Giles Carbonnier on Humanitarian Aid and Economics
27 September 2015
By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB
Can humanitarian aid and economics mix? Are there lessons from the way the humanitarian aid sector operates that business can learn from? Are there business skills and techniques that the humanitarian sector should adopt, so that it is more effective?
The idea of applying economic principles to humanitarianism may seem surprising and controversial, but in his conversation with IHRB's Salil Tripathi, author and economist Gilles Carboninier says the two can indeed go together, and it is important that they do so.
Carbonnier is professor of development economics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva. Previously, he worked at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and as a trained economist he applied his thinking towards the agency's worldwide humanitarian work. He has over twenty years of professional experience in humaniarian action, development assistance and international trade negotiations.
Carbonnier is the author of Humanitarian Economics: War, Disaster and the Global Aid Market, to be released in October, where he explores these ideas further. His research and teaching focus on commodity-led development, the economics of humanitarian crises and international development cooperation. In this conversation, he elaborates on his ideas, including how business can play a role, and how human rights principles can be integrated in business interventions in fragile states.
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