New Publication: Ethical Considerations Associated with “Humanitarian Drones”: A Scoping Literature Review.

Dr. Ning Wang and Dr. Markus Christen at University of Zurich, together with Dr. Matthew Hunt at McGill University, published an article in Science, and Engineering Ethics by Springer entitled: Ethical Considerations Associated with “Humanitarian Drones”: A Scoping Literature Review. Full text can be accessed here. A related live talk regarding the findings of…

The Unwelcome Return of Development Porn

For 35 years now, there has been a raging debate within international NGO circles around the use of images of starving black children in fundraising materials. Guidelines and codes of conduct adopted in several countries nearly a decade ago affirmed that all future communications by international development NGOs must be based on core values of human dignity, respect and truthfulness. Despite this, recent years have witnessed NGOs that should know better reverting to type, calling up disaster images from the 1970s in a desperate attempt to increase their organizational income, whatever the cost. A battle which we thought had been won many years ago clearly needs to be fought afresh in each new generation.

Case Study: Co-opting of Aid Organizations

An international medical NGO is staffing a health clinic in a remote village located near a large-scale agriculture enterprise operated by a multinational corporation. Many of the clinic's patients are migrant workers who have come to the region seeking work…

‘Build Back Better’ to improve health in Haiti

I took this picture about 21 months after the 2010 Haiti earthquake that caused so many deaths and so much destruction. I was a passenger being driven along a main street in the capital. I saw the camp of tents, and took this photo through the car window. It was only later that I paid any attention to the hoarding, an advertisement for fancy aluminum windows and doors. The contrast was striking. Housing plays a direct and indirect role in health, affecting both physical and psychological status.