Resetting our standards
Humanicontrarian
by marc
5d ago
Here is Friday’s Gaza headline: “Israel’s defense chief says military ‘thoroughly planning’ offensive in crowded Gaza border town”.  One might ask: What the hell does that mean?  I don’t know which is more shocking, the idea that it has not been thoroughly planned (aside from those first few days), or that it has. And that ..read more
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Not in Our Name
Humanicontrarian
by marc
2M ago
[I have been drafting and delaying the posting of a number of blogs related to Gaza. In the small points they make they simply don’t seem appropriate given the latest news.  Now over nine weeks in, I’ve lost faith in the idea of waiting for the right time.] Last Thursday, world humanitarian #1 Martin Griffiths ..read more
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The human need to act
Humanicontrarian
by marc
3M ago
Preface. My friend and colleague Sean Healy died last night and it hurts. Too soon, too unfair, and too painful to so many people.  A great MSFer, humanitarian and person.  You might think that people working in the humanitarian business would be familiar enough with life and death to be more prepared for when the ..read more
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Maintaining Standards
Humanicontrarian
by marc
7M ago
While the views expressed below may appear critical of localization, this blogsite is an ally: as local as possible; as international as necessary (see here or here).[1] One particular and necessary strength of the established global humanitarian order has been the production of guidance and standards that govern practice, boost coherence, and safeguard its legendary ..read more
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The Proportionality of Our Attention
Humanicontrarian
by marc
1y ago
Depending on how you look at it, it was Day 4 or Year 8 of the war in Ukraine when I began drafting this blog.  It is now Day 145. I recall those early days, the emotions stirred as I saw my younger self in the wire-rimmed glasses and quilted winter coat of a young ..read more
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Don’t Just Do It
Humanicontrarian
by marc
1y ago
The leader of the UK’s Labour Party just took action. “I would, of course, do the right thing and step down.”  This is, of course, politics. Kier Starmer’s catchy response to accusations he broke Covid lockdown rules was delivered in order to contrast his integrity with the Prime Minister’s refusal to hold himself to account.  ..read more
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Two new posts (elsewhere)
Humanicontrarian
by marc
3y ago
Last week ODI/HPG launched a new (and excellent) report on what we can learn from the response to DRC Ebola outbreak #10. Having led HPG’s 2015 review of the Ebola response in West Africa, I was asked to contribute to the discussion. Twice. That led to a joint blog with Kerrie Holloway, one of the ..read more
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The Politics of Humanitarian Uncertainty
Humanicontrarian
by marc
3y ago
[What began as a conversation about uncertainty with HERE-Geneva’s Marzia Montemurro ended up finding its way to an article, now published by the good folks at Global Dashboard. The thrust of our argument is that humanitarians have “failed to engage with the bias in its attention and the political content of how uncertainty is interpreted ..read more
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Reversing the paradigm
Humanicontrarian
by marc
3y ago
Just as they do every late December, the interviews and opinion pieces will come.  Atypically, though, the end of the mere year of 2020 seems to have displaced the usual attention to the end of a decade (no, the decade did not end last December 31st).  Well, it has been a comparatively eventful year.  So ..read more
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The Future of Aid
Humanicontrarian
by marc
3y ago
The editorial team at The New Humanitarian has assembled a series of ideas on the future of aid. Their call was to keep it short and simple (400 words) — not my usual M.O. — just make a clear statement of a problem and then solution. The series is well worth the thought-provoking effort. For ..read more
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