Eighth Issue – July 2018

An issue entirely illustrated by Reza

From photography to humanitarian aid, and back. Photographer Reza has been moving back and forth between these two pillars in a constant and definite way that has set founding bases since he started his career in 1979. Here he proposes for us to grasp a few steps of his journey, scattered throughout this issue, which, for the occasion, slightly adapts its layout. An exclusive inter- view punctuates this peregrination in a rich work, in an attempt to know more about this photographer whose iconic pictures we have all come across. Enjoy a safe journey into Reza’s world, where humanity is never far from its negative reflection. Just like humanitarian aid indeed.


New technologies put to the test of humanitarian ethics

By Danielle Tan et Pierre Gallien  - Innovation is not a new phenomenon for leading actors of international solidarity. [...] What has changed over the last few years is the rise of innovation as a strategic concern for the humanitarian sector as a whole. [Read more]


Haiti: tensions between aid relief and development in the health sector

By Nicolas Lemay-Hébert, Andréanne Martel et Patrick Robitaille - Since 2010 and the surge of aid on Haiti, the Caribbean island has undoubtedly become the symbol of the failure of major international programmes. For the three authors the emergency and development actors’ conflicting objectives are one of the keys to this failure. [Read more]

FOCUS: THE RISE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES:  Utility, misuse and meaning

The use of digital tools at large scale: lessons from a health programme in Burkina Faso

By Enric Jané, Guillaume Foutry and Simon Sanou - The first article of this Focus is feedback from a digital health project Terre des hommes has led for almost eight years. This timeframe makes it possible for the authors to argue that from the outset a project such as this must be designed on a large scale and in cooperation with the government, that it must follow an iterative approach to continuously take user feedback into account and overcome resistance to change. [Read more]

The arbitration required between possibilities of new technologies and usefulness for populations

By Karine Le Roch, Nicolas Dennefeld, Caroline Antoine, Melchior de Roquemaurel, Jonathan Bureau, Myriam Ait-Aissa - The resurgence of new technological tools requires humanitarian actors to take stock of their possibilities, applicability and interest for populations. [Read more]

At the era of “humanitarian digitisation”, lifting the veil of newness

By Nathaniel A. Raymond and Daniel P. Scarnecchia - Applications of digital information communication technologies (ICTs) are now commonplace across the disaster response cycle. But some gaps leave a critical and emerging set of risk factors largely unaddressed in a comprehensive way by the humanitarian sector. This article identifies specific steps towards improving humanitarian information activities (HIAs). [Read more]

Fostering good practices in the use of information and communications technologies

By Maëve de France and Nina-Flore Eissen - Integrating the use of new technologies within an NGO cannot be improvised. This is the key message Maëve de France and Nina-Flore Eissen pass on here. The two authors present strong recommendations for the humanitarian sector based on CartONG’s significant experience in the subject. [Read more]

Humanitarian drones: useful tool, toxic image

By Michiel Hofman - Undoubtedly it is technological tools that crystallize fantasies of efficiency and the greatest ambiguities the most. Drones induce multiple confusions – between civil and military use, interests of populations, NGOs and companies that do not always converge – that Michiel Hofman decrypts for us. [Read more]


The challenges of the new French Humanitarian strategy

By Alain Boinet and Benoît Miribel - For Alain Boinet and Benoît Miribel, the National Humanitarian Conference which took place on March 22nd in Paris represented a qualitative and quantitative leap forward for French humanitarian aid. The new French Humanitarian Strategy was particularly awaited. [Read more]


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

Interview with Julio Alejandro While blockchain technology is often associated with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, it is only the tip of the iceberg.  [Read more]


An eye on the world

Interview with Reza  - “War and peace correspondent”. This phrase, for which Reza has a particular fondness, perfectly encapsulates his view of the world, a view full of optimism in an ocean of suffering, hope under the rubble, humanity behind the madness of mankind. [Read more]


Une brève histoire de l'humanitaire

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The voice of the milieu

By Boris Martin - Bosco, 25, a fresh young graduate with a Masters in International Relations, takes a job in the humanitarian sector. Posted for his first mission in Darfur, he learns the ropes and proves himself, finding the “meaning which up till then was lacking in the dreary life from which he had uprooted himself”. Back for a short stay in Paris, he attempts to digest the adrenaline suddenly withdrawn from him (“He imagined his life here, far from the action, to be like living in a country station through which trains no longer pass”), before leaving again for the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is in Goma, that the murder of an expatriate a few months earlier in Soudan seems to take on a new and even more worrying dimension when he comes across another murder. [Read more]

“Within French diversity, I wanted to address Muslim humanitarian aid”

Interview with Rachid Lahlou - Rachid Lahlou is the founder and President of the Secours Islamique France (SIF) organisation. His first book, Un humanitaire musulman dans la République, retraces his career path and the initial stages of the association. [Read more]

Going Against the Flow

We are told that it is impossible to make any more room for refugees in our country. Because there are too many of them, because we lack resources… And yet, against all odds, there is a France which continues to accommodate them. Which France is this?  [Read more]

Brauman: the maverick renegade of humanitarian aid

This book was awarded the 2018 Albert Thibaudet prize by the Centre Thucydide, rewarding French-language authors of recent works on international relations. Watch the exclusive video interview of Rony Brauman by Boris Martin, our editor-in-chief, at www.alternatives-humanitaires.org from the Humanitarian Alternatives Interviews series. [Read more]


• Méline Bernard •  Fay Guerry • Sophie Jeangeorges • Alain Johnson • Gauthier Lesturgie • Juliet Powys  • Benjamin Richardier  • Derek Scoins


Retranscription :

• Frédérique Morin-Bironneau

Acknowledgements for their voluntary contribution to this issue:

Brax • Fay Guerry • Pauline Restoux/ Olivier Vercherand (In medias res) • Reza, Rachel Deghati et toute l'équipe de Webistan