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Speaker: Matthew Hunt (McGill University)
Presented by The Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit at the Montreal Clinical Research Institute
Humanitarian organizations and their staff regularly make and implement decisions to close humanitarian health projects that were initiated in situations of disaster, war or epidemic. Such decisions are frequently challenging to make, and may be contested within organizations. Indeed, they have been described as among the most ethically fraught aspects of this field of practice. In this presentation, I draw on interviews with humanitarian workers, a review of the literature, and Richardson’s concept of moral entanglements, to consider the following questions: What is ethically at stake when organizations decide to close a humanitarian project? And, how can humanitarian organizations implement ethical exit strategies? Closing projects is an inescapable aspect of humanitarian healthcare – indeed, almost all humanitarian projects will come to an end. Careful attention to obligations toward local communities and project partners during project closure is therefore a vital component of ethical humanitarian action.
More info can be found at pragmatichealthethics.ca/events
NOTE: This is not a DIGHR event.
Discussion Question: Can the DIGHR and partners identify specific research priorities which would develop evidence-based guidance for the gaps identified by Frison et al?
Primary reading: Frison et al. (2018) Does the Humanitarian Sector Use Evidence-informed Standards_ A Review of the 2011 Sphere Indicators for Wash, Food Security and Nutrition, and Health Action. PLOS Currents Disasters
Supplementary reading (with particular attention to section 3, the back story of the SPHERE guidelines): Buchanan-Smith et al. (2005). How the sphere project came to be
Led by Dr. Imran Ali, Research Fellow, Global Health & Humanitarianism, DIGHR
Journal Club is an open forum for informal discussion based on selected readings.