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Dilemmas, Challenges, and Ethics of Humanitarian Action

by Caroline Abu-Sada

What are the ethical issues involved in providing humanitarian aid? What is the real impact of humanitarian groups? Médecins Sans Frontières sought to answer these questions in the Perception Project, a study that spanned four years and more than ten countries. MSF interviewed close to 7,000 people in order to understand the ways that patients, populations, authorities, and communities perceive the Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization's principles and medical practices. While the quality of its medical action is renowned and praised, MSF struggles with the ability to respond to crises, the safety of its teams, and the development of effective interactions with diverse populations and authorities. Dilemmas, Challenges, and Ethics of Humanitarian Action is a series of reflections on the Perception Project that presents the insights and analyses of authors from a diverse array of fields including communications, ethics, medicine, humanitarian studies, and political science. At a time when humanitarian aid is under increasing scrutiny, this book provides insiders' perspectives on how one of largest and most influential non-governmental medical organizations can better serve those in need. Contributors include Caroline Abu-Sada (MSF Switzerland), Naomi Adelson (York University) Donald C. Cole (University of Toronto), François Cooren (Université de Montréal), Sonya De Laat (McMaster University), Laurie Elit (McMaster University), Larissa Fast (University of Notre-Dame), Matthew Hunt ( McGill University), Kirsten Johnson (McGill University), Khurshida Mambetova (Former MSF Canada), Frédéric Matte (Université de Montréal), John D. Pringle (University of Toronto), Lynda Redwood-Campbell (McMaster University), Lisa Schwartz (University of McMaster), Chris Sinding (McMaster), Jennifer Ranford (University of Waterloo), Peter Walker (Feinstein International Center, Tufts University).

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