Our guest on this episode of the Fair & Square podcast is Alistair Harris, Founder and CEO of ARK Group, a social enterprise created to assist the most vulnerable, particularly refugees, the displaced and those impacted by conflict and instability.
Alistair is a former diplomat and UN investigator who was awarded an OBE in 2013 for services to stability in Lebanon and has worked extensively in the Balkans, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, the Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
He holds degrees from Emmanuel College, Cambridge in Political and Social Sciences and the University of St Andrews in Terrorism and Political Violence as well as an MBA from the London Business School. A Specialist Consultant for the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Countering Violent Extremism Unit, Alistair is a member of the UK’s Civilian Stabilisation Group (CSG)
ARK adopts a research-informed and evidence-based approach to provide advice relevant to policy, as well as programmatic responses designed to prevent and mitigate conflict, and address complex challenges in conflict-affected states globally.
Its recent work has ranged from promoting awareness of the role of women in building community cohesion and peacebuilding in the Philippines to helping provide increased employment opportunities in Yemen.
Focusing on the migration crisis in the UK and further afield Alistair tells our podcast host Adam Batstone about the importance of a data-led approach to deliver insight to ARK’s clients, particularly government clients, with interventions based on qualitative and quantitative research. One outcome is to ensure governments, such as the UK, can deliver value for money for their overseas aid.
Alistair highlights the root causes of migrations, including conflict and increasingly climate change and resource scarcity, and the need for sustainable and joined-up solutions to the issue from both the public and private sectors.