Workshop: "Think about what you saw"

Workshop: "Think about what you saw"


On 4 and 5 July, CERAH is organizing a workshop together with the Institute for Ethics, History, and the Humanities of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva.

The event aims at re-opening an old debate about the potentialities of exhibiting others' suffering in order to promote a culture of peace, prevent war and/or resolve conflict.


Full house at Altruism conference


The conference on 'The power of courage and altruism: Reflections from Rwanda to the present day' was a resounding success, taking place in a packed room at The Humanitarium.


The power of courage and altruism: Reflections from Rwanda to the present day


Tuesday, 28 May 2019, The Humanitarium, ICRC - Geneva. 18.00-20.00

Why do some people help others even if this means putting themselves at risk? The power of courage and altruism has been seen many times throughout history, from the 1st World War through to the present day. When the genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda unfolded 25 years ago, at break-neck speed, catching the world by surprise, a few individuals risked their lives and freedom to help those being targeted. What makes people put the safety and humanity of others first, completely selflessly, even when the law, government or regime forbids them to?

This conference will draw on witness accounts and testimonies to reflect on how courage and altruism are present even in the most challenging and shocking circumstances and how this can help us understand their combined power during future crises.


CERAH at 20


In the 1990s, in the aftermath of the Rwanda genocide and the ensuing mass mobilization of new humanitarian actors, the need to 'professionalize’ humanitarian action emerged. With it emerged a range of efforts in setting joint standards, developing guidelines, and training programmes. There simply were no academic courses on humanitarian action, but thanks to the vision of two University of Geneva professors, Timothy Harding and Jean-Jacques Wagner, a first post-graduate training in humanitarian action was delivered in 1998. Ten years later, a formal partnership between the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies strengthened the CERAH as a centre devoted to the development of critical thinking and analysis to enhance the quality of humanitarian response, through both education and research.

Now twenty years on, the CERAH has become a true reflection of the current humanitarian world in all its diversity - of actors, approaches, and cultures - with increasingly complex realities. 


The importance of evidence


Last week CERAH hosted an event at the Graduate Institute with Evidence Aid, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and ICRC to discuss how evidence can help humanitarian programmers understand what works, where, why, and for whom. A new guide explores this subject.
The event heard that evidence can also tell us what does not work to avoid repeating mistakes in the future. There are challenges however, including gaps in evidence gathering, the length of time it can take to gather while the situation changes, a lack of understanding in the findings and jargon used, and a lack of integration of the evidence into planning. But when it works it proves worthwhile with programmes adapting, sometimes radically, based on the evidence.


More news....