Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation
Gerard Finnigan and Otto Farkas
innovation will remain
elusive, to the greatest cost of vulnerable people and communities in crisis for
which the system exists and proclaims to serve.
The Definition Challenge
There have been many different definitions of innovation used within the humanitarian
response sector, along with attempts to develop a common language. It has been
defined as ‘a means of adaptation and improvement through finding and scaling
solutions to problems in the
group in a way that resonates
emotionally; third, this value-added information should illuminate a way forward; and, finally,
there must be a clear moment when the individual can, through actions or choices, recalibrate
their behaviour. This recalibration is measured, ‘and the feedback loop can run once
more, every action stimulating new behaviours that inch us closer to our goals’ ( Geotz, 2011 ). Resilience, with its emphasis on constant
adaptation, sits well with ideas of feedback and design.
Social reproduction can be optimised by changing
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( 2019 ), ‘ Concluding Reflections
evil. Perpetual peace is a moral force, which reveals most fully why liberalism has always been a sociodicy. And yet, even Kant had to concede that this vision of peace, in the end, belonged in the graveyard. We do not lack ideas about peace in the world; what we lack are ideas concerning resistance to the present. A resistance to the image of a world that continues to annihilate us on a daily basis. Presenting the claim of peace as a terrifying adaptation of Hieronymus Bosch is a meaningful start.
Violence is an Assault on the Sacred Meaning of Life
Lessons Learned for Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
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Change” from People to the Response ’,
Humanitarian Exchange, Number 77: Special Feature –
Responding to Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo ,
per cent of north-east Syria, with a population of approximately 4 million. The remainder of opposition armed groups, supported by Turkey, control around 15 per cent in the north-west with a population of approximately 3.5 million ( Humanitarian Needs Overview, 2019 ). Health services in each territory have been provided using different adaptation mechanisms to the conflict. In the opposition-controlled areas, with the collapse of the health system and the withdrawal by the Damascus Ministry of Health, local medical networks – relying on limited local resources, the
intellectually and described for each zone the constant adaptations made to allow
MSF to put in place and maintain its relief operations. Here is a summary of the
issues that arose in the different areas of operation.
In the north-west, the issue was the need to switch from a direct management to a
remote management mode, with Syrian colleagues pursuing MSF’s relief
operations in an environment where the kidnapping of journalists and then aid
workers had become a common occurrence
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
documentary series How Buildings Learn ( Brand, 1994 ). The problem with architecture,
Brand suggested, was it is so often driven by the grand visions of an expert
designer, who focus on producing finished blueprints and plans that are not open to
adaptation or truly responsive to the needs of inhabitants. A similar line of
argument also emerged in the work of John Turner
(1972) , who advocated the importance of placing dwellers in control,
rejecting the top-down tendency
adaptation in the humanitarian
field ( Sandvik, 2017 ) and consider
humanitarian pasts and futures: earlier humanitarian uses of body tracking devices
for care and control, together with how contemporary affordances in emergencies
shape ideas about what wearables can be used for, on whom and how. I suggest that
what the ‘humanitarian wearable’ tells us about the nature of digital
humanitarianism can be the point of departure for articulating a critique of aid in