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In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid

This book explores how MSF is perceived by its patients

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Over the past 40 years, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has developed a reputation as an emergency medical humanitarian organization willing to go almost anywhere to deliver care to people in need. Yet when questioned about MSF, people in countries where it works had different perceptions. One thought MSF was from Saudi Arabia and financed by Muslim charities. Another thought it was a China-based corporation. And yet another believed MSF requires everyone who enters their medical facilities to be armed (quite the opposite, in fact). These are just some of the surprising revelations found in In the Eyes of Others: How People in Crises Perceive Humanitarian Aid. Co-published with Humanitarian Outcomes and NYU's Center on International Cooperation, the book is a result of MSF’s attempt to better understand how its work and principles of neutrality, impartiality, and independence are perceived by those who receive its emergency medical care. A variety of scholars, researchers, students, and other humanitarians also contribute essays expanding on issues of perception and exploring the many facets of humanitarian action today.

About the Author

Caroline Abu-Sada holds a political science and international relations PhD, and has held several positions in the field, notably in the Middle East, for Oxfam GB, the UNFAO, and MSF-Switzerland. Since 2010, she represents MSF at the steering committee of the Center for Studies and Research on Humanitarian Action in Geneva, an organization led by both the Graduate Institute and the University of Geneva, and coordinates the research unit of MSF. She is the author of "ONG palestiniennes et Construction Étatique, L’Expérience de Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committees (PARC) dans les Territoires Occupés Palestiniens, 1983–2005," as well as several articles, reports, and chapters on humanitarian action, NGOs, and the Middle East.