The International Humanitarian Studies Association is a network engaged with the study of humanitarian crises caused by natural disaster, conflict or political instability.

The agency of aid recipients

Submitted by Ralf Otto
In theme Changing Actors, Views and Challenges from Below

In a normal market the consumer can choose the products that best serve their needs. While in the humanitarian sector, aid recipients are seen as “beneficiaries” who are given little or no say over the goods and services they receive. What if recipients had a greater say in shaping programming?

For this panel we are looking for research and practical examples on the changing relationship between aid recipient and humanitarian actors, particularly where the former is provided greater determination over the goods and services that they receive.
• Is the human sector (marketplace) changing in such a way as to provide aid recipients have greater agency in choosing the goods and services they receive?
• If so, what is driving this change?
• What are the forces that are preventing such a change?
• What would be the implications for humanitarian actors?
• How can local actors best create complementary and synergy in humanitarian interventions?
• How could such a change improve the effectiveness of aid and breakdown the dependency cycle?

This panel is proposed by ReflACTION, an independent and open platform bringing together professionals with a heartfelt interest in the emerging future of international crisis response.