What Our Analysts Are Reading – March, 2023

Navanti’s data collection and analysis are based on networks of on-the-ground researchers from all walks of life: journalists, academics, and humanitarian workers, to name a few. Our analysts also keep abreast of open source reports to inform their work. Below, these analysts have summarized and contextualized the most important pieces they have read and listened to over the past month.


The UN’s Independent Fact-Finding Mission on Libya released its final report in March, presenting the findings of its investigation into alleged human rights abuses in Libya since the beginning of 2016. The fact-finders outlined evidence of widespread crimes against humanity committed by various parties to the conflict. This included extrajudicial killings and other violations by the Libyan National Army (LNA) against the Tebu minority in southern Libya in 2019, as well as between the Tebu and the al-Ahali community. The Mission also identified a range of conflict violations around the capital Tripoli, including the damaging of medical facilities during August 2022 inter-militia clashes extensive presence of unexploded Russian-made ordnance in civilian areas of southern Tripoli left by Moscow-linked Wagner mercenaries, and a 2020 airstrike on noncombatant military academy students. However, particular emphasis was placed on the significant scale of violations against migrants traversing Libya on the way to the European continent, including torture, sexual violence, enslavement, starvation and “other inhumane acts are committed in connection with their arbitrary detention” by militia-run official coastguard units and at militia-run detention centers. Notably, the investigators directed criticism and some blame at the European Union, accusing the bloc of contributing to these crimes against humanity through providing training, equipment and other support for the Libyan coastguard, which itself works in “close coordination” with human trafficking networks.


The authors of ,”The Expanding Use of Technology to Manage Migration: Case Studies from Central America and West and North Africa Link,” use two case studies of migration paths — from Central America toward the U.S. and from West and North Africa toward Europe — to analyze the use and exportation of migration management technologies by origin countries and the human rights risks this usage poses. The authors call for stronger protections against the misuse of these technologies and the data they generate in order to guard against human rights violations.

In a documentary report entitled “The Women Who Stay,” The New Humanitarian spent six years interviewing the wives of migrants, collecting stories from over 60 women in India, Mexico, Ethiopia, and Senegal who stayed behind in their home countries while their husbands journeyed abroad. The project presents a nuanced understanding of the impacts of migration on families through individual stories. Key findings from the project reveal the complicated economic and social impacts that can change over time. While many families with a male household member living abroad might end up with higher household incomes in the long term, the women who remain behind often need to work to cover immediate household needs. Though balancing the work with household duties is a challenge for many women, it also presents an opportunity for a higher degree of economic independence. Migration can leave women on their own, but in some cases can bring an end to domestic violence. Commonly, men migrate in order to secure better futures for their children, but their children often struggle to adjust to their absence. Finally, the project found that the absence of men in communities can give women the opportunity to become more politically active and fill roles that were previously reserved for men.


Rise Moldova, along with a consortium of international media outlets, released reporting on a leaked document entitled “Strategic Goals of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Moldova.” The document was reportedly developed in 2021 by the Russian Presidential Directorate for Cross-Border Cooperation and outlines the Kremlin’s strategy to gain influence in Moldova. This strategy reportedly involved distancing Moldova from partners like the EU and NATO and cultivating pro-Kremlin groups in the country. Rise Moldova’s reporting outlines key goals reportedly included in the document and highlights apparent efforts to meet them by examining the actions and statements made by the web of pro-Kremlin actors in Moldova.


Energy officials in Bishkek announced that they would enact a plan to import 875 million kilowatt hours of electricity from Russia over the next two years. While the announcement is not surprising given it is merely the activation of a clause in an existing agreement, it demonstrates that Kyrgyzstan has done little to alleviate the growing electricity demands and accompanying supply issues in recent years. Residential energy consumption quadrupled from 2010 to 2019 as standards of living improved throughout the country and the ailing Kyrgyz energy grid has struggled to keep up. Although the announcement has immediate implications for Kyrgyzstan, it also is evidence that Russia’s position in Central Asia is not waning, despite reports to the contrary from many Western news outlets.


The ETC Situation Report provides a situation update on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen as of March 2023. It highlights the ongoing conflict, which continues to have a devastating impact on the civilian population, particularly women and children. The report notes that over 20 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, with food insecurity and lack of access to basic services remaining major concerns. The report also highlights the critical funding gap for humanitarian operations in Yemen, which is hindering the delivery of essential aid to those in need. Finally, the report calls for urgent action to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, including increased funding for humanitarian operations, improved access to vulnerable populations, and a peaceful resolution to the conflict.