In recent years, fear-mongering reports based on hard data have been describing a world of ever-increasing danger for aid workers. The book "Saving lives and staying alive" explores this observation and compares it with MSF's experience of working in particularly dangerous regions.
Rony Brauman focuses on the humanitarian environment and practices in war, in order to try to understand and analyze its political and ethical stakes. Starting with the creation of the Red Cross at the end of the XIXth century, he then focused on the contemporary postcolonial period, switching between various scales and reporting on contradictory points of view and issues.
In "Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management" Michaël Neuman and his colleague Fabrice Weissman analyze some of the drivers of professionalization in the context of humanitarian security and its subsequent impact on humanitarian practices through a collection of MSF case studies.
Michaël Neuman warns that misleading data are suggesting humanitarian aid work has become more dangerous, taking particular aim at the Aid Worker Security Database (AWSD) for helping perpetuate this myth.
We welcome Abby Stoddard, Katherine Haver and Adele Harmer's response to our critical article on the production and the use of security data in the humanitarian sector and to our book in general. In a field that has been very much lacking debate, if not controversies, we're extremely glad to see a various range of readers engaging in the discussion.
Michaël Neuman, co-editor of "Saving Lives and Staying Alive. Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management" responds to Chris Lockyear and Andrew Cunningham's review of the book.
Andrew Cunningham, currently an independent humanitarian researcher and analyst and Chris Lockyear, the Director of Operations for ACF USA and a former Operations Manager for MSF Operational Center Amsterdam (MSF-OCA), have sent the following response to "Saving lives and Staying alive". Let the debate live!
Since the 1990s and the rise of conflicts in West Africa, Somalia, Chechnya, the former Yugoslavia and Africa's Great Lakes region, humanitarian organisations have been warning of greater insecurity for their staff. These observations are bolstered by surveys aimed at objectively quantifying violence against humanitarian workers.
When MSF nurse Chantal Kaghoma regained her freedom in August 2014 after being held hostage for thirteen months by rebel group ADF in the DRC, she said, “While I was in prison with all the other hostages, I had lost all faith in everyone"