelihood groups in Darfur, the extent to which people have been able successful at recovering their self-sufficiency, and why.

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Water, Livestock, and Malnutrition: Findings from an Impact Assessment
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This report describes the results of an impact assessment on Concern Worldwide’s program in eastern Chad aimed at reducing malnutrition.

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Eau, betail et malnutrition: Résultats d’une étude d’impact
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This is the French version of the report, Water, Livestock, and Malnutrition: Findings from an Impact Assessment.

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Risk, Resilience, and Pastoralist Mobility
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This report investigates the practice of pastoralism in Sudan. The authors delineate migration patterns and rationales as well as market strategies, and also offer recommendations for policymakers and service providers interacting with any community that includes pastoralists.

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The Road to Resilience A Scoping Study for the Taadoud Transition to Development Project
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By Merry Fitzpatrick, Helen Young | March 2016

This scoping study explores the resilience strategies of households in multiple livelihood systems by describing how households in Darfur have coped with conflict and other shocks over the past fifteen…

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Briefing Paper: Pastoralism in Practice (Arabic)
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This is an Arabic translation of an existing publication. The full report is available (in English) here. Click here to read this briefing paper in English.

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Pastoralism in Practice: Monitoring Livestock Mobility in Contemporary Sudan
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This report highlights the importance of pastoralist livestock mobility for the resilience of pastoralist livelihood systems and for maximising productivity. Tufts and partners monitored camel, sheep and cattle herds for…

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Briefing Paper: Pastoralism in Practice: Monitoring Livestock Mobility in Contemporary Sudan
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This is the fourth in a series of Policy Briefing Papers which form part of the Environment and Livelihoods component of the UNEP Sudan Integrated Environment Programme, funded by UKAid…

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Livestock, Livelihoods, and Disaster Response: PART TWO Three Case Studies of Livestock Emergency Programmes in Sudan, and Lessons Learned
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Tufts University and the Feinstein International Center are pleased to announce the publication of a two part review of emergency livestock interventions in Sudan. Livestock production is a crucial livelihood…

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Livestock, Livelihoods, and Disaster Response:  PART ONE A Review of Livestock-Based Livelihood Projects in Sudan
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By Merry Fitzpatrick, Helen Young | September 2013

Tufts University and the Feinstein International Center are pleased to announce the publication of a two part review of emergency livestock interventions in Sudan. Livestock production is a crucial livelihood…

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Standing Wealth: Pastoralist Livestock Production and Local Livelihoods in Sudan
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This report highlights the importance of pastoralist livestock production for the country’s economy, and outlines ways in which pastoralism can be supported in the future, to benefit livelihoods and the…

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Briefing Paper: Standing Wealth Pastoralist Livestock Production and Local Livelihoods in Sudan
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This is the briefing paper for a larger report, “Standing Wealth: Pastoralist Livestock Production and Local Livelihoods in Sudan.” The report highlights the importance of pastoralist livestock production for the country’s…

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Briefing Paper: Standing Wealth (Arabic) Pastoralist Livestock Production and Local Livelihoods in Sudan
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This is an Arabic translation of an existing publication. Read the full report (in English) here. Click here to read this briefing paper in English.

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Targeting in Complex Emergencies: Darfur Case Study
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By Helen Young, Daniel Maxwell | April 2009

Can community-based approaches to the targeting of humanitarian assistance in complex emergencies improve participation and reduce targeting error? Although the literature suggests that community-based targeting works best in slow-onset emergencies…

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Livelihoods, Migration and Conflict Discussion of Findings from Two Studies in West and North Darfur, 2006 - 2007
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This briefing paper discusses findings from a study conducted in Darfur from 2006-8 that explored the changing role of migration and remittances in the livelihoods of conflict-affected people. We conducted…

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Livelihoods, Power, and Choice The Vulnerability of the Northern Rizaygat, Darfur, Sudan
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Livelihoods in Darfur are intimately linked to the conflict, none more so than the livelihoods of the camel herding nomads known as the Northern Rizaygat. Their notoriety as part of…

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Livelihoods, Power, and Choice The Vulnerability of the Northern Rizaygat, Darfur, Sudan
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Livelihoods in Darfur are intimately linked to the conflict, none more so than the livelihoods of the camel herding nomads known as the Northern Rizaygat. Their notoriety as part of…

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Sharpening the Strategic Focus of Livelihoods Programming in the Darfur Region
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By Helen Young, Abdal Monium Osman | September 2007

It is well known in the Darfur region that peoples’ livelihoods have been devastated as a result of the conflict, both as a result of the direct asset-stripping of conflict…

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Strategies for Economic Recovery and Peace In Darfur Why a wider livelihoods approach is imperative and inclusion of the Abbala (camel herding) Arabs is a priority
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Competing livelihoods in the absence of good local governance has led to localized and ultimately devastating conflict over natural resources in Darfur. The lack of comprehensive livelihoods analysis in international…

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Challenges to Peace and Recovery in Darfur A Situation Analysis of the Ongoing Conflict and its Continuing Impact on Livelihoods
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By Helen Young, Abdal Monium Osman | December 2006

Despite the uncertainties about the future of the Darfur Peace Accord, this paper was developed to inform and strengthen the Darfur Joint Assessment Mission (DJAM) and Early Recovery Plan which…

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Darfur: Livelihoods Under Siege
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It is almost two years since the beginning of the rebel insurgency in Darfur, but the conflict continues, the ceasefire has been frequently violated, and the world’s worst humanitarian crisis…

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Risk and Vulnerability in Ethiopia Learning from the Past, Responding to the Present, Preparing for the Future
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The people of Ethiopia today are managing the risks and vulnerabilities generated by a serious drought, profound vulnerability to disease epidemics (human, crop and livestock), and a combination of local…

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Feinstein Research Projects

Taadoud Transition to Development Project (SHARP)
By Helen Young, Merry Fitzpatrick | February 2017

The broad aim of the SHARP Taadoud operational research is to strengthen the impact of resilience-related actions and interventions.

