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Holding the keys: who gets access in times of conflict?

Who gets access in times of conflict?

Access is crucial in situations of armed conflict where civilians are in need of assistance and protection.

It can also be denied or hampered by parties to a conflict for security or political reasons, or agencies themselves may delay or abandon attempts to deliver assistance out of concern for the safety of their staff and beneficiaries.

Building on our extensive research on humanitarian negotiations with armed non-state actors, this research will examine the types of actors that are given access where the traditional system has no or only a limited ability to work, and to what degree, if any, external actors (other states) have influence over who gets access.

The project is guided by the following questions:

  • How do ‘non-traditional’ actors gain access for relief and protection operations?
  • Who receives access, and who can influence those who give access?
  • Does it matter what activities access is negotiated for (protection, food distributions, water and sanitation projects etc.)?

For more information about the project, download the HPG Integrated Programme 2015-17 proposal.


Eva Svoboda, Veronique Barbelet, and Irina Mosel

Supported by