Events at FIFE

HUMA FIFE Ethical Humanitarianisms Series

This project addresses the ethical quandaries that underpin humanitarian and philanthropy work in Africa, asking how to build more ethical humanitarian interventions in a world of conflicting ethics. It interrogates the irony and contradiction of humanitarianism worried about its own ethics.

The project takes its cue from contemporary ethical dilemmas confronting humanitarian work worldwide, with a particular focus on the African continent, where the enterprise of solidarity and generosity has seen a boom over the past years. It critically examines shifts in the fundamental principles that underpin humanitarian work – justice, beneficence, non-maleficence, and autonomy. What new moral, ethical and legal challenges confront the business of saving lives and preserving human dignity? What new ideas and notions of personhood and dignity underpin conceptions of universal values? What compromises are being made, and what is being compromised? We approach humanitarianism more broadly as a notion that incorporates diverse acts of kindness towards humans. These acts of kindness are local and transnational, external and internal, in-kind, cash, technical support, advice, amongst others that activate care and caring relationships.

The project thus interrogates the ontological and epistemological assumptions that underpin different imaginaries of humanitarianism and ask what it will mean and take to decolonise these. That is, how to account for acts of kindness that usually are not included in “formal” humanitarian projects or conceptions of humanitarianism. What is philanthropy? What is humanitarian work, who gets to define what constitutes humanitarian work, and what are the ethical backgrounds of these classifications?

The Ethical Humanitarianisms project is a collaboration with the Institute for Humanities in Africa, South Africa.

Format: The webinars happens on the third Tuesday of each month. Two to three panellists present key arguments on the topic and/or question posed for the session (10 minutes each), followed by questions from the moderator. After that, there are 20-30 minutes of Q&A with the participants. Each session is recorded and will be disseminated on HUMA’s social media channels.

HUMA-FIFE Webinar 
Tuesdays 18:00-19:00 SAST 
20 April                   Session #1: Panellists: Carl Manlan (COO Ecobank Foundation, Togo) & Lucy Koechlin (Chairperson Board of Trustees, Oumou Dilly Foundation, Switzerland), Kathryn Toure (Regional Director Eastern and Southern Africa, International Development Research Centre, Kenya) 
                                 Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: Values, Canons and Ethical Considerations 
25 May                   Session #2: Panellists: Mahendra Shunmoogam (Director: Policy [Sector Masterplans] Implementation at the Department of Trade, Industry, and Competition: Republic of South Africa) & Jess Auerbach (Senior Lecturer, Social Anthropology, North West University, South Africa) 
Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: kindness, generosity and compromises 
22 June                   Session #3: Panellists: Olumide Abimbola (Executive Director, Africa Policy Research Institute, Germany) & Merlin Ince (Resource Mobilization Consultant, WHO Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health, Geneva, Switzerland) 
Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: Power, AID and Dignity 
20 July                     Session #4: Panellists: Ornella Morderan (Head of Sahel Programme, Institute for Security Studies Bamako, Mali) & Shelagh Gastrow (Advisor Gastrow Consulting, South Africa) 
Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: (In)security, Philanthropy and Ethical Quandaries 
24 August               Session #5: Panellists: Treasa Galvin (Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology, University of Botswana) & Elisio Macamo (Ass. Professor of African Studies, University of Basel, Switzerland) 
Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: Development Cooperation and Borders 
21 Sep.                    Session #6: Panellists: Iina Soiri (Education and Science Counsellor, Team Finland Knowledge Expert, Embassy of Finland, Formin, South Africa), Ebrima Sall (Executive Director, Trust Africa, Senegal) & & Henri-Michel Yéré (Lecturer & Researcher in Sociology & Centre for African Studies, University of Basel, Switzerland). 
Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: research financing and knowledge production 
26 Oct.                    Session #7: Panellists: Cecelia Lynch (Professor, Department of Political Science, University of California Irvine, USA) & Alcinda Honwana (Professor, London School of Economics, UK) 
Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: Entrapments, Personhood and New Imaginaries 
23 Nov.                   Session #8: Panellists: Ayisha Osori (Executive Director, Open Society Foundation West Africa, Senegal) & Lisa Romàn (Economist, Swedish International Development Corporation Agency, Sweden), Euclides Gonçalves (Director, Kaleidoscopio) 
Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: Transnational Actors and Local Paradigms 
07 Dec.                   Session #9: Panellists: Tamara F. Enomoto (Professor, Organization for Strategic Coordination of Research and Intellectual Properties, Meiji University, Japan) & Emmanuel Mutisya (Programme Coordinator and Consultant for Education and Skills Development, African Development Bank, Cote d’Ivoire)                 
Theme: Ethical Humanitarianisms: re-set and future strategies 
For more info on the project, go here and for more info on the launch and other discussions in the series, go here.
We look forward to seeing you at this HUMA-FIFE discussion series.