Localising Response to Humanitarian Need

Southern Responses to Displacement

In October 2017, Dr Estella Carpi participated in the forum “Localising Response to Humanitarian Need. The Role of religious and Faith-Based Organisations”, in Colombo (Sri Lanka). Organised by the Partnership in Faith and Development the forum involved a wide range of secular and faith-based NGOs and built on the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul. In her blog detailing the event Dr Estella Carpi reflects on the sometimes challenging and misunderstood role of localising response to humanitarian need.

Localising Response to Humanitarian Need.

By Dr Estella Carpi, Southern Responses to Displacement Project

The forum’s discussions were particularly relevant to the Southern Responses to Displacement project in light of the scarce public attention and acknowledgment that is usually paid to Southern – especially faith-based – provision of services and care in contexts of displacement. A deeper understanding of the criteria Southern actors set up to sanction beneficiary eligibility, the effectiveness of their programmes…

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Southern Responses to Displacement Research at GCRF Conference on Protracted Conflict, Aid and Development

Southern Responses to Displacement

In October 2017 the Southern Responses to Displacement team participated in a Global Challenges Research Fund Conference entitled ‘Protracted Conflict, Aid and Development: Research, Policy and Practice’. The conference aimed to examine ways in which Southern led responses complement and, at times, challenge Northern led responses. Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh and Dr Estella Carpi attended the conference at the British Academy in London. Here Dr Carpi reflects on her experience as part of a panel exploring South-South humanitarianism and self-reliance amongst conflict-affected populations.

Southern Responses to Displacement Research at GCRF Conference on Protracted Conflict, Aid and Development.

By Dr Estella Carpi, Southern Responses to Displacement project

The panel – formed by Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh (PI of the Southern Responses to Displacement project, UCL), myself (Dr Estella Carpi, Southern Responses to Displacement Research Associate, UCL), Eva Svoboda (Overseas Development Institute), Dr Rumana Hashem (University of East London), and chaired by Boitshoko Mokgatlhe (African…

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Internationalism and Solidarity

Southern Responses to Displacement

Throughout history, assistance for people affected by conflict and displacement has been provided by state and non-state groups across the global South. How does ‘solidarity based’ humanitarianism influence Southern led responses to displacement? In the first of our introductory mini blog series Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh presents a brief reflection on the history of internationalism and solidarity based initiatives.

Internationalism and Solidarity

By Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Southern Responses to Dispacement.

At times, state-led responses to displacement have been justified through reference to what is known as ‘South-South Cooperation’: processes through which states from the global South work together to complement one another’s abilities and resources, based on principles including ‘solidarity,’ ‘reciprocity’ and ‘mutual respect’. South-South cooperation is often seen as a way of enabling Southern actors to break down barriers and structural inequalities created by colonial powers, and is also often presented as providing an alternative mode of response to that implemented…

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Refugee-Refugee Humanitarianism

Southern Responses to Displacement

First responders in contexts of displacement are themselves often refugees. In this, our third introductory mini blog, Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh examines how a focus on refugee-refugee humanitarianism makes it possible to recognise and meaningfully engage with the agency of displaced populations.

Refugee-Refugee Humanitarianism

By Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Southern Responses to Displacement

On-going cycles of displacement mean that refugees are increasingly experiencing what I refer to as ‘overlapping displacement’ in the sense that they often physically share spaces with other displaced people for long periods of time. Although it is often assumed that refugees are ‘hosted’ by settled national populations, first responders in contexts of displacement are in fact themselves often refugees.

Refugee-led initiatives developed in response to existing and new refugee situations directly challenge widely held (although equally widely contested) assumptions that refugees are passive victims in need of care from outsiders.

By focusing on refugee-refugee humanitarianism it is…

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Faith-Based Humanitarianism

Southern Responses to Displacement

How do local faith communities respond to populations affected by conflict and displacement. In our second introductory mini blog Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh provides a brief overview of how local faith communities are often the first and longest standing responders to displaced populations.

Faith-Based Humanitarianism

By Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Southern Responses to Displacement

Local faith communities are often the first responders to communities affected by conflict and displacement, providing food, shelter and other material needs in addition to providing spiritual and pastoral support (Kidwai and Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, 2017). For instance, local communities and local faith-based organizations have been delivering aid and providing spiritual support to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon (Pacitto and Fiddian-Qasmiyeh 2013; El-Nakib & Ager, 2015.

