SESSION 3: 2:15 PM - 3:45 PM

Panel A: Grassroots or Global?: Exploring Collaborative Development Efforts

C104 Hesburgh Center

Moderator: Edward (Ted) Beatty

Reconceptualizing the International Humanitarian Organization: IOM and UNHCR at Europe’s External Borders

Jessica Winkler, University of Richmond

A contemporary discourse on the modern-day border is emerging. New actors, namely International Humanitarian Organizations (IHO), not only have become embedded in developments or failures of bordering activities worldwide, but they have also become important figures in documenting these issues. Following my fieldwork from 2017-2018 in France, Jordan, and Nepal, my paper addresses this growing discourse by probing how the IHO frames its role at the EU border and the corresponding bordering practices that have created barriers tointegration and human development for displaced peoples. I draw on two resources including publicly-accessible IHO press releases and four of 12 field interviews I conducted, with the recruitment help of the SIT program I participated in. Focusing on International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), I analyzed their role-framing through a coding scheme I designed within a Critical Border Studies (CBS) framework andconducted language analysis on 282 total press releases. Patterns in the aggregate data demonstrate that IOM and UNHCR employ the ethos of a neoliberal rationality that effectively veils certain bordering activities, ones that are constitutive of the managerialist mentality taken to “solve” Europe’s enduring refugee crisis to no avail. As I suggest through each refugee’s story of resettlement, bordering practices illustrate how refugees are particularly vulnerable to ostensibly innocuous managerialist activities.In juxtaposing my fieldwork findings and coding analysis, I conclude with a call-to-action surrounding a term I call quasi-humanitarianism and the necessity of reevaluating humanitarianism at Europe’s borders.


Barriers Across Borders: Perceptions of Foreign Health Care Practitioners in Tanzania

Maggie Doyle, University of Notre Dame

The fields of medical and cultural anthropology have become increasingly interested in the transnational collaboration of health systems, particularly between “Western” and “non-Western” areas of the world. One product of the rising interest in global health is the presence of foreign doctors working or volunteering in the local hospitals and clinics of developing countries. This research investigated the relationship between expatriate and local doctors as well as the perceptions of this relationship from the general population. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with both Tanzanian doctors and patients. Participant observation in local hospitals was used as an additional form of data collection in order to investigate the interactions between foreign and local physician colleagues. Qualitative data were evaluated to see how the presence of international doctors may impact patients’ trust in medicine, local practitioners’ confidence and self- sufficiency, and patient health outcomes. Patient interview data show inherent bias toward expatriate doctors, even for those who have never been treated by these doctors. The professional relationship between the two types of doctors proved to be more collaborative than expected, yet an implicit power structure favoring the foreign doctors still existed.


Community perceptions of aid to the informal economy: a comparison of cases in rural Haiti and Cameroon

Bernice Leveque, Sewanee: The University of the South

The informal economy consists of economic activity not regulated nor protected by a state entity. It plays a vital role in reducing unemployment and stimulating the economies of many countries in the Global South. In Cameroon, it accounts for 49% of the GDP and 90% of employment. Similarly, 70% of Haiti’s population engages in the informal economy. Due to its significance in national economies, those investing in development, including local entrepreneurs, NGOs, and multilateral aid organizations, will often target the informal sector. However, the intentions of investors may or may not align with the goals of the communities in which they are investing. Separate surveys of a fishing community in Cameroon and farming households in Haiti were conducted. To identify factors that contribute to effective community development in the Global South, the two cases were compared to determine how informal economy workers’ perceptions of investors affected their productivity and project success. Fifty Haitian farmers were surveyed to assess the impact that payments for ecosystem services had in establishing and maintaining shade-coffee agroforestry systems. Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted to better understand the factors that adversely affect fishers in Cameroon and their strategies to cope with them. The studies suggest that 1) when participants can identify a clear path to self-sufficiency, productivity is higher and 2) sustained support and collaboration between investors and those participating in the informal economy is conducive to higher project success rates.