Studies/Reports Overview and Topic List

August 24, 2015

The Charity and Security Network has created a number of abstracts of reports and studies relevant to our membership, with links to the original reports. Here you will find a list of these abstracts, organized by topic, including counterterrorism, financial access and remittances, humanitarian aid, material support and more.

You can also go directly to the most recent reports and studies


Mercy Corps Study Gives Youth a Chance

June 5, 2018

Increasing access to secondary education and civic engagement opportunities pulled Somali youth away from supporting violent groups, according to an April 2018 Mercy Corps report, If Youth are Given the Chance.The report assesses the impact of these two common approaches for reducing youths’ level of support for armed violence.

Mercy Corps surveyed over 1,000 young people from violence-affected regions in Somalia -- Somaliland, South Central Somalia, and Puntland. The extremist militant group that acts as a proxy for Al-Qaeda in the volatile Horn of Africa, Al-Shabaab, has sustained a decade-long insurgency there by exploiting the fragility of the nation. The catastrophic aftermath of the recent Mogadishu Bombing (October 14, 2017) showcases Somalia’s vulnerability to violence. The report argues that there is a large pool of exacerbated youth in Somalia that is fresh for recruitment and susceptible to indoctrination.

Presence and Proximity-To Stay and Deliver, Five Years On

May 30, 2018

In 2011, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published a landmark study, To Stay and Deliver, which documented practices of humanitarian organizations delivering aid -- particularly in highly insecure environments.  The report’s main objective was to propel a shift from humanitarian organizations asking “when do we have to leave” a conflict area to “how do we stay” for those who need us the most.

World Bank Report Examines Decline in Correspondent Bank Relationships

May 29, 2018

Over the past decade, many banks have limited or terminated their correspondent banking relationships (CBRs) to a variety of regions, jurisdictions or categories of clients – a practice known as derisking. According to a new report from the World Bank, the effect of this practice varies widely from country to country and is does not affect broad categories of clients.

The report, The Decline in Access to Correspondent Banking Services in Emerging Markets: Trends, Impacts and Solutions, examined the impact of derisking through eight country case studies and found the effect at the macro level to be limited. At the same time, impact at the micro level is often intense, with banks losing access to the international financial system. Read more

UN Special Rapporteur’s Assessment of the United States’ Civil Society

April 25, 2018

In July 2016, Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, visited the United States on an official mission to assess the civil society’s freedoms of assembly and association. While regarding the United States as “a nation of ...resilience,”  Kiai stressed its current struggle “to live up to its ideals on a number of important issues.”

Kiai’s findings were largely unsurprising. He pinpointed the issue of racial, social and economic inequality as the most critical  when assessing assembly and association rights in the U.S.

“Racism and the exclusion, persecution and marginalization that come with it, affect the enabling environment for the exercise of association and assembly rights,” Kiai said.

Additionally, Kiai noted that economic inequality, unnecessarily militarized policing at some peaceful protests, intimidation of activists, lack of accountability for rights violations, disproportionate counter-terrorism measures, and increasing corporate power also largely influences and constraints civil society in America).

Country Visit: United States Of America (A/HRC/35/28/Add.2)

Report from HSC and ICNL Examines Drivers of De-risking

April 25, 2018

A new report from the Human Security Collective and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law examines the drivers of the global trend known as "de-risking" as it relates to nonprofit organizations (NPOs). 

Inordinate delays in cash transfers, onerous due diligence requirements, inability to open bank accounts and arbitrary closure of bank accounts are all components of de-risking. The report, At the Intersection of Security and Regulation: Understanding the Drivers of "De-risking" and the Impact on Civil Society Organizations, examines these practices an looks at how regulations on money laundering and terrorist financing "permeate policymaking, influencing institutions (perversely, at times) and negatively impacting humanitarian and development work." Read more 

Report Examines Links Between Sanctions, Counterterrorism Measures and Humanitarian Action

April 18, 2018

In August 2017, Chatham House’s International Security Department and International Law Programme issued a report -- Recommendations for Reducing Tensions in the Interplay Between Sanctions, Counterterrorism Measures and Humanitarian Action -- that identifies concrete ways for all stakeholders to address the issue.

Often, sanctioned or terrorist-designated groups control areas of humanitarian need. The legal prohibitions regarding these groups can include incidental payments that humanitarian actors may need to make in order to operate. Continuous engagement between the international, state, banking and humanitarian sectors is critical to alleviating the tension, the report states. It asserts that systematically adopted exemptions in UN and EU sanctions regimes are the most effective way to ensure that restrictions do not apply to humanitarian action. Currently, only one conflict-related UN Security Council sanctions regime includes this type of exemption. 

New CSIS Report Examines Negative Impact of Counterterrorism Measures

April 17, 2018

"The world has witnessed an alarming rise in restrictions placed on civil society actors to curtail their space and operations, impeding upon the realization of their rights to the freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly - frequently in the name of countering terrorism and protecting national security, among other drivers," according to a March 2018 report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Counterterrorism Measures and Civil Society: Changing the Will, Finding the Way. ( Read more

UK Study: Four-fifths of Charities Impacted by Bank Derisking

April 5, 2018

A new study from the UK's Charity Finance Group found that 79% of charities face some kind of difficulty in accessing or using mainstream banking channels. The same number of respondents also said that banks had become "substantially or slightly more risk averse to them."

The report is based on results from the survey responses of 34 charities, ranging from medium and large organizations. Eighty-eight percent had income over £1 million, all worked overseas, 62% were secular organizations, 21% identified as Christian, and 12% as Islamic. The types of work conducted included humanitarian, sanitation, peacebuilding, medical assistance, research, human rights, education, welfare, children, grantmaking and environmental protection. Eighty-three percent worked in Africa, 74% in Asia and 62% in Europe. More than 50% worked in the MENA region. 

The report, Impact of money laundering and counter-terrorism regulations on charities, found the following results:

41% had transfers delayed by a correspondent bank
32% had transfers delayed by their bank
27% had transfers denied by their bank
20% had transfers denied by a correspondent bank
15% had accounts closed
15% had delays in opening bank accounts
8% had donations blocked
8% had funds frozen
6% had accounts denied 

For most respondents, banks did not provide any explanation for why the charities were being derisked. Read more

Abstract: Can Political Violence be Reduced via Economic Interventions?

April 4, 2018

The primary goal of a study conducted by Mercy Corps was to test the possible causality between young people’s improved economic outcomes and their support for political violence -- defined as “violence targeted primarily at the state." 

The study, Can Economic Interventions Reduce Violence?, examined young people’s economic conditions, psychosocial well-being, and perceptions of government to see how interventions may reduce willingness to support armed opposition groups (AOGs). The research focused on youth in the Kandahar Province (second largest city in Afghanistan), afflicted by high unemployment rates and violence. Though the provincial government maintains control of Kandahar and neighboring districts, AOGs, such as the Taliban, still have a strong influence in the area.