Incorporating the Principle of “Do No Harm”: How to Take Action Without Causing Harm: Reflections on a Review of Humanity & Inclusion’s Practices

Bonis Charancle, J. M. & Lucchi, E.
Publication language
Date published
01 Oct 2018
Humanity & Inclusion
Research, reports and studies
humanitarian action, Principles & ethics, Protection, human rights & security

The ‘Do No Harm’ (DNH) principle was developed in response to a growing recognition of the potential negative effects of aid. It was this emerging “need" to identify and reduce the potential negative effects of its interventions that prompted Humanity & Inclusion (HI) to commission, with support from F3E, a review of its DNH practices and examine ways of integrating this concept into its ethical framework, policies, tools and practices.

In methodological terms, this review consisted of an analysis of internal and external literature, interviews and an extensive survey of HI staff. A report based on this work was produced for HI. A presentation open to members of F3E was then organised by F3E and HI at AFD on 7 March 2018. This presentation provided the starting point for this summary, which focuses on practices at HI, but which is relevant to all organisations. This summary aims to provide international humanitarian aid actors with insight into the 'Do No Harm' concept, which is not currently well-defined, and suggests ways to take it into consideration both in their institutional framework and when implementing their projects.