Category Archives: Innovations (VEN)

Environmental health at Médecins du Monde: from the emergence to the structuring of a struggle

A. Fossier-Heckmann

H. Tiffou

Astrid Fossier-Heckmann et Hugo Tiffou • Groupe santé-environnement de Médecins du Monde

Linking environment and health is not obvious for many humanitarian NGOs. Médecins du Monde has managed to make this theme one of its priorities. A look at a fight that, backed up by the right to health, could join forces with the fight against the effects of climate change. Read the article

Innovating humanitarian practices through socio-anthropological research

Magali Bouchon • Socio-anthropologue, Médecins du Monde

M. Bouchon

The seminar, “Socio-anthropological research at Médecins du Monde: What use is it to act?” was held on 14 December 2018. This day was the opportunity to look back on the ten years of Médecins du Monde’s (MdM) socio-anthropological approach, and provide – with the input of researchers and academics – perspectives for fruitful collaboration between the world of research and that of humanitarian action.
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“The Kamaishi miracle”: lessons learned from the 2011 tsunami in Japan

Diane Alalouf-Hall • Doctorante en sociologie à l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

D. Alalouf-Hall

The tsunami that hit the east coast of Honshu Island in Japan in 2011 not only made Fukushima a martyr city, a universal symbol of the current nuclear risk. It also struck many agglomerations exposed to the deadly wave that came from the Pacific Ocean. Kamaishi was one of them. It was also the place of a “miracle” that drew on good will and education of younger generations. Read the article

The socio-economic integration of refugees involves recognising know-how, qualifications and skills

Alessia Lefébure • Directrice adjointe de l’École des hautes études en santé publique (EHESP)

A. Lefébure

Although higher education institutions have been called upon to recruit more students, refugees face multiple obstacles when it comes to accessing them. This is a clear sign that European countries, on this matter as elsewhere, are not without paradoxes or renunciations. And yet, the tools do exist. Read the article

“The biggest area in which blockchain can help promote human rights is digital identity”

Interview with Julio Alejandro • Président directeur général de Humanitarian Blockchain

J. Alejandro

While blockchain technology is often associated with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is only the tip of the iceberg. The interest it arouses is motivated by its many other possible applications in the fields of insurance, healthcare, real estate, transport, music and even electoral voting. But blockchain technology is taking root in the world of humanitarian aid as well.

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Snakebites in Africa: a humanitarian and political fight

Julien Potet • Médecins Sans Frontières

J. Potet

This is an innovation probably ignored by the public at large and maybe even by some of the humanitarian actors. With 100,000 mortal bites per year, poisoning by snakes is now considered as a neglected tropical disease. Julien Potet explains to us how Médecins Sans Frontières has seized this issue to make a fight out of it that is both humanitarian and political.

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New challenges in the context of violent urban settings

Oscar Felipe Chavez Aguirre • Field Coordinator in Mexico – International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

O. F. Chavez Aguirre

Humanitarian intervention contexts are changing. Between battle-based conflicts and asymmetric wars involving fragile States, rebellions and mercenaries, urban violence – involving paramilitary militias, gangs and other armed groups – has developed. How can humanitarian action unfold in such contexts? Read the article

Children as agents of social and political change for water protection advocacy in post-conflict Colombia

Diana Volonakis and Susana Borda Carulla • SieNi

D. Volonakis

S. Borda Carulla

At the end of 2016, Colombia – let’s hope so, definitely – turned its back on the conflict that opposed the government and the FARC for over 50 years. As often, restored peace unearths crucial problems. And in Colombia as elsewhere, water is one of those. To ward off the forecast that in 2025, almost 70 % of the population may not have access to
water during drought, the SieNi association has set up
an innovative project, placing children in the forefront
of this vital combat.

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Corruption: a challenge that doesn’t escape the humanitarian sector

Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent • Sous-Secrétaire général à la FICR, spécialiste de l’anticorruption


M Aït-Mohammed Parent

Corruption. A taboo word thought to be associated with public contracts, political dealings, unscrupulous businesses, and mafia clans. Yet humanitarian agencies often find themselves having to grapple with corruption in the fragile and destabilized countries where they deliver aid. And because they sometimes assimilate corruption as a necessary evil to carry out their mission, they fail to consider that it supports harmful systems for the countries themselves and deprives them of some of the resources put at their disposal. In reviewing the features of this dilemma, Malika Aït-Mohamed Parent presents ways to resolve it. All for the benefit of aid recipients.

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The Canadian Humanitarian Coalition: is three-tiered humanitarianism the making?

Stéphanie Maltais • Université d’Ottawa
Yvan Conoir • Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)  et Université Laval (Québec)


S. Maltais


Y. Conoir

In the last ten years, the Humanitarian Coalition in Canada has been changing some of the rules governing the humanitarian response of Canadian NGOs. Leading NGOs that it regroups have set up rules of governance and operations that hamper the admission of smaller organizations. Conversely, some major Canadian aid organizations are not inclined to join the Coalition (as of yet). The Coalition has received strong support from the federal government through the endowment of a Canadian Fund earmarked to respond to the forgotten or smaller scale humanitarian crises. After a ten-year cycle that has seen fifteen major humanitarian responses, Stéphanie Maltais and Yvan Conoir take stock of this innovative model in North America and speculate about the future of non-member Canadian aid agencies. 

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