Research update: by the numbers

Posted on: May 12, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: 'Global South' survey

[If you would like to take the survey, click here.] Research update: by the numbers Context Our survey targeting humanitarians from the ‘global South’ has been open since mid February 8          Versions of the survey live online (2 x 4 = 8) 50        Questions on the long version 25        Questions on the short version 4          Languages available (English, Arabic, Bangla, and French) 180      Total survey responses as of 12 May 2019 75         Survey responses to English Long version; 71% completion 71         Survey responses to English short version; 76% completion 21         Survey responses to Arabic long version; 62% completion 8           Survey responses to Arabic short version; 75% completion 2           Survey responses to French short version; 100% completion 1…

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Research update: Humanitarians from the ‘global South’

Posted on: April 16, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: 'Global South' survey

Research update:  Humanitarians from the ‘global South’ [Note:  If you are a national (local) humanitarian aid or development worker from the ‘global South and have not done so already, please take the time to have your voice heard by taking our survey.  Click here for links to all versions.] Update: Nice surge in responses, total now at 156 Overview Our survey targeting humanitarian aid and development workers has been open since mid February, and to date has 139 responses from 22 different nations. Respondents are from Bangladesh (Cox’s Bazar), Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Panama, Venezuela, Argentina, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria, Mali, Burundi, Somalia, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and, all the way from the South Pacific, comes one respondent from Vanuatu. Representation from Ethiopia and Iraq is very strong, each having 44 respondents just now, largely due to the effective networking efforts of Samuel Lemma Kibret in Ethiopia and Hero Anwar…

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Book review and commentary: Cross-Border by J

Posted on: April 5, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: General posts on the humanitarian aid industry

Book review and commentary: Cross-Border by J Cross-Border This most recent publication by Evil Genius author ‘J’ is a fast read that does what all well told stories do, it leaves you wanting more and raises more questions than it answers, engaging the imagination in very positive ways. J makes the characters three dimensional, and each comes alive for the reader in ways that make them real, relatable, and very human.  Settings are described carefully, providing authentic and nuanced details that allow the reader to easily transport themselves to each location. I’ll let J himself give you a tease (from the Amazon page): Larry was the consummate headquarters bureaucrat. As head of World Aid Corps’ (WAC) grant management unit, he lived his life among fluorescent-lit cubicles in Washington D.C., looking at spreadsheets and checking reports, content to let others have the glamor and spotlight of the field. But when Tracy…

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White savior complex

Posted on: March 30, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: 'Global South' survey

White savior complex [Updated 22 April 2019] More preliminary results One month ago I posted a very early glimpse at the data coming in from our survey of humanitarians from the ‘global South’. At this writing we have 120 responses from over 16 different nations from all over Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and even the Pacific islands. When the survey does close there will be a full analysis and reporting of the data, but until then I will continue to scan all responses and report trends and themes I see emerge. [Note:  If you are a national (‘global South’) humanitarian and would like to participate in this survey click here.] In my earlier post I reported on questions related to #AidToo, noting that there are two questions on the survey hitting on that topic. As more data come in, the results remain somewhat consistent and predictable on those questions….

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A profile of Tawhidul, a humanitarian

Posted on: March 17, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: General posts on the humanitarian aid industry

Please, if you are a humanitarian worker from the so-called “global South” click here. And now, A profile of Tawhidul, a humanitarian “I really like working for my organisation. This is not for the money, of course, it is to see different parts of the world and how people are suffering … and how I can help.” -Tawhidul Hamid This is a profile of one humanitarian worker, but his story is not unusual. Indeed, there are countless national humanitarian workers all over the globe with stories very similar to his.  Worldwide there are over 500,000 humanitarian workers, and approximately 90% of them are national workers. My goal is to have both the larger academic and global communities know more about national aid workers. A common stereotype I have encountered both among my students and colleagues is that aid workers are global North white people that are sacrificing their lives and ‘saving…

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A teamhouse Christmas in Kabul

