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 and

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), a super typhoon in the Philippines

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

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 international intervention. Comparative anthropology of the kind we develop

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

. , 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, track, quantify and monitor the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mel Bunce

, 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 awareness and monitoring the treatment of citizens ( Cottle and Cooper, 2015 : 4). If audiences do not trust the news media to provide reliable information, it can no longer

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editors’ Introduction
Tanja R. Müller and Gemma Sou

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, Tony Redmond reflects on his long career as professor and practitioner of International

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

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 people crossing the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation
Gerard Finnigan and Otto Farkas

). None of this complexity is new. The sector has historically responded to emergencies where local conflict collides with weak social systems, high-threat pathogen outbreaks, natural hazard disasters and a shortfall in financial or moral will from the international community to act ( Development Initiatives, 2018 ; Salama et al. , 2004 ). What has changed, however, is the nature of this complexity. It has been inextricably shifted by forces that are beyond the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
Tom Scott-Smith

white modernist building lit up in the dark, tucked away in a far corner of the Giardini. I ran to take cover. It featured an exhibit called Places for People : a sparse but simply furnished demonstration of real interventions rather than idealistic projections, describing three projects that had worked with refugees to make modest but important improvements to their emergency shelters. The ideas were a refreshing change from the rest of the Biennale because they were so

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

from the 2008 financial crisis, for example, has been the weakest and most prolonged on record ( Streeck, 2017 ). Reflecting the realities of the downturn, the new freedom to consume has, to a remarkable degree, been unequally distributed ( OECD, 2008 ; Oxfam, 2016 ). Precarity is a by-product of the long downturn. It emerges at that historic moment when the economy becomes a site of permanent emergency ( Streeck, 2011 ). A human surplus coexists with the ‘jobless’ growth resulting from the systemic urge to deepen automation at a time of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs