Building High-tech Castles in the Air?
Anisa Jabeen Nasir Jafar

Technology has advanced far beyond that which (and far more quickly than) humankind could have imagined – and far more quickly than it could have done. If resources were infinite, it is likely that innumerably more aspects of our existence would be enveloped in technological solutions. That said, when an extraordinary event occurs which challenges the day-to-day operations of any system, it is rare that technology can adapt to each and every aspect of the event. Humanitarian emergencies, crises

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

Introduction As an academic and practitioner for more than forty years, we asked Tony for his take on innovation from a personal perspective and how this might have changed throughout his career. Tony has worked with medical emergency teams in a range of disasters and conflicts including earthquakes in Armenia (1988), Iran (1990), China (2008) and Haiti (2010), conflicts in Bosnia (1991–96), Kosovo (1999–2000), Sierra Leone (2000) and Gaza (2014

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Focus on Community Engagement
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez, and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

constitute what can be termed comparables , in reference to the work of the French historian Marcel Détienne (2002 , 2009 ). They are emblematic of the interactions at play during emergency encounters. They speak to each other as they highlight the contested nature of legitimacy, its roots both in the longue durée and in contemporary issues. They shed light on the important role played during epidemics by the too often ignored intermediaries of the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Framework for Measuring Effectiveness in Humanitarian Response
Vincenzo Bollettino and Birthe Anders

Introduction Large-scale humanitarian emergencies are increasingly stretching the international community’s ability to meet critical humanitarian needs. This includes contexts such as Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia, as well as many others. In many of these complex emergencies, humanitarian aid workers, medical workers and healthcare facilities are themselves targets of attack, which not only puts aid workers at risk, but can threaten the provision of humanitarian assistance when resources are either

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Digital Bodies, Data and Gifts
Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

, 2015 ; Fast, 2017 ; Read et al. , 2016 ). Digitisation – the collection, conversion, storage and sharing of data and the use of digital technologies to collect and manage information about individuals from affected communities – increasingly shapes understandings of need and the response to emergencies. 2 This use of digital technologies produces ‘digital bodies’ – images, information, biometrics and other data stored in digital space – that represent

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mel Bunce

, which surveyed more than 30,000 people in 28 countries, found a remarkable 59 per cent support the phrase ‘I am not sure what is true and what is not’ ( Edelman, 2018 ). Among other issues, this lack of trust makes it much harder for journalists to do their job – to provide information about humanitarian issues and to hold those with power to account. The news media has historically played an important (albeit imperfect) role in supporting the response to humanitarian emergencies: by providing surveillance and early warning, raising

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Hakim Khaldi

Introduction 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

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

This collection interrogates the representation of humanitarian crisis and catastrophe, and the refraction of humanitarian intervention and action, from the mid-twentieth century to the present, across a diverse range of media forms: traditional and contemporary screen media (film, television and online video) as well as newspapers, memoirs, music festivals and social media platforms (such as Facebook, YouTube and Flickr). The book thus explores the historical, cultural and political contexts that have shaped the mediation of humanitarian relationships since the middle of the twentieth century. Together, the chapters illustrate the continuities and connections, as well as the differences, which have characterised the mediatisation of both states of emergency and acts of amelioration. The authors reveal and explore the significant synergies between the humanitarian enterprise, the endeavour to alleviate the suffering of particular groups, and media representations, and their modes of addressing and appealing to specific publics. The chapters consider the ways in which media texts, technologies and practices reflect and shape the shifting moral, political, ethical, rhetorical, ideological and material dimensions of international humanitarian emergency and intervention, and have become integral to the changing relationships between organisations, institutions, governments, individual actors and entire sectors.

Editors’ Introduction
Tanja R. Müller and Gemma Sou

, requires a considered debate about data colonialism. Two further contributions engage with the specific field of medical humanitarianism. Jafar, in her op-ed, takes the example of medical documentation to reflect on the challenges that overseas medical teams face in acute emergencies. Issues around security, ownership and sharing are pivotal when having to make decisions about electronic records versus pen and paper – and much might be said for the former. In an interview with the editors

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse
Juliano Fiori

-and-rescue missions. But it is citizen movements that have been at the forefront of the emergency response. Similarly inspired by cosmopolitan ideals, these groups tend to use more political language than conventional NGOs, presenting their relief activities as a form of direct resistance to nationalist politics and xenophobia. As liberal humanitarianism is challenged in its European heartland, they are developing – through practice – a new model of humanitarian engagement. SOS MEDITERRANEE is an ad hoc citizen initiative founded in 2015 to prevent the death of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs