Category Archives: Uncategorized

Size (and shape) matter

Watching the tragedy in Northern Japan unfold it really brings home how  humanitarian crises are evolving. We are all well aware of the increasing longevity of crises in the South and the intermix of politics, military strategy  and aid. But … Continue reading

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Libya – 30 years on

Libya was my first real overseas working experience back in 1981. I taught environmental studies at a technical institute way down in the desert. Our mission – to turn the desert green. At the time, as I guess many newly … Continue reading

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Professional Certification

Karen Hein and I just posted a blog on “Health Affairs Blog”, reviewing a recent report on professionalizing the aid business. Do take a look. Peter

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Haiti: myths and spin live on

The irony of Haiti’s tragedy is in the time line. Earthquakes happen suddenly and in seconds. People are rescued from the rubble within a day or two, or not at all. It is all so sudden; one minute normality, the … Continue reading

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Time for a humanitarian Profession?

In ALNAPs soon to be published State of the Humanitarian System Report, they map the workforce in the international humanitarian system as growing “by an average annual rate of 6% over the past decade, [with] a total population of roughly … Continue reading

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Insufficient Evidence

Back in March judges at the International Criminal Court refused to support chief prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s call for Sudan President Omar al-Bashir to be indicted on charges of genocide. They said there was insufficient evidence. On Monday Ocampo lodged an … Continue reading

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Humanitarianism comes of age

Humanitarianism now has its first true international studies association. Fifteen years ago, when the humanitarian Code of Conduct and the Sphere Standards, were being conceived, they were part of a logic which asserted that humanitarianism needed to “get more professional”. … Continue reading

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Ten days between reason and religion

This time of year, these ten days between the winter solstice with its associated add-on festivals, and the new year, has always made me feel uneasy, as though one was held in limbo. Of course in a rational world the … Continue reading

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Surviving the credit melt down

A year ago, a time which seems positively archeological now, we helped host a conference at Tufts University on Microcredit and its future. I, in my naivety, thought this was going to be a cozy chat amongst earnest development workers … Continue reading

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Bomb them – it is cost effective

Speaking in Paris this weekend Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, urged NATO troops to bomb the drug factories in Afghanistan. Le Monde reports him as saying that “NATO troops are being … Continue reading

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