Paper: Everyday Humanitarianism amongst Tanzanian Elites: A New Perspective on ‘Localization’

Paper details

Paper authors Peter Kragelund, Daudi Mukangara, Consolata Sulley, Melkisedek Kaijage and Lisa Ann Richey
In panel on Everyday humanitarianism
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Drawing from aspects of African culture of brotherhood, ‘ubuntu’ and of ‘holding one another’s hand,’ everyday giving is part and parcel of life among elites in Tanzania. On the basis of 34 qualitative interviews from a snowball sample in Dar es Salaam, this paper analyzes the tensions and possibilities of elite giving beliefs and practices. We explore elite giving in Tanzania as a case of Southern everyday humanitarianism— a case of individuals stepping into donors’ shoes to solve a human, technical and financial challenge when funds are insufficient, help arrives too late, and helping is slowed by both administrative procedures and international and national power relations. Elite givers variously make use of both direct and indirect giving to reach out and extend their assistance to the needy. Our findings suggest that everyday humanitarianism differs from international humanitarianism in terms of impartiality: elites do not give necessarily assist their neighbour in need they assist the people they know in the neighbourhood in need. Humanitarianism for most elites has more to do with the promotion of human welfare than the principles of humanity, impartiality, neutrality and independence that international humanitarianism most often is associated with