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Editor’s Introduction

Most mainstream discourses on humanitarian security would not consider the community engagement of a team of anthropologists in three West African countries during the Ebola epidemic of 2014–16 as directly related to security – and their article in this special issue on ‘Security and Protection’ hardly touches on security as its own topic. Instead, it provides a detailed account of the need for a thorough understanding of social relationships when defining, and thus securing, humanitarian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

Humanitarianism’ , International Review of the Red Cross , 96 : 894 , 641 – 8 . Neuman , M. and Weissman , F. (eds) ( 2016 ), Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management ( London : Hurst and Co ). Powell , C. ( 2001 ), ‘Remarks to the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

; InterAction, 2006 ; O’Callaghan and Pantuliano, 2007 ; Oxfam, 2005 ; Paul, 1999 ; Slim and Bonwick, 2005 ). Institutional staff-security policies also began to appear in the 1990s ( Cutts and Dingle, 1995 ; ICRC, 1999 ). In 2000, the Humanitarian Practice Network published a Good Practice Review on Operational Security in Violent Environments (hereafter, GPR). Concerned not only with the safety of aid-agency staff but also with ensuring safe and continued programming and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs is an exciting, new open access journal hosted jointly by The Humanitarian Affairs Team at Save the Children UK, and Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires MSF (Paris) and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester. It will contribute to current thinking around humanitarian governance, policy and practice with academic rigour and political courage. The journal will challenge contributors and readers to think critically about humanitarian issues that are often approached from reductionist assumptions about what experience and evidence mean. It will cover contemporary, historical, methodological and applied subject matters and will bring together studies, debates and literature reviews. The journal will engage with these through diverse online content, including peer reviewed articles, expert interviews, policy analyses, literature reviews and ‘spotlight’ features.

Our rationale can be summed up as follows: the sector is growing and is facing severe ethical and practical challenges. The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs will provide a space for serious and inter-disciplinary academic and practitioner exchanges on pressing issues of international interest.

The journal aims to be a home and platform for leading thinkers on humanitarian affairs, a place where ideas are floated, controversies are aired and new research is published and scrutinised. Areas in which submissions will be considered include humanitarian financing, migrations and responses, the history of humanitarian aid, failed humanitarian interventions, media representations of humanitarianism, the changing landscape of humanitarianism, the response of states to foreign interventions and critical debates on concepts such as resilience or security.

Editors’ Introduction

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul in May 2016 brought the theme of innovation to the fore yet again. Innovation in a broad sense has arguably always been at the heart of any humanitarian action, at least in the basic sense of the word, as having to constantly adapt and adjust to complex and unexpected situations – to ‘innovate’, in other words. In the understanding of the WHS and within the UN system more broadly, innovation was to be strongly linked to cost effectiveness and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

even those inspired by anti-communism were cautious about structural integration into Western security strategies. At the beginning of the 1990s, NGOs shrugged off their scepticism for the morality of state power, working more closely with Western military forces. Private and government funding for humanitarian operations increased. With the help of news media, humanitarian agencies boosted their political capital, presenting themselves as providers of public moral conscience for the West. A new political economy of humanitarian aid developed

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

History Security-risk management has long been a concern at Médecins du Monde (MdM), as it was for other humanitarian agencies operating at the height of the Cold War. However, it was in the 1990s that security had to address its own set of issues. The collapse of the Soviet bloc and the post-Cold War conflicts created safety issues for humanitarian agencies: a booming aid sector led to an increase in exposure, together with a trend for humanitarian organisations to shift from working

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

in Humanitarian Locations: UNHCR and Biometric Registration of Afghan Refugees’ , Security Dialogue , 46 : 2 , 144 – 64 . Knox-Clarke , P. ( 2017 ), ‘ Changing Humanitarian Action?’ , ALNAP Working Paper ( London : ALNAP/ODI ). Lawday , A. , Poulson , C

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation

. , 2016 ). The third structural challenge relates to the interplay between donor financing and sectoral-cluster silos. The humanitarian emergency response system has narrowed its programme orientation towards standardised programme interventions based on sub-specialty clusters (security, protection, agriculture, shelter, health, WASH, food, education, economic recovery) that form silos of programmatic practice ( Fan, 2013 ; Ferretti et al. , 2016 ; Steets et al. , 2010 ; Stoddard et al

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector

region altered understandings of humanitarian intervention as a tool of international security, raised questions about NGO engagement with, or disregard for, local politics and offered massive logistical challenges in the delivery of aid ( Harper, 2012 ). Its legacy still resonates, about how complex decision-making processes are implemented in pressurised situations and how task-focused approaches have shifted attention from outcomes and their wider social and political

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs