Category Archives: Focus (VEN)

Reinventing storytelling with the help of Covid-19?

M. Senaratne

Madhushala Senaratne University of Sussex, United-Kingdom

Storytelling is now well integrated into the communication techniques of humanitarian organisations. So much so that the English term has taken its full place there beyond its Anglo-Saxon area of creation. The author, a doctoral student, postulates here that the current pandemic could – should? – help to reinvent it. In short, it is perhaps now that the future ways of telling the world and its suffering are being invented. Read the article

Between threats and opportunities: the Canadian response to Covid-19

D. Alalouf-Hall


J.-M. Fontan


D. Grant-Poitas


Y. Conoir


S. Maltais

Diane Alalouf-Hall, Jean Marc Fontan and David Grant-Poitras Université du Québec à Montréal

Yvan Conoir and Stéphanie Maltais Université Laval (Canada)

How did Canada, which has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, organise itself? This collective of authors has undertaken a particularly instructive detailed review. We learn how non-governmental organisations, the Canadian Red Cross, provincial governments and the military came to support the medico-social teams. Read the article

Data collection: lessons learned from the Covid-19 pandemic in Rohingya refugee camps, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

C. Holt


X. Hurni-Cranston


L. Mahpara Ahmed


F. Mastroianni

Candice Holt, Xiomara Hurni-Cranston, Lamiya Mahpara Ahmed and Federica Mastroianni ACAPS Cox’s Bazar team

Data collection is now an integral part of humanitarian action. And in this area of their work, as in the aid activities themselves, the emergence of the pandemic has forced organisations to adapt. This feedback from the camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, shows how precious a resource refugees are. Read the article

Localisation of aid through the lens of Covid-19: a matter of choice, or a last resort?

M.-C. Savard

F. Audet

M.-P. Leroux

Marie-Claude Savard, François Audet and Marie-Pierre Leroux Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Observatoire canadien sur les crises et l’action humanitaires (OCCAH)

Vanuatu is one of the countries most exposed to natural hazards and one of the few in the world that has not recorded any case of Covid-19. Having closed its borders in the early hours of the pandemic, it then only has its own human resources to deal with the damage caused by a cyclone. An example noted by the authors to extol, once again, the virtues of the localisation of aid. Read the article

The impact of Covid-19 on African civil society organisations

I. Sesmaisons

Irène Sesmaisons Director of the consulting firm Efiscens and associate trainer at the Bioforce Centre in Dakar

Even though Africa has been relatively spared from the pandemic in terms of both infection and mortality rates, it is a different story for the continent’s organisations. The author draws on a recent report to take stock of the situation and explore ways in which civil society can adapt in a beneficial way. Read the article

Learning from Covid-19: the inextricable link between health and housing

G. Foden

George Foden BRE Trust (Building Research Establishment), United Kingdom

If there is a health requirement as much as a cause of inequality that the pandemic has cruelly brought to light, it is that relating to housing. For the author, humanitarian actors must integrate this requirement. Read the article

The homeless population and Covid-19: a study of the application of humanitarian praxis by non-profit organisations in Marseille

O. Nevissas

A. Tinland

C. Farnarier

E. Mosnier

M. Mosnier

Olivia Nevissas Anthropologist

Aurélie Tinland Public health researcher

Cyril Farnarier Socio-anthropologist

Emilie Mosnier Infectious disease doctor

Marine Mosnier Coordinator of the Covidep Homeless programme

While Marseille has received a lot of media attention since the beginning of the pandemic, the hard work undertaken by local medical and social service providers has remained hidden. This article provides the opportunity to measure their dedication. Above all, bringing together several experts alongside anthropologist Olivia Nevissas, it sets the stage for a potential revival of humanitarian action. Read the article

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

E. Baron


M. Neuman

Emmanuel Baron et Michaël Neuman • Médecins Sans Frontières

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. Read the article

Fifteenth issue of Humanitarian Alternatives – TEASER

Already discussed in the fourteenth issue of Humanitarian Alternatives, published last July, the impacts of Covid-19 on international aid, in both its humanitarian action and development dimensions, have yet to be identified, understood, foreseen even. Discover a preview of the main themes of the fifteenth issue of Humanitarian Alternatives, entitled Covid-19 – Lessons learned and future challenges, to be published on 30 November 2020.

To pre-order this issue, click here.

Understanding the history, dynamics and workings of epidemics

J. Freney

Jean Freney Microbiologiste, professeur émérite des universités

Where do epidemics come from, how do they spread, and how do they behave? To answer these questions, and to introduce this issue’s theme, it was first deemed necessary to consider Covid-19’s place in the long line of previous epidemics and develop a better understanding of those yet to come. Jean Freney has risen superbly to the challenge. Read the article