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

Humanitarianism from below: analysing the views, values and practices of local and national aid actors

Submitted by Clara Egger, Edith Favoreu
In theme Changing Actors, Views and Challenges from Below

The “localisation” agenda has left humanitarian stakeholders with an unprecedented challenge: transitioning from a Western-led system to promote and support locally-led responses. Since then, “paradigm shift”, “localisation” and “transition” have become buzzwords in the humanitarian world. Yet this transition agenda caught humanitarian actors uninformed about the current diversity of humanitarianisms. Although national or local humanitarian actors are considered as long established and essential actors, their practices, views and values are hardly grasped by existing research. So far, research focusing on non-Western humanitarian actors has mainly focused on Global South international actors, neglecting local and national patterns of humanitarianism.

The main objective of this panel is to explore the diversity of practices, views and values of local and national aid actors. Participants are especially encouraged to address the following:
Ø specific cases of crisis response programs implemented by national and local aid actors;
Ø values and principles promoted by local and national aid actors in their humanitarian work;
Ø examples of best practices, especially with regards to community engagement, the nexus between humanitarian action and development and link between humanitarianism and social work;
Ø non-Western theoretical frame to analyse the practices of local and national aid actors

We especially welcome contributions from Global South scholars and encourage participants to make their research design explicit in their submission.