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Publications

War and humanitarianism, medicine and public health, rights and justice... Discover CRASH publications sorted by themes.

The fact that CRASH publications are written from an aid practitioner's, rather than researcher's, perspective, does not exempt them from the demands of rigorous research methods. We try hard at this, with the help of (volunteer) research professionals. The publications are not the MSF party line, but rather tools for reflexion based on MSF's framework and experience. They have only one purpose: to help us better understand what we are doing. Criticisms, comments and suggestions are more than welcome - they are expected.

illustration découpler malnutrition et mortalité
Article

Decoupling undernutrition and mortality?

All the warning lights are flashing red this year: drought, the high prices of grains and fertilisers exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, reduced imports and speculation, numerous armed conflicts, a record number of refugees to be fed, disengagement of institutional donors,… With the exception of locusts, all the determinants of severe food scarcity are there, from Afghanistan to the Sahel, including Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. To the point of threatening all of the progress that was made in treating undernutrition after the 2005 crisis in Niger, which was the starting point for global advances in managing malnutrition in places where it is commonplace. It is time for a general mobilisation to limit the scale of the coming catastrophe. Interview with Jean-Hervé Bradol by Elba Rahmouni.

illustration la prise en charge de l'enfant douloureux
Article

Management of the suffering child: a medical and operational challenge

 

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.

cover-reconstructing-lives
Book

Reconstructing Lives. Victims of war in the Middle East and Médecins Sans Frontières

Reconstructing Lives was published in January 2022 by Manchester University Press. The book is the result of extensive fieldwork, in collaboration with the Crash. Here is the presentation of the book and its contents, as well as a short introductory video.

After days of heavy fighting between Hutu and Tutsi rebels, many Hutu refugees are on the run for the continuing violence.
Article

Patrick de Saint-Exupéry: a counterfaiter in Congo

In his book, La Traversée. Une odyssée au cœur de l’Afrique, Patrick de Saint-Exupéry challenges the reality of Hutu Rwandan refugees’ hunt and massacre facing the advancement of the Rwandan Patriotic Army and their Congolese allies in 1996-97. This systematic exercise of denying reality – especially the denial of the Mapping Report written by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1143 pages, published in June 2009) – but also this denial of Human Rights Advocacy groups’ investigations, and those of journalists’ witnesses present in DRC at the time – does not spare MSF’s teams who came to help these refugees in 1996-97. However, as a front-line witness of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, MSF was also one of the organizations noticing the intense violence perpetrated by the new Rwandan political regime in Zaire / DRC back in 1996 and 1997, mostly against a population constituted at three-quarters of women and children. 

 

Violences extrêmes. Enquêter, secourir, juger République démocratique du Congo, Rwanda, Syrie
Book

Extreme violence. Investigating, Saving, Judging Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Syria

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.

Residents of Al Mishlab, Raqqa returning back home to check their houses and belongings. The houses in Mishlab that still stand are scorched and reduced to piles of rubble, and the streets are full of rubbish and abandoned belongings: cooking pans, broken children’s toys and documents. Shops are burned and looted, and the empty bullet cases underfoot are an indication of the violence of this war.
Article

Humanitarian Field Practices in the Context of the Syrian Conflict from 2011 to 2018

This article was first published in Issue 2, Volume 2 of The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs. 

How can a medical humanitarian organisation deliver emergency assistance in Syria when there is nowhere in the country where civilians, the wounded and their families, medical personnel and aid workers are not targeted? Not in the areas controlled by the government, nor in those held by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or the different rebel groups. So what action could be taken, and how? Remotely or on site? At the very least, we had to decipher the diverging political and military agendas, and then adapt, persist or sometimes just give up. In this article, I will present the full range of methods used to acquire knowledge and obtain information as well as the various networks used to carry out this venture. I will also show how Médecins Sans Frontières’ operations became a balancing act, punctuated by episodes of adapting to the various difficulties encountered.

District de Jacobabad, Wasayo, Pakistan. Distribution de nourriture par le CICR à 945 foyers touchés par des inondations.
Article

The invention of impartiality: the history of a humanitarian principle, from a legal, strategic and algorithmic perspective

The principle of impartiality, which is often reduced to a principle of mathematical distribution, was originally coined by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), at that time on a quest for legitimacy. However, reducing impartiality to a resource distribution algorithm strengthens the overarching position held by non-territorial organisations. This is the theory put forward by the author in his latest book.

Deux femmes responsables de matériel MSF en Iran
Article

MSF and kidnappings - the secrets and the dilemmas

On the 31st January, a symposium was held at Sciences Po in support of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, researchers at Sciences Po's Center for International Research (CERI) who were arrested in Iran on June 5, 2019. Roland Marchal was released on 20th March 2020 in exchange for an Iranian engineer detained in France. On 6th May Fariba Adelkhah was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for "propaganda against the political system of the Islamic Republic, and collusion to undermine national security". The researcher was offered conditional release on condition that she terminates her research, but she refused. 

The symposium brought together diplomats, journalists, humanitarians and researchers, with the aim of "nourishing reflection about prisoners and hostages, from a political, legal and ethical point of view". Fabrice Weissman presented the experience of Médecins Sans Frontières in the face of kidnappings.