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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