Brendan T. Lawson

Introduction Quantification is an essential component of contemporary humanitarianism. It has manifested most clearly in the proliferation of indexes, metrics, indicators and rankings across the humanitarian sector: CATO’s Human Freedom Index rates each country on a scale of 0–10 to judge the freedom they allow their citizens, the UN’s Integrated Phase Classification categorises countries’ food insecurity into five quantitatively-based tiers to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanity and Solidarity
Tanja R. Müller and Róisín Read

so move beyond what has been called the post-humanitarian age where solidarity has become a form of irony ( Chouliaraki, 2011 ). The second review article, by Lawson, centred around Joël Glasman’s recent book Humanitarianism and the Quantification of Human Needs: Minimal Humanity , picks up on the debates about evidence-based action and the numbers which have come to underlie it. Exploring the body of literature that has emerged to critically engage with quantification in the humanitarian

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

, track, quantify and monitor the physical bodies of populations affected by disaster and conflict, although these populations have little say or control over them ( Lupton, 2015 ). Humanitarian technology has become a field of considerable scholarly interest, and this raises many issues with respect to the ‘do no harm’ aspect of humanitarian aid ( Sandvik et al. , 2017 ), what it means to be neutral ( Sandvik et al. , 2014 ), the proper role and relevance

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Response to the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs Special Issue on Innovation in Humanitarian Action (JHA, 1:3)
Anna Skeels

humanitarian aid. (personal communication, 21 November, 2019) The scale of unmet needs continues to grow, and money alone cannot address this gap; the humanitarian system urgently needs robust new solutions to make limited resources more effective ( Elrha, 2018c ). Sectors that invest consistently in research and development are proven to be more effective than those that don’t. Elrha believes the humanitarian sector is no different to others in this respect. However, spend on research and development here remains low. The best effort to quantify spending to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings and Lauren Harris

tool for analysis. Humanitarian data, which is subject to the obstacles of working within a repressive system where information and movement are controlled, gives an understanding of how agencies operating in the country quantify and define needs within the constrained environment. Humanitarian documentation on the DPRK is not without its challenges – access has been a perennial issue, leading several NGOs to withdraw in the 1990s and 2000s. While restrictions remain and continue to be a major challenge, some indicators suggest aspects of access can and have

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Matthew Hunt, Sharon O’Brien, Patrick Cadwell, and Dónal P. O’Mathúna

assessments are challenging because, for example, the impact of lacking vaccinations is easier to quantify than the lack of information in specific languages. To address such challenges, representatives from the affected linguistic and cultural groups should be included in these discussions and their concerns and proposals addressed in resulting guidelines and procedures. Humanitarian organisations may need training to raise their awareness of the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Sophie Roborgh

on health care, quantifying their effect (in terms of damage to health structure, staff, and lost services), convincing global actors of the urgent need to enforce international protections for health care, and achieving accountability for breaching them.’ ( 2017 : 2279) Analysis (of both pattern and impact), advocacy and accountability all need to be served by the data such mechanisms would generate. However laudable, the question

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Lessons Learned for Engagement in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States
Logan Cochrane

, sector (following the UN OCHA sector/cluster categorisation), and report type. The categorisation allowed for a basic landscape assessment by year and sector. For the synthesis of lessons learned, the reports were assessed qualitatively by sector. Content was coded as lessons learned, challenges, insights and positive practices. While NVivo (as do other content-coding software) allows for more systematic approaches (e.g. quantifying usage frequency of specific terms to indicate level of importance, or lack thereof; e.g. Cochrane et al. , 2017 ), this approach was not

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Setting the standards for disability in the interwar period.

Measuring difference, numbering normal provides a detailed study of the technological construction of disability by examining how the audiometer and spirometer were used to create numerical proxies for invisible and inarticulable experiences. Measurements, and their manipulation, have been underestimated as crucial historical forces motivating and guiding the way we think about disability. Using measurement technology as a lens, this book draws together several existing discussions on disability, healthcare, medical practice, embodiment and emerging medical and scientific technologies at the turn of the twentieth century. As such, this work connects several important and usually separate academic subject areas and historical specialisms. The standards embedded in instrumentation created strict but ultimately arbitrary thresholds of normalcy and abnormalcy. Considering these standards from a long historical perspective reveals how these dividing lines shifted when pushed. The central thesis of this book is that health measurements are given artificial authority if they are particularly amenable to calculability and easy measurement. These measurement processes were perpetuated and perfected in the interwar years in Britain as the previously invisible limits of the body were made visible and measurable. Determination to consider body processes as quantifiable was driven by the need to compensate for disability occasioned by warfare or industry. This focus thus draws attention to the biopower associated with systems, which has emerged as a central area of concern for modern healthcare in the second decade of the twenty-first century.

Open Access (free)
Coreen Anne McGuire

disability that have been contested, for instance in compensation procedures. Difficulties around diagnosis are compounded by invisible experiences, and so measurement tools are used to make the invisible visible. However, problems often coalesce around felt experiences that do not lend themselves to easy quantification. Dissonance between objective measurement and subjective experience is therefore a recurring theme, resounding in each chapter of this book. Measurement technologies were a crucial component of the drive to quantify bodily norms and grade sensorial symptoms

in Measuring difference, numbering normal