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Issue 07 Editorial

Dear Readers,

Welcome to Field Exchange 7. A strong theme running throughout this edition is community participation in emergency surveillance, programme planning and response. We also have an article from CONCERN describing its intervention in Kosovo, the author justifies the relative low interest given to this crisis by organisations and journals dedicated to nutrition issues. This article also highlights the responde of neighbouring communities to the fleeing refugees.

We have an article about the role of community resource people from the Beja tribe in the Red Sea State in northern Sudan in providing famine early warning information. These information providers constitute an invaluable resource for their isolated and marginalised communities and provide an information outreach which would be hard to replicate through other means at such low cost.

Another article details the success of a community managed emergency feeding programme in pest and flood-stricken central Tanzania. Limited food aid resources determined the need to target a maximum of 60% of households in the two regions. Targeting was successfully managed by the community who elected a village relief committee which developed village specific selection criteria. The system was found to be transparent, accountable and fair.

Community efforts were also mobilised in response to the appalling Bangladeshi floods last year. An article by the IFRC delegate for Bangladesh documents how much of the distributed food came from local benefactors while community knowledge of local seed varieties was pivotal in the post-flood rehabilitation phase.

This edition of field exchange carries a summary of the ALNAP study on beneficiary participation in emergency programmes in southern Sudan last year. The importance of community participation in programme planning and implementation is highlighted through a number of case-studies.

A visit by the ENN co-ordinator to southern Sudan in May lead to a further field level article 'Food Preparation an obstacle to education'. This article suggests that the amount of time spent in emergency situations manually pounding cereals and grinding grain consumes much time spent by women and girls on food preparation. The population in question traditionally ate sorghum the provision of unmilled grain as part of the general ration has opportunity cost in terms of time spent in its preparation. As a result, girls who traditionally carry out this type of activity, had less time to attend school.

We also have a couple of pieces (including an agency profile) about the role of Tanzanian church based agencies in emergency response. Such agencies, especially where they have a long history working with the community, often fulfil an important role during emergencies but their work is rarely fully acknowledged while they receive little technical support from international humanitarian agencies.

Finally, we would be very pleased to receive contributions from any of you working in the Kosovo crisis for publication in the next Field Exchange. By all accounts there were many unusual aspects of the emergency and response which we are sure our readers would like to hear about.
Please drop us a line if you think you may have something for us.

Editors,

Fiona O'Reilly
Jeremy Shoham

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Fiona O’Reilly and Jeremy Shoham (1999). Issue 07 Editorial. Field Exchange 7, July 1999. p1. www.ennonline.net/fex/7/fromtheeditor

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