How do humanitarian aid workers think and act?
This work focuses on how humanitarian organisations operate, including their members, affiliations, messages, practices and cultures. Aid to refugee, displaced, deported, exiled and interned populations plays a central role in humanitarian action both now and in the past. What types of aid are provided to internees and displaced persons? What kinds of obstacles and dilemmas does it face? What sorts of practical, political and ethical questions are raised by the participation of humanitarian organisations in population displacement and internment policies?
Challenging the idea that humanitarian actors can act free from politics by virtue of their principles, this chapter argues that the politicization of humanitarian aid is in fact the primary condition for its deployment. Humanitarian actors can only act if they maintain a balance between their own interests and those of people in positions of power. This raises a crucial ethical question: At what point do humanitarian organisations consider that deals reached with political powers cross the blurred but very real line beyond which humanitarian assistance does more harm than good?
On September 14th, 2023, the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs, the academic journal in open access, hosted jointly by the Crash, The Humanitarian Affairs Team at Save the Children UK (HAT) and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester (HCRI), has published a new issue entitled “Humanitarian numbers”. The latter focuses on the technical aspect of numbers, dealing with two main questions: What datafication means? How well does the quantitative represent reality?
This interview by Didier Billion and Marc Verzeroli was originally published in the Revue internationale et stratégique. To examine the concept of de-westernization, Rony Brauman describes the current state of international relations, marked by fluid alliances and new power relationships. He states and details his reservations about whether universal values truly exist and how the international criminal justice system functions.Read more
Historicising Humanitarian Action. Synchronicity in Historical Research and Archiving Humanitarian Missions06/30/2023
The central question raised in this discussion relates to two profoundly intermeshed issues for humanitarian practitioners and organisations: the use of history for humanitarian organisations, and the need for them to preserve and maintain archives
This article was published on March 27th, 2023 in the journal Alternatives Humanitaires, in an edition focused on mental health.
Based on the example of the hospital in Moïssala, Chad, the two authors reflect on the management of pain in children at Médecins Sans Frontières. This article was first published on March 25th 2022 in the journal Alternatives Humanitaires.
Reconstructing Lives: Victims of war in the Middle East and Médecins Sans Frontières was published in January 2022 by Manchester University Press. The book is the result of extensive fieldwork, in collaboration with the Crash. It is fully available on our website.
This article was first released in the 18th volume of the Humanitarian Alternatives magazine. Designed to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS in a Kenyan district, a Médecins Sans Frontières project successfully exceeded the “90-90-90” target set by UNAIDS. A look back on the results that the authors of this article - Pierre Mendiharat, Deputy director of operations at MSF France and Léon Salumu Luzinga, Program manager at MSF France, interviewed by Elba Rahmouni - believe are encouraging but by no means a guarantee that the epidemic will be over by 2030.
Over the last few years, Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Syria have been places where situations of extreme violence took place. As witnesses and investigators of such, the authors of this book shed light on three key-moments that marked these tragic episodes: the investigation, the intervention of emergency relief teams and the implementation of justice procedures leading to judgement.