Author Archives: Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert

International Humanitarian Studies Association: Conference call for papers

Deadline extended: 30 June 2018

The 5th bi-annual IHSA conference, entitled “(Re-)Shaping Boundaries in Crisis and Crisis Response”, will take place in The Hague, The Netherlands from 27 to 29 August 2018.

Crisis and humanitarianism has always been about boundaries. The classic view of a crisis is an exceptional moment, bounded in time and space. Humanitarian action was therefore seen as a necessarily limited endeavor which has a narrow but principled focus on saving lives and alleviating suffering. Setting clear boundaries around crisis were meant to distinguish crisis from normality and legitimate extraordinary measures to accommodate its effects.

The full call and information about how to submit a paper proposal can be found here: https://conference.ihsa.info

See also the call for papers for the panel on Media and Humanitarianism, organised by Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert and Timothy Wolfer: https://conference.ihsa.info/call-for-panels/view/613

Deadline extended until 30 June 2018.

New article: Digital communication technologies in humanitarian and pandemic response

In their newly published article, The new informatics of pandemic response: humanitarian technology, efficiency, and the subtle retreat of national agency, in the Journal of International Humanitarian Action, Christopher Wilson and Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, review empirical uses of communications technology in humanitarian and pandemic response, and the 2014 Ebola response in particular, and propose a three-part conceptual model for the new informatics of pandemic response.

Digital communication technologies play an increasingly prominent role in humanitarian operations and in response to international pandemics specifically. A burgeoning body of scholarship on the topic displays high expectations for such tools to increase the efficiency of pandemic response. The model proposed in this article distinguishes between the use of digital communication tools for diagnostic, risk communication, and coordination activities and highlights how the influx of novel actors and tendencies towards digital and operational convergence risks focusing humanitarian action and decision-making outside national authorities’ spheres of influence in pandemic response. This risk exacerbates a fundamental tension between the humanitarian promise of new technologies and the fundamental norm that international humanitarian response should complement and give primacy to the role of national authorities when possible. The article closes with recommendations for ensuring the inclusion of roles and agency for national authorities in technology-supported communication processes for pandemic response.

The article can be read here: https://jhumanitarianaction.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s41018-018-0036-5

Aid Agencies Can’t Police Themselves. It’s Time for a Change

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The spreading “Oxfam scandal” will affect the entire humanitarian sector painfully. It brings into plain sight what observers of the internal workings of NGOs have known for a long time: NGOs have an organisational reflex of banning outsiders from their kitchen, and keeping their potentially dangerous secrets hidden.

Abuses of power are common in any situation where vulnerable people depend on powerful service providers. But the key question that still haunts this sector is how organisations should deal with the rotten apples – the abusers of power. Even though Oxfam has taken earlier abuses and misconduct seriously, the organisation has acted alone and resorted to internal measures in dealing with the problem.

The case of the Oxfam country director hosting sex parties in the staff house in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake – perhaps it is only the tip of a rapidly expanding iceberg.

What matters is how organisations respond to such incidents. Have trespassers been sanctioned, and was the harm done redressed? Were the disciplinary procedures transparent, and have efforts been made to avoid the repetition of these events?

New book series on Humanitarianism and Security: submissions welcome

Kabul, Afghanistan. © Antonio de Lauri

Submissions are welcome for the new Berghahn Books’ series “Humanitarianism and Security”: http://berghahnbooks.com/series/humanitarianism-and-security

Amid the growing convergence between the politics of aid and policing, emergency and military governance, securitization and the production of collective fear, this series examines humanitarianism and security as both ideology and practice. To this end, it offers ethnographic and theoretical analyses that contribute to the development of critical approaches at the intersection of anthropology, sociology, geography, international relations, and other disciplines.

 

Submissions

Formal submissions should be sent directly to Berghahn Books:

http://berghahnbooks.com/authors/

However, initial enquiries are encouraged and should be sent to Antonio De Lauri, Senior Researcher at CMI and affiliated with NCHS (antonio.delauri@cmi.no), who will be able to advise and help you through the formal procedure.

General Editor:

Antonio De Lauri, Chr. Michelsen Institute

Editorial Board:

Reece Jones, University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Chowra Makaremi, CNRS, Paris

Mark Maguire, National University of Ireland, Maynooth

Vanessa Pupavac, University of Nottingham

Peter Redfield, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Tazreena Sajjad, American University, Washington D.C.

PRIO Research Featured at Conference on Development Research

Presenting a newly funded research project on refugee education

23 January, Research Director and Professor Cindy Horst presented the newly-funded REBuilD project to an audience of government representatives and NGOs invited by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) and the Research Council of Norway (RCN). The aim of the conference, launching the new projects funded under the NORGLOBAL-2 program, was to improve the communication between researchers and practitioners, in order to guarantee that research results are better informing development policy and practice. The REBuilD project asks how we can best support refugee children and their communities to build durable futures, when it is unclear where those futures will be. The project focuses on two of the largest populations of refugees: Somalis and Syrians, and involves fieldwork in cities and refugee camps in Kenya and Lebanon, as well as in Somalia with returnees from Kenya.

Horst’s presentation can be found here:
NORAD Jan 2018 (Horst)