humanitarian comms

Who Cares? Polis panel debate on public perceptions of humanitarian aid

In a world of disasters and suffering brought to your living room every night or to your laptop every second, who cares? When you see an advert by Action Aid or a leaflet from Oxfam what you do? How do you react when Angelina Jolie or Bono asks for your money or attention for starving children in Africa? We […]

November 2nd, 2011|Development, Media|1 Comment|

A Virtual Civil Society?

If you walk down the corridors of most development organisations you will see the words ‘civil society’ on many of the name-plates screwed to the office doors. Comforting words engraved on nice solid plaques. But what does it mean? This is not an academic debate. I used to think that civil society meant all the non-commercial, non-governmental organisations that live […]


Europe’s double-standards on freedom for Libya (guest-blog)

The intervention in Libya has been portrayed in Europe as part of Western support for emerging democracies in north Africa and the Middle East. Yet, are there double-standards at work when it comes to dealing with one consequence of political upheaval: refugees? POLIS Silverstone scholar Marco Scalvini has been looking at Libya and Tunisia from an Italian/French perspective.     […]


The worst censor is the self (guest blog)

Censorship is a notoriously difficult thing to measure because of its inherent secretive nature and self-censorship even more so.   While working at one of the larger international organizations in Damascus, Syria, Amanda Nunn was able to glean an insight into how this affects even the most banal articles she wrote for the agency’s website. Having lived and worked in […]


Why don’t people act when they know about suffering? (guest-blog)

Thanks to modern media everyone in Britain knows that there are people suffering from famine, war and deprivation around the world. From Haiti to Australia they are shown the suffering – so why don’t they do anything? “It is striking how little we know about how the public makes sense of humanitarian communication, and what happens in the gap between […]