Deux personnes discutent dans le camp de personnes déplacées de Kalenge, en république démocratique du Congo

From their point of view


Director of the Research Unit on Humanitarian Stakes and Practices (UREPH), Médecins Sans Frontières, based in Geneva

Caroline Abu-Sada holds a doctorate in political science and international relations from Sciences Po Paris. She has held several positions in the field, notably in the Middle East, for Oxfam GB, the United Nations and Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland. She is the author of "ONG palestiniennes et construction étatique: L’expérience de Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) dans les Territoires occupés palestiniens", 1983-2005 (2007, Beyrouth: IFPO), Dans l’œil des autres: Perception de l'action humanitaire et de MSF (2011, Lausanne: Ed. Antipodes), "Le développement, une affaire d'ONG? Associations, Etats et Bailleurs dans le monde arabe" (2011, Paris: Karthala-IREMAM-IFPO), "Dilemmas, Challenges, and Ethics of Humanitarian Action: Reflections on Médecins Sans Frontières' Perception Project" (2012, Montréal: McGill Queen’s University Press, Médecins Sans Frontières), as well as numerous articles, reports, and chapters on humanitarian action, NGOs, and the Middle East. Since 2010, she has represented MSF at the Steering Committee of the Centre for Studies and Research on Humanitarian Action (CERAH) in Geneva and is currently Honorary Lecturer at the Humanitarian and Conflict Research Institute (HCRI) of the University of Manchester.

The reasons why we are accepted, tolerated or sometimes rejected in the contexts where we work are often obscure. Caroline Abu-Sada and her team of sociology student shed some light on these issues.

In charge of this research project for MSF Switerzland, Caroline interviewed villagers, local authorities and staff members to find out how they perceive MSF and others humanitarian actors.

With examples from Niger, Cameroun, Liberia, Kenya, Ouganda, Jordanie, Guatemala and Irak, she presents here the initial conclusion of her work.

Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Results of the study
3. Stable and unstable contexts
4. Unsurprising results
5. Perception and identity
6. International and local staff
7. International or local staff
8. Duration of projects
9. Principles of perception
10. Healthcare quality
11. Humanitarian assistance
12. Social categories
13. Semantic interpretation
14. Can we control our image?
15. Different sections

To cite this content :
Caroline Abu-sada, “From their point of view”, 10 mars 2009, URL :

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Past events

conférence Julien Bonhomme Conference

The Sex Thieves: The Anthropology of a Rumor

05/09/2023 - 06:30 PM 08:30 PM Julien Bonhomme

We were pleased to welcome anthropologist Julien Bonhomme, author of the book The Sex Thieves: The Anthropology of a Rumor for a conference and debate on Tuesday, May 9th, 2023 at 18:30 (Paris time) at MSF (34 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris).

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Conférence Pierre Hazan Conference

Négocier avec le diable. La médiation dans les conflits armés

12/15/2022 - 05:30 PM 07:30 PM Pierre Hazan

We were pleased to welcome Pierre Hazan, author of the book Négocier avec le diable. La médiation dans les conflits armés for a conference and debate on Thursday December 15th, 2022, 18:30, at MSF (34 avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris). The conference was livestreamed and translated simultaneously to English.

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