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Community Resilience to Acute Malnutrition

The Feinstein Center partnered with Concern Worldwide to (1) rigorously test the impact of the CRAM model on community resilience to shocks and (2) to explore how remote sensing data can provide accurate information to make early warning predictions in the Sila region of Chad.

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Promoting Evidence and Learning on Pastoralism for Peace Building

This project investigates the practice of pastoralism in Sudan, offering recommendations for policymakers and service providers interacting with communities that include pastoralists.

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Markets and Trade in Darfur

Feinstein provides advisory support to a community-based market monitoring network in the Darfur Region. This project seeks to deepen analysis and understanding of the shifting patterns of trade and markets in Darfur on an ongoing basis for key agricultural and livestock commodities; identify how livelihoods and the economy can be supported through trade; and identify peace-building opportunities through trade.

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Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters

Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED), is a £140m project designed to improve the resilience of the most poor to climate extremes and shocks.

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Pastoralism and Pastoralist Livelihoods in Sudan

This project aims to promote understanding of pastoralists’ livelihoods systems among local, national, and international stakeholders and to strengthen the capacity of pastoralist leaders, organizations, and other advocates to articulate the rationale for pastoralism.

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Targeting in Complex Emergencies
By Daniel Maxwell, Helen Young | September 2013

This study documents existing practices and gaps, and builds the evidence base, for community-based targeting practices in complex emergencies. Program guidance materials were developed for WFP on the basis of the findings.

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News Items

Anastasia Marshak presents findings on water, livestock, and malnutrition
April 13, 2017

On April 12, 2017 Anastasia Marshak, Helen Young, and Concern Worldwide colleague Michelle Wilson were hosted by USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance to present findings from her impact evaluation…

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Anne Radday and Helen Young share approaches to conducting research that will help it resonates with decision makers
March 28, 2017

Anne Radday and Helen Young describe specific ways that researchers can conduct their research to help it resonate with decision makers in a blog post for the Building Resilience and…

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Helen Young and Anne Radday raise the importance of understanding how conflict affects resilience building
March 5, 2017

In their March 7, 2017 blog post on the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) website, Helen Young and Anne Radday call on BRACED to increase…

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Anastasia Marshak research on malnutrition highlighted in the Field Exchange
March 3, 2017

In its February 2017 issue, the Field Exchange presents research findings from a study conducted in Chad by Anastasia Marshak, Helen Young, and Anne Radday. The study was a randomized…

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Helen Young discusses resilience at an ODI panel
January 18, 2017

On January 18, 2017 Helen Young joined the panel discussion, “How to build resilience from the ground up” at ODI. The event attracted a standing-room only crowd and large online…

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Helen Young shares report on pastoralist mobility with Sudanese ministry
August 30, 2016

On Sunday, August 28 Helen Young presented the findings of her recent report “Risk, Resilience, and Pastoralist Mobility” with the Federal Ministry of Animal Resources in Khartoum, Sudan. The Chair…

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Helen Young presents research on Darfur at Ahfad University
August 16, 2016

On August 16, Feinstein research director Helen Young presented at Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman, Sudan. Helen discussed preliminary findings from a new study that follows a scoping study,…

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Feinstein participation at WHS highlighted by Friedman School
June 21, 2016

On June 20, 2016, Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy featured the following article: The world is witnessing the highest level of human suffering resulting from conflict and…

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Helen Young discusses priorities for research in conflict settings
June 14, 2016

On June 14, 2016, Helen Young joined representatives from UN agencies, governments, NGOs, academia, and international corporations to develop a research agenda for Transitioning to low carbon economies in developing…

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Feinstein faculty sign humanitarian scholars commitment at WHS
May 25, 2016

Dan Maxwell, Helen Young, and Antonio Donini joined the more than 60 scholars present at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and signed the Statement of Commitments from Humanitarian Scholars at…

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Feinstein faculty participate in the World Humanitarian Summit
May 10, 2016

The first ever World Humanitarian Summit took place in Istanbul, Turkey on May 23-24, 2016. The summit aimed to set a forward-looking agenda for humanitarian action that addresses future humanitarian…

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Helen Young participates in Action Against Hunger’s International Scientific Committee meeting
April 20, 2016

Helen Young participated in Action Against Hunger’s (ACF) meeting of its International Scientific Committee (ISC) in Madrid, Spain from April 18-19, 2016. Other members of the ISC in attendance were André…

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Helen Young shares evaluation expertise at humanitarian assistance workshop
September 28, 2015

The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) sponsored Helen Young, FIC Research Director for Nutrition, Livelihoods, and Conflict,  to provide her evaluation expertise during their  Thematic Window 6 Workshop (Acute Malnutrition) in…

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Helen Young has co-edited a new book on livelihoods, natural resources, and post-conflict peace-building
May 4, 2015

Helen Young, Feinstein International Center’s Research Director for Nutrition, Livelihoods and Conflict, has collaborated with Lisa Goldman of the Environmental Law Institute to co-edit a new book titled Livelihoods, Natural Resources,…

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