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David Rieff

. If humanitarian certainties have been upended, it is not in Sri Lanka, or even Syria or Afghanistan, but in the NGO response to the migration crisis in Greece and in the Mediterranean. For here, whether they like it or not, when they rescue people at sea who are trying to get to Europe, relief NGOs are involved not just in caritative work, whose deontology is relatively straightforward ethically; here, they are important actors in a profound political struggle, whose outcome, along with the response or non-response to climate change, is likely to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Michaël Neuman, Fernando Espada, and Róisín Read

‘irreducible uncertainties’ of the situations encountered by teams on the ground. As Champy argues ( Champy, 2018: 17 ), ‘when action is required in highly singular and complex situations, common solutions that can be automatically inferred from routines, rules or scientific knowledge, might lead to mistakes and damages. Indeed, the singularity of the situation may imply that… the situation does not allow for a high degree of certainty’. In such situations, transmission of knowledge between

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Brendan T. Lawson

violence to economic prosperity, are ‘presented as unambiguous and objective’ because they ‘are grounded in the certainty of numbers’. Such a conception of numbers is encapsulated by Desrosières (2001 : 348) when he talks of ‘metrological realism’. This viewpoint holds that ‘computed moments (averages, variances, correlations) have a substance that reflects an underlying macrosocial reality, revealed by those computations’. In other words, numbers reveal something about the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Sophie Roborgh

, and even physical presence of the verifying actor at the site of attack. The WHO’s SSA aims to capture ‘any and all attacks’ ( 2018 : 5), but pairs their relatively inclusive approach with strict verification protocols and a certainty-level differentiation method, without reflecting on the potential consequences of this approach ( 2018 : 19). Verification also leads to less incorporation of attacks among other initiatives, as visible

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Congolese Experience
Justine Brabant

to think about whether those loans were apt. As it is not my aim to single out any particular colleague or media outlet, I will use a few of my own errors and questions by way of example. One of the certainties and obvious facts I took with me during my early investigations in the Congo was this: that there was a distinction between civilians and combatants. My reasoning went more or less as follows: ‘Once I’m there, I’ll start with an article on civilian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Megan Daigle, Sarah Martin, and Henri Myrttinen

); the COVID-19 pandemic only underlines how humanitarians, in our certainty that we can be solutions to crises of all kinds, can exhibit an inability or indeed unwillingness to perceive our own position within matrices of colonialism, white saviourism and gendered power relations – we can literally become the problem, bringing sickness with us from abroad to areas previously not affected by it. There is a clear need for a different framing of security threats based on a more

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs