David Rieff

is not in Sri Lanka, or even Syria or Afghanistan, but in the NGO response to the migration crisis in Greece and in the Mediterranean. For here, whether they like it or not, when they rescue people at sea who are trying to get to Europe, relief NGOs are involved not just in caritative work, whose deontology is relatively straightforward ethically; here, they are important actors in a profound political struggle, whose outcome, along with the response or non-response to climate change, is likely to define the next half century. It is a commonplace to

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

information – facts – on the situation in the Mediterranean, so that they at least are able to form their own judgement on it. They can then decide whether they have a responsibility. Definitely the need is there. After eleven years with MSF, it was really this kind of political and social engagement that interested me. SOS is a ‘hydroponic NGO’, if I may put it like that – nourished from below. Working with the organisation in Switzerland is particularly interesting, given that the country is not very open-minded on migration. It has really been a challenge

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

identified as communicative challenges for humanitarian monitoring and evaluation in South Sudan, especially the ‘large number of national languages spoken and low literacy rates’ ( Steets et al. , 2016 : 28). Research on Greece’s migration crisis has illustrated a need for similar considerations. It has shown, too, that links between language and ICT innovations are complex. For instance, findings based on surveys with 202 refugees and migrants and 22

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

communities in crisis in the future. Scott-Smith’s paper shifts attention to humanitarian architecture, arguing that the humanitarian sector often relies on an uncritical technophilia, which fetishises objects rather than focusing on politics and process. Using shelter as his site of analysis, he suggests that ‘buildings without architecture’ are bound to fall short of the socio-spatial challenges of producing appropriate, diverse and affordable shelter. Illustrated through the Viennese projects Places for

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

the Bharatiya Janata Party ( Mishra, 2017 ). And latterly, with considerable contribution from contemporary technologies of mass communication and voter manipulation, it has been institutionalised through the ballot box. The election (or near-election) of demagogic, right-wing nationalists in Europe in recent years seems indicative of a growing preference for illiberal democracy in the cultural home of liberalism. In opposition to liberal migration and trade policies, Europeans have increasingly opted for a closing-inwards of the nation state

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local
Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

financial crisis, while acknowledging that other international responses, such as bilateral and multilateral discussions between UNRWA and potential donors and various diplomats, have been ongoing throughout this period. Understandably, given UNRWA’s financial circumstances following the announcement of the cuts, the campaign sought to encourage existing and ‘non-traditional’ state and non-state actors to commit funds to ensure that the rights and needs of Palestinian refugees were met. By examining the representational strategies used in this

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Rethinking Digital Divides by Linda Leung
Antonio Díaz Andrade

of access that results in the ‘haves’ versus the ‘have nots’. She convincingly argues that this definition, developed in the West, does not capture the complexities and transient nature of refugees using digital technology. The current refugee crisis has witnessed the displacement of close to 70 million people worldwide ( UNHCR, 2019 ) due to political conflict, criminal violence and war. While the waves of migrants reaching the coast of southern Europe has attracted global attention, Australia

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

they managed to respond creatively to the peculiar situation in Vienna, where huge empty office buildings had been allocated to shelter new asylum seekers during the ‘summer of migration’ in 2015. The architects had focused on adding simple furnishings that created a more homely environment, articulating a careful, human-centred approach that had interpreted shelter not as four walls and a roof but as a calming and secure internal space. The aim of these projects was to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

ICRC is really the first human rights organisation ( Hopgood, 2013 : chap. 2). We can point to different emphases – the law versus medicine, justice and accountability versus crisis and need – but common to both these strategies for normative action is a commitment to the physical and mental integrity, the existential moral dignity, of all human beings whoever they are and whatever they have done. This is distinctively modern, and liberal, and still something of a heresy in many Western societies let alone beyond. It is only if one shares this

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Paul Currion

more than customer or end-user preferences’ ( Nielsen and Santos, 2013 : 5) – that is, the consumer feedback mechanism of the market is missing, creating a classic principal–agent problem. This is true, but the far deeper and more intractable problem is the absence of any mechanism for generating financial returns, both as an incentive for and an investment in innovation. 2 The end goal of humanitarian innovation should be positive impact on the lives and livelihoods of people affected by crisis, but while

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs