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-affected communities ( Bloom and Betts, 2013 ; Jacobsen, 2015 ; Ong and Combinido, 2018 ). In addition, because much humanitarian innovation merely repurposes commercial innovation for humanitarian use ( Carbonnier, 2015 ), when humanitarian actors incorporate these technologies into their work they also incorporate the values embedded in them. In the specific case of information technologies, this creates ‘a political economy in which technocratic solutions and quantitative data are more highly valued

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Rethinking Digital Divides by Linda Leung

of access that results in the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have nots’. She convincingly argues that this definition, developed in the West, does not capture the complexities and transient nature of refugees using digital technology. The current refugee crisis has witnessed the displacement of close to 70 million people worldwide ( UNHCR, 2019 ) due to political conflict, criminal violence and war. While the waves of migrants reaching the coast of southern Europe has attracted global attention, Australia

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

: geographic distances as national or international responders travel to a locale experiencing crisis, but also social, cultural, political and narrative distances due to the vastly divergent experiences of people caught up in crises. A key challenge for humanitarian ethics is to take account both of the steep asymmetries between those seeking to provide assistance (though not always succeeding) and others who require help due to a crisis, and the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

on the periphery of conflicts to the heart of them. Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Rwanda and the entire Great Lakes region of Africa became particularly high-risk areas for aid workers. It was during the intervention in Somalia in 1992 that the interface between security, operational procedures and humanitarian principles became central for MdM. The political and security climate at the time confined NGOs to urban centres across Somalia, while the looting of humanitarian convoys

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation

When former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon encouraged the humanitarian sector to innovate and create a new paradigm to respond to people in crisis, the sector answered with an unbridled number of new enterprises and laboratories to create tools, products and new initiatives. As these emerged, so did the reality of the changing complexity of communities in need of humanitarian assistance. The deterioration of the natural physical environment, along with burgeoning population dynamics and threats to humanitarian workers themselves, has tipped the balance of complexity beyond the capability of the system to respond effectively. The humanitarian sector as a whole must urgently commit to reconciling four critical challenges to reinvent itself and its effectiveness: reconciling the meaning of innovation; developing an overarching strategy that addresses the radically changing global context in which communities require assistance; agreeing on an integrated structure to deliver innovation; and addressing how innovation is financed. Unless the sector addresses these four elements, the action and effect of innovation will fail to realise the transformational change necessary, to respond to communities in crisis now and in the future.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Building High-tech Castles in the Air?

Medical documentation poses many challenges in acute emergencies. Time and again, the reflection of those who manage healthcare during a ‘disaster’ involves some reference to poor, inadequate or even absent documentation. The reasons for this are manifold, some of which, it is often argued, would be negated by using technological solutions. Smartphones. Tablets. Laptops. Networks. Many models exist, and yet we have not reached a status quo whereby this single aspect of disaster response is fixed. Should we abandon technology in favour of a traditional paper solution? Perhaps not; however, it seems that the answer may lie somewhere in between. As simple as the problem might seem on the surface, its answer requires thought, investment and practice. And while it is being answered, it is essential to remain mindful of the hazards posed by gathering healthcare data: who owns it? Where will it be stored? How will it be shared? Academics and practitioners are equal guests at the table wherein this challenge is approached.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Planned Obsolescence of Medical Humanitarian Missions: An Interview with Tony Redmond, Professor and Practitioner of International Emergency Medicine and Co-founder of HCRI and UK-Med

In this interview with editors Tanja R. Müller and Gemma Sou, Tony Redmond reflects on his long career as a professor and practitioner of international emergency medicine and founder of UK-Med, an NGO that provides international emergency humanitarian medical assistance and which hosts the UK International Emergency Trauma Register (UKIETR) and UK International Emergency Medical Register (UKIEMR). He questions the usefulness of prioritising innovation in medical humanitarianism and advocates aiming for the same duty of care that one would offer in one’s everyday practice at home. In this, Tony is also critical of the term ‘humanitarian space’, as it by definition proclaims an imagined geographical entity where normal rules should not apply.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

the core great powers and the international political economy constitutes a dilemma for regional states. The core is both the indispensable source of many crucial resources and of constraints on the autonomy of regional states. The constraining impact of the core ranges from the threat of active military intervention or economic sanctions to the leverage derived from the dependency of regional states, maximised where there is high need and a lack of alternatives for the client state. In extreme cases, foreign policy may be chiefly designed to access economic

in The international politics of the Middle East
Explaining foreign policy variation

What explains the similarities and differences in the foreign policy behaviour of Middle East states? The relative explanatory weight carried by domestic politics versus that of the systemic arenas in which states operate is a matter of some dispute between pluralists on the one hand, and realists and structuralists on the other. On the face of it, if the domestic level is determinant, as pluralists tend to argue, different kinds of states should follow different foreign policies and similar ones similar policies. If the systemic level is

in The international politics of the Middle East

’s states and peoples. The second Gulf War The second Gulf War represented a watershed event in the Middle East that sharply underlined how far it is a ‘penetrated system’, its politics a product of interaction between global and local forces. The war, likewise, can only be understood by recourse to variables on multiple ‘levels of analysis’. Regional level conflicts and Iraqi political economy largely explain the Iraqi choices that unleashed the war. However, there would have been no war without global level factors, namely

in The international politics of the Middle East