Andrew CunninghamResearcher and Analyst · Humanitarian Studies
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
Andrew Cunningham is a humanitarian researcher and analyst. He has 25 years’ experience in the humanitarian aid sector. Andrew’s specialties are highly insecure contexts, civil society space in humanitarian crises and state relations. He has a PhD in War Studies at King’s College London. He works as an independent consultant in the humanitarian sector. He was formally an International Board member for MSF and is currently a board member for the International Humanitarian Studies Association
November 2007 - November 2011
December 1997 - November 2011
Medecins Sans Frontieres
Core concepts in the humanitarian world are often used in ways that add to confusion rather than provide clarity. Research reports discuss technical details, propose theoretical frameworks or engage in policy debates, but rarely engage directly with key concepts themselves—their meaning, how they are used and understood, and their limitations. Prot...
Findings from research into security management from the perspective of local partners
A humanitarian crisis occurs within an arena of political crisis and humanitarian organisations are in existence to attend to the consequent needs of populations created by these crises. The political ramifications of the humanitarian act must be considered from the standpoints of both INGOs and states and a way found to theorise the relationship b...
Gaining insight into the experiences and perceptions of refugees can help ensure programming is better able to support refugees’ durable return and reintegration. Case study of South Sudanese returns: perceptions and responses
Civil society space is increasingly a key issue for humanitarian organisations. Independent research carried out for ICVA in the summer of 2018 sought to identify civil society needs in this area and help define the potential role of ICVA in helping and supporting its membership to navigate, protect and expand civil society space. Civil society s...
The scoping study on the ‘International Ombuds for Humanitarian and Development Aid’ was commissioned by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a contribution to the work of the Ad Hoc Donor Technical Group on Safeguarding, set up in the wake of the sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment scandals that emerged in 2018. The aim of the stud...
For many humanitarian agencies, acceptance—gaining the trust and protection of local communities—is the preferred security management tool for reasons of perception, ease of access and cost (both real and opportunity costs). Humanitarian agencies have long been uncomfortable with the contradiction of using deterrence mechanisms in humanitarian oper...
The operational environments for humanitarian international non-governmental organizations (INGOs) are conflict zones and situations of natural and man-made disasters. To INGOs, these are defined as “humanitarian crises.” Post-conflict situations present far less clear-cut choices for humanitarian INGOs. This article queries whether humanitarian cr...
The World Humanitarian Summit of 2016 was an attempt to elevate humanitarian organisations more completely into the international political domain. Humanitarian organisations are agencies which provide life-saving assistance to populations in times of conflict or man-made disasters and use the humanitarian principles of humanity, impartiality, neut...
A critique of the MSF Crash book 'Saving lives and staying alive: Humanitarian security in the age of risk management'
This research examines the relationship between a humanitarian international non-governmental organisation (INGO) and a state against the background of civil war. This relationship is established as two sets of norms in tension: The moral as represented and made operational by humanitarian INGOs and the political as articulated and practised by sta...
There has been greater discussion among humanitarians in recent years about the rise in the number of 'strong states', and the suggestion has been made that states are increasingly reasserting their sovereignty. This introduction to this special issue of Disasters on 'State Sovereignty and Humanitarian Action' contends that it is not states that ha...
The project relates to a domestic political situation (civil war), but I would like to compare fear in a domestic context with an international relations view.
I'm researching the interaction between International Humanitarian Non-governmental Organizations (IHNGOs) and States in times of civil war, framing the interaction as tension between two norms sets--humanitarianism (moral) and state responsibility/sovereignty (political). The background context is one of crisis, for both the State--the fact of civil war, and for the IHNGO--humanitarian needs. Schmitt's concept of the 'sate of exception' is relevant and I would like to explore the concept of 'crisis' further.