Is it Acceptable to Lie for a Good Cause?

New Blog Post by Henrik Urdal


5 September 2014

​​​​Humanitarian organizations may easily succumb to the temptation to misuse numbers and statistics in order to promote their own causes. Does the end justify the means?

In an article by Henrik Urdal, Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), published on the PRIO blog, 5th September 2014, Urdal discusses how Humanitarian organizations fight for attention for their good causes in a challenging everyday media environment.

Save the Children's Carolyn S Miles in Huffington Post reported that Disasters are most dangerous for moms in the organization's State of the World's Mothers report for 2014. The claim was followed by a number: women and children are '14 times more likely to die in a disaster than men'. As Urdal states this is "a sky-high number when one is talking about differences in death rates and a colossal injustice if the information is reliable. But it's not."

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