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Blog post

What to think, do and say about the Covid-19 vaccination? 

Blog written by Jean-Hervé Bradol, director of studies at the Crash.

Today, in order to obtain supplies of vaccines against Covid-19, there is neither a major difficulty related to price, nor a major obstacle related to intellectual property rules, nor a deficit in bio-medical research. However, these three topics are generally at the heart of MSF's communication in the area of access to medical care for those in most need. Our discourse must therefore evolve.
With the emergence of worrying variants of the virus present in the early stages of the pandemic and, as a consequence, the need to vaccinate on a global scale as quickly as possible, the world is facing a double challenge: biological engineering and ultra-industrial production – “ultra” echoing the need to produce on a global scale in a short period of time.

RT @ManchesterUP: We are pleased to announce that a new issue of the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs has now published! This is a special…
À l’occasion de la journée mondiale des ONG, Rony Brauman a participé à un entretien pour @franceinfo sur le rôle des ONG dans la société civile. Professionnalisation, formation et rémunération, il se penche de plus près sur le modèle de @MSF_france. https://t.co/MR3stk3EFk
José Rodrigues Emergency Unit (UPA) in Manaus, Brazil, where the Covid situation remains critical.
Blog post

What to think, do and say about the Covid-19 vaccination? 

Blog written by Jean-Hervé Bradol, director of studies at the Crash.

Today, in order to obtain supplies of vaccines against Covid-19, there is neither a major difficulty related to price, nor a major obstacle related to intellectual property rules, nor a deficit in bio-medical research. However, these three topics are generally at the heart of MSF's communication in the area of access to medical care for those in most need. Our discourse must therefore evolve.
With the emergence of worrying variants of the virus present in the early stages of the pandemic and, as a consequence, the need to vaccinate on a global scale as quickly as possible, the world is facing a double challenge: biological engineering and ultra-industrial production – “ultra” echoing the need to produce on a global scale in a short period of time.

Two MSF workers in the Sahel region.
Blog post

Should we discriminate in order to act? Profiling: a necessary but debated practice

In this article for the Humanitarian Practice Network, head of the Research Unit on Humanitarian Stakes and Practices (UREPH) for MSF Geneva Françoise Duroch and Crash director of studies Michaël Neuman discuss the implications and reasons behind the growing practice of staff profiling for MSF.

In October 2020, MSF organised a workshop in Dakar on staff profiling in operations in the Sahel. Profiling involves the selection of staff based on non-professional criteria, including nationality, skin colour, gender and religion. As such, it raises a number of ethical and practical concerns. As a result of profiling, US nationals have not been deployed in MSF operations in Colombia because of the risk of kidnapping, and Chadians and Rwandans have been excluded in the Central African Republic and eastern Democratic Republic of Congo respectively, because of regional conflicts. The use of profiling has increased in recent years in West Africa, as the threat of kidnapping of Westerners by radical jihadist groups has intensified.

Le Che Guevara au Congo
Blog post

A “partnership” experience, A guided reading of Che Guevara's diary in Congo

Operational partnerships between two organisations are a practical approach to humanitarian responses. MSF considers such partnerships when the objective it is pursuing in a country is similar to that of an existing national organisation, and when there is potential for synergy between these two entities. I would like to take a bit of a detour by looking at an experience that is in some ways similar: when Che Guevara tried to lead the revolution in Congo - Zaire by supporting the organisation of the guerrilla movement in the east of the country.

A mother who gave birth to her child at the obstetric and newborn care service in Dasht-e-Barchi before it was attacked in 2020.
Blog post

Afghanistan : Should MSF accept the risk of targeted killings?

The May 12th massacre at the MSF-supported maternity hospital in Dasht-e-Barchi (Afghanistan)  raises, yet again, the question of our limits with regard to risk. What is an acceptable level of danger for humanitarian aid workers? How do we set limits? Why would MSF decide to leave Kabul but remain in Herat, for example, or leave Afghanistan but remain in Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, or Somalia, where the teams also face extreme danger?

MSF provides support to two centres set up in north Marseille to test and refer people testing positive for coronavirus.
Blog post

Communicating and convincing: a humanitarian perspective on the French response to the coronavirus epidemic

In this paper, the two authors examine certain aspects of the French response to the epidemic in the light of the experience of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in that field, primarily with respect to the relationship between the actors of the response and the beneficiaries.

CONFERENCES
& DEBATES

Tse Lowi IDP Site
Debate

The quantification of needs

Joël Glasman

Combining historical research and ethnographic investigations, the Africanist historian Joël Glasman plunges us into the factory of the homo humanitarianus, the average individual, on the basis of which "needs" and aid projects today are assessed. This conversation took place on December 10th 2020, during a conference-debate at Crash.

View all Conferences & Debates

Publications

District de Jacobabad, Wasayo, Pakistan. Distribution de nourriture par le CICR à 945 foyers touchés par des inondations.
Article

The invention of impartiality: the history of a humanitarian principle, from a legal, strategic and algorithmic perspective

The principle of impartiality, which is often reduced to a principle of mathematical distribution, was originally coined by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), at that time on a quest for legitimacy. However, reducing impartiality to a resource distribution algorithm strengthens the overarching position held by non-territorial organisations. This is the theory put forward by the author in his latest book.

Deux femmes responsables de matériel MSF en Iran
Article

MSF and kidnappings - the secrets and the dilemmas

On the 31st January, a symposium was held at Sciences Po in support of Fariba Adelkhah and Roland Marchal, researchers at Sciences Po's Center for International Research (CERI) who were arrested in Iran on June 5, 2019. Roland Marchal was released on 20th March 2020 in exchange for an Iranian engineer detained in France. On 6th May Fariba Adelkhah was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for "propaganda against the political system of the Islamic Republic, and collusion to undermine national security". The researcher was offered conditional release on condition that she terminates her research, but she refused. 

The symposium brought together diplomats, journalists, humanitarians and researchers, with the aim of "nourishing reflection about prisoners and hostages, from a political, legal and ethical point of view". Fabrice Weissman presented the experience of Médecins Sans Frontières in the face of kidnappings.  
 

Conférence sur les Pratiques de MSF à Ouganda
Article

From bureaucratic inertia to “policy fragility”

Interview by Helai Hosseini. A first version was published on the website of the MSF France association on 31 July 2020.

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, voices have risen within MSF denouncing the racist and discriminatory nature of our organization. Equal opportunity, they say, is not offered to all our employees. Founded in France in the early 70s by a handful of doctors and journalists, the organization has grown and become international,  now employing over 46,000 people around the world, nearly 39,000 of whom are recruited locally. How has MSF’s policy towards its personnel evolved down the years? What is currently being done to fight inequalities? Here is Jean Hervé Bradol’s take on the major phases that have marked MSF’s transformation and the ways in which discussions are engaged today.