With around 90% of all refugees living in cities, towns and camps across the global South, and with displacement being increasingly protracted in nature, this also means that refugees live alongside the members…

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Southern Responses to Displacement: Background and introduction to our mini blog series.

Southern Responses to Displacement

Northern-led responses to displacement from Syria have been complemented and at times challenged by responses developed by actors from the global South.   In this introduction to our mini blog series Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh gives an overview of the background to the Southern Responses to Displacement project and the approaches we are using to better understand the motivations, nature and impacts of Southern-led initiatives to displacement from Syria.

Southern Responses to Displacement:  Background and introduction to our mini blog series.

By Dr Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, Southern Responses to Displacement 

Since 2011, aid programmes have been implemented in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey by diverse humanitarian agencies and donor states to assist over 5 million refugees from Syria. While many programmes have been designed and led by states and organisations from the global North, these Northern-led programmes have also been complemented, and at times challenged, by responses developed by actors from the global…

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Before Defining What is Local, Let’s Build the Capacities of Humanitarian Agencies

Southern Responses to Displacement

In this piece, Dr Janaka Jayawickrama and Bushra Rehman argue that the localisation of aid agenda is shaped by a discourse of global humanitarianism that is characterised by a particular, cultural relationship to power. This suggests that current discourses on localisation have largely been North-centric, often overlooking the Southern contexts and histories that shape ‘the local’ in the first place. This article, therefore, calls into question the hegemonic framing of humanitarian discourse, particularly in relation to the localisation agenda, something the Refugee Hosts project aims to do through our research in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. For more on this theme, visit the Refugee Hosts project’s Contextualising the Localisation of Aid Agenda Series, or visit the suggested pieces listed at the end of this article.

Before defining what is local, let’s build the capacities of humanitarian agencies.

By Dr Janaka Jayawickrama (Senior Lecturer at University of York and Academic Fellow…

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Teaching Humanitarianism: The Need for a More Responsive Framework

Southern Responses to Displacement

In this blog post Southern Responses Research Associate Dr Estella Carpi reflects on her experiences of teaching humanitarianism in different countries and languages.  These experiences have led her to acknowledge and question different academic cultural frameworks of displacement, migration and humanitarian action and provided insight into how this can help to challenge and remould the humanitarian mainstream narrative.  

In this blog I  reflect on some lectures I delivered on humanitarianism in Lebanese, Turkish, and Italian universities over the last three years, and  on the “public afterlife” of my experience of teaching, the language I used in those classes, and the response I received from different cohorts of students. This will allow me to tease out some of the current epistemological challenges of my primary area of studies and underscore the very importance of de-centring the humanitarian discourse.

Speaking of and teaching humanitarianism cannot produce the same effects…

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The Politics of Reception in Syria’s Neighbourhood

Southern Responses to Displacement

Dr Estella Carpi from Southern Responses to Displacement participated in the ERC-funded conference “The Politics of Reception: The Syrian Neighbourhood as a Social Field” in November 2017.  Her blog examines the social implications of displacement from Syria. 

The Politics of Reception in Syria’s Neighbourhood.

By Dr Estella Carpi, Southern Responses to Displacement Project

The conference was organised by the Lebanese American University (LAU)–Byblos and the German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA), and held in Byblos (Lebanon).

The conference convened scholars working on the social implications of displacement from Syria, with particular attention to the neighbouring countries of Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon. In an effort to examine the politics of reception in the neighbouring countries, the conference panels discussed legal, humanitarian, governmental, and social fields and the way these have been changing since 2011, the beginning of mass displacement from Syria.

The way the social, practice, and policy fields…

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Southern Responses at Chatham House “Winning Back the Human Race” Conference

Southern Responses to Displacement

In November 2017, Dr Estella Carpi from the Southern Responses to Displacement research team took part in a conference entitled  “Winning Back the Human Race: a conference on the legacy of the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues.”  In this blog Dr Estella Carpi reflects on the multiple contributions to the conference and the need to reconceptualise the modalities of intervention in the humanitarian sphere.   

Organised by the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House and the Overseas Development Institute the conference reflected on the legacy of the Commission, which convened between 1983 and 1986. In 1986, the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issue’s (ICIHI) Secretary General, Zia Rizvi, noted the purpose of the Commission; to ‘promote greater awareness of the human dimension in the countless problems which confront the global community.’ The conclusions and recommendations of the Commission were brought together in a final report called…

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