Timothy & Alyson Holland: “First Do No Harm” Video: This is a qualitative research documentary that was created by Alyson and Timothy Holland. The documentary explores the ethics of global health clinical electives and volunteer projects in developing regions. It features interviews from experts and global health providers from Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America.
This new 3-Minute Video Summarizes Research Insights on Good, Bad Community Impacts of International Volunteering. In the back-and-forth argument on voluntourism, ethical global service, poverty porn, and volunteering for development, have you ever wondered if there’s a real evidence base? There is. Please watch.
Why UNICEF and Save the Children are Against Your Short-Term Service in Orphanages. This post provides a concise breakdown of the issue: why people who spend their lives dedicated to child wellbeing do not want you or your students volunteering in orphanages. And why Friends International and UNICEF are behind the visually shocking campaign to end orphanage tourism featured above.
Feeling the urge to do “good” abroad? Here’s how volunteer agencies (may be) taking advantage of you.
Blog: One of the most important parts of volunteering abroad in developing communities and countries is having a firm understanding of the ethics of development work and precisely what it is your “service” is doing for the people, culture, community, and environment where you are volunteering. I am not an expert on this subject, but I believe there are many resources online, as well as books and conferences that can positively shape your expectations for volunteering before even begin researching organizations, and certainly before you leave to travel. Below I’ll share the most helpful books, blogs, and videos I have found helpful in understanding issues with development work (which is what many/most volunteer projects aim to do).
The EIESL Project Web-Based Guidebook- Ethics of International Engagement and Service-Learning Project Web-Based Guidebook! The purpose of this Guidebook is to provide students, faculty, staff and international community partners with resources designed to provoke ethical reflection on international engagement and service learning projects. The EIESL project both challenges and nurtures the ways that we think, act, speak, and engage as global citizens committed to social and ecological justice.
TED Talk: Controversies in short-term medical missions | Nicholas Comninellis | TEDxUMKC
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. This compelling and inspiring book, now in a deluxe paperback edition, shows how one person can work wonders. In Mountains Beyond Mountains, Pulitzer Prize—winning author Tracy Kidder tells the true story of a gifted man who loves the world and has set out to do all he can to cure it. In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling: to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Kidder’s magnificent account takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes minds and practices through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” At the heart of this book is the example of a life based on hope and on an understanding of the truth of the Haitian proverb “Beyond mountains there are mountains”–as you solve one problem, another problem presents itself, and so you go on and try to solve that one too.
When Helping Hurts by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. Poverty is much more than simply a lack of material resources, and it takes much more than donations and handouts to solve it. When Helping Hurts shows how some alleviation efforts, failing to consider the complexities of poverty, have actually (and unintentionally) done more harm than good. But it looks ahead. It encourages us to see the dignity in everyone, to empower the materially poor, and to know that we are all uniquely needy—and that God in the gospel is reconciling all things to himself. Focusing on both North American and Majority World contexts, When Helping Hurts provides proven strategies for effective poverty alleviation, catalyzing the idea that sustainable change comes not from the outside in, but from the inside out.
Dead Aid by Dambisa Moyo. A national bestseller, Dead Aid unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth. In fact, poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined―and millions continue to suffer. Debunking the current model of international aid promoted by both Hollywood celebrities and policy makers, Dambisa Moyo offers a bold new road map for financing development of the world's poorest countries. Much debated in the United States and the United Kingdom on publication, Dead Aid is an unsettling yet optimistic work, a powerful challenge to the assumptions and arguments that support a profoundly misguided development policy in Africa. And it is a clarion call to a new, more hopeful vision of how to address the desperate poverty that plagues millions.
Crump and Sugarman: Ethics and best practice guidelines for training experiences in global health. Academic global health programs are growing rapidly in scale and number. Students of many disciplines increasingly desire global health content in their curricula. Global health curricula often include field experiences that involve crossing international and socio-cultural borders. Although global health training experiences offer potential benefits to trainees and to sending institutions, these experiences are sometimes problematic and raise ethical challenges. The Working Group on Ethics Guidelines for Global Health Training (WEIGHT) developed a set of guidelines for institutions, trainees, and sponsors of field-based global health training on ethics and best practices in this setting. Because only limited data have been collected within the context of existing global health training, the guidelines were informed by the published literature and the experience of WEIGHT members. The Working Group on Ethics Guidelines for Global Health Training encourages efforts to develop and implement a means of assessing the potential benefits and harms of global health training programs.
Pinto, Upshur: Global Health Ethics for students. As a result of increased interest in global health, more and more medical students and trainees from the 'developed world' are working and studying in the 'developing world'. However, while opportunities to do this important work increase, there has been insufficient development of ethical guidelines for students. It is often assumed that ethics training in developed world situations is applicable to health experiences globally. However, fundamental differences in both clinical and research settings necessitate an alternative paradigm of analysis. This article is intended for teachers who are responsible for preparing students prior to such experiences. A review of major ethical issues is presented, how they pertain to students, and a framework is outlined to help guide students in their work.
To Hell With Good Intentions. An address by Monsignor Ivan Illich to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects (CIASP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, on April 20, 1968. In his usual biting and sometimes sarcastic style, Illich goes to the heart of the deep dangers of paternalism inherent in any voluntary service activity, but especially in any international service "mission." Parts of the speech are outdated and must be viewed in the historical context of 1968 when it was delivered, but the entire speech is retained for the full impact of his point and at Ivan Illich's request.
"Some Health Programs Overseas Let Students Do Too Much, Too Soon"
"Students Abroad: First, Do No Harm With Your Camera"
Johns Hopkins Berman School of Bioethics & Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health “Ethical Challenges in Short-Term Global Health Training” Online Course: This course consists of a series of ten cases to introduce trainees and others involved in global health research and service to ethical issues that may arise during short-term training experiences abroad.