Billions of Aid Dollars Spent: Why Isn’t Haiti Ready for a Hurricane?
One Year After the Nepal Quake and Zero Houses Rebuilt: Why I’m Not Surprised
The Rights of Refugees in Turkey: Primary Resources
Syrian Refugees: Families Facing Years in Turkey
Documentation on the Nepal Earthquake
Lessons Learned from the Aid Work at Takara
Villagers in Cyclone-Ravished Takara Still Waiting for Their Good News
The Ecology of Aid: Lots of Organizations Play Complicated Roles
Photo Essay: Destroyed Vanuatu Rainforests Show Signs of Life
Why I Quit Moonlighting for Nonprofits, my interview on TinySpark
The Secret Language of Aid: This Is Why No One Can Track the Money
Haiti Tourism: Challenging, But Charming to Some
Drones, Google Glass and the Future of Humanitarianism: Q+A with Disaster Tech Lab
The IRD Scandal and My Ethics Clause
Photos of Refugees through History
Aid Worker or Journalist? Which job is more dangerous?
While working on my recent story about the village of Takara in Vanuatu, I discovered many organizations had been to visit Takara, but it wasn’t always clear why. Following disasters aid groups often overlap, fill gaps and sometimes work invisibly in communities. Even though the organizations start out with the same goal — “to help” — the way they achieve that goal can vary widely.
The forest is mute. Tree fallen on tree fallen on tree. Limb over limb.
After an overwhelming response to my story, “The IRD Scandal and My Ethics Clause,” I was interviewed by TinySpark, a podcast whose goal is to “investigate the business of doing good.” You can listen to the interview by clicking the orange carrot below. I’ve also included a full transcript of our conversation.
My dear readers, a confession: I could have told you the truth much sooner. I was stubborn.
Evert Bopp is the co-founder and CEO of Disaster Tech Lab. Over the years, the organization has responded to numerous humanitarian disasters, including most recently, Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan. For this interview, Evert and I corresponded via e-mail.
During my time in Haiti reporting on the 2010 earthquake, I sometimes did one-off photo assignments for nonprofit organizations. It was a sweet gig. Despite their tax status, the “nonprofits” always paid far better than news outlets.
Many of the refugees featured in these photos would now be called “internally displaced people.” For example, the flood “refugees” of the Great Depression in the United States. We might also call some of them “homeless” or even, “enemy combatants.
With the recent killing of aid worker, Kayla Mueller, it’s easy to wonder, “How safe am I?” Journalists and aid workers face increased threats from ISIS, which has been using high-profile kidnappings to further their cause. So which is really more dangerous, being an aid worker or a journalist?