Posted on: March 17, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: General posts on the humanitarian aid industry

Christmas in Kabul, 2018   Context Begun in 1971, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) remains a major and respected global player in the humanitarian ecosystem with over 45,000 team members providing comprehensive medical care in over 70 countries worldwide. MSF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1999, and continues to maintain high standards for both medical care and ethical organizational operation. Beginning in the 1980s the MSF movement wisely fissioned into a confederation of [mostly] autonomous associations, each an independent legal entity in the country where they are based. There are MSF national offices in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the USA. There are also branch offices in Argentina, the Czech Republic, Republic of Korea, India, Ireland, Kenya, Mexico, and the United Arab Emirates. Unique among INGOs, in 2017 96% of MSF’s over…

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A call to national humanitarians from research team

Posted on: March 10, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: 'Global South' survey

A call to national humanitarians from the research team Have your voice heard! What good can come from this survey? Why should humanitarians from the ‘global South’ take the 15-20 minutes to fill out an online form? This method of reaching out to humanitarians has its challenges, to be sure, but we are committed to pushing through these difficulties.  I asked my research team to speak directly to their counterparts around the globe. where is some of what they said. Samuel Humanitarian consultant Samuel Lemma Kibret based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia had this strong message, “Humanitarian and development organizations are a hidden world where injustice is prevailing. This research is very important as it focuses on hearing voices of humanitarian and development workers that try to contribute in changing the lives of needy but are being pulled back by injustices. Please take the time to have your voice heard.”   Hero…

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Methodology notes and ethnocentric assumptions

Posted on: March 5, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: 'Global South' survey

Methodology notes and ethnocentric assumptions Some thoughts on the methodology Our survey has been live now for a couple weeks, and the response has been, by any measure, weak.  To date 40 people have started the survey (27 in the ‘long’ version and 13 the ‘short’ version, all in English). Exploratory research  The target population for this global survey of humanitarians from the ‘global South’ is, well, exactly that. According to ALNAP there are over 500,000 national humanitarians serving globally. Realistically, there is no means possible to make every one of these women and men aware of this survey, nor would it be possible to translate the survey into the many dozens of languages and dialects used by this global population. Translating the survey from English into Arabic, French, and Bangla makes it possible to reach, perhaps, a sizable majority of the half million national humanitarians.  That said, we can…

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Some early results from global humanitarian survey

Posted on: February 26, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: 'Global South' survey

Some early results from global humanitarian survey Quick update With just several dozen responses so far, to call this even preliminary data seems premature.  All of the responses have been to the English versions of the survey, 10 from the ‘short’ and 26 from the ‘long.’   Scanning the data thus far, I am already struck by a few of the narrative responses. Emotional toll In her comment responding to the question “In general, do you like your job as a humanitarian (aid or development) worker?” one female humanitarian working as permanent national staff stated, “I think I would like it more if took care of the people working in the space. A lot of what we do [is] physically and spiritually taxing and I sometimes feel that there aren’t a lot of spaces where we get to revive and rejuvenate ourselves. We are unfortunately expected to move to the…

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The research team for the ‘Humanitarians from the ‘global South’ survey

Posted on: February 20, 2019 | By: Tom Arcaro | Filed under: 'Global South' survey

The research team for the ‘Humanitarians from the ‘global South’ survey   The team This global survey project has been in the works for many months and is an extension of research I have already done in the Philippines and Jordan. Dozens of humanitarians have read, commented on, edited, and even added questions to various drafts of this survey. Our common interest is in hearing the voices of ‘global South’ humanitarians and then bring these voices into conversations that might inform meaningful dialogue in various forums. Min Wah Voon has 14 years experience in the development and humanitarian sector with various UN agencies and NGOs in Asia, the Pacific, and Washington, DC. She has been working with the Rohingya refugee population and the local Bangladeshi host community in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, since 2008. In July, 2018 Min Was reached out to me for counsel on an essay she was writing…

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