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
Debates Surrounding Ebola Vaccine Trials in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo
Myfanwy James
,
Joseph Grace Kasereka
, and
Shelley Lees

Introduction The labelling of a crisis makes new types of action and intervention possible. In her analysis of the West African Ebola epidemic (2014–16), Kelly (2018) describes the ‘epistemic shift’ which followed the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC), making it possible to fast-track clinical research in new ways. During the epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that, in a context of

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
Lucy Bassett
and
J. Charles Bradley

developing new guidance documents rather than developing an entirely new set. Experts noted several opportunities to create new guidance documents and improve training. Some of these opportunities are time sensitive. Recommendations There are four critical steps to achieve comprehensive and consolidated guidance for addressing ECD in emergencies. First, strengthen attention to young children and caregivers and add missing nurturing care elements in existing humanitarian standards and guidance. Specifically, add definitions of young children and caregivers to

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
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