Nov 18 2022
Best Of: Needology
In this episode Lars Peter Nissen - a practitioner - gets stuck into a discussion surrounding the use of data in humanitarian aid with Joël Glasman, an academic. Joel is a historian and author of the book Humanitarianism and the Quantification of Human Needs: Minimal Humanity. Joel poses a strong and uncomfortable argument in his book, and in the conversation; humanitarian statistics is flawed and data of poor quality, and for some reason we hype our need (and our ability) for evidence-based decision making and the importance of statistical data.The conversation is essentially about the quality of our data and knowledge and may lead you to question the data revolution in humanitarian aid. Moreso though, it is about biases in our system, about reliance on one type of evidence and about targeting the needs of humanitarian institutions, not affected populations. It raises some fundamental questions about which intrinsic moral values humanitarian aid project in to into our statistics, tools and technology. And what this means for the decision we make and how we make them. Does our evidence base lead to better and more neutral, impartial, and independent aid, or have we become prisoners of our own thermometer and use our evidence to legitimize our actions more than to improve them.