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Accepted Paper:

The Future of African Humanitarianism: Governance and Decolonizing ‘Helping’- A Case Study of Local Humanitarian Responses to Internal Displacement in Ethiopia  
Alemayehu Begna Hordofa (International Institute of Social Studies)

Paper short abstract:

The paper critically analyzed the local efforts to address the plight of Internally Displaced Persons in Ethiopia and found that humanitarianism future in Africa and its effectiveness demands conceptual and theoretical framing as inward-looking to strengthen the rich African culture of giving.

Paper long abstract:

The global decolonization of humanitarian aid discourse devoted much of its focus and energy to disengaging colonial elements of international humanitarianism to make a path for locally led responses. Academic exploration of local giving as a humanitarian response to internal displacement is substantially missing in the literature. The paper addresses this gap with an intellectual inquiry into local humanitarian responses to address the need of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ethiopia.

The paper uses a qualitative methodology and the Ethiopian case study to interrogate the need for governance from below and critically challenges the top-down model that positions institution-centered international humanitarianism at the nucleus of every humanitarian action. It spotlights the humanitarian governance model in Ethiopia and the status of local responses drawing data from the humanitarian observatory of the ISS’s humanitarian governance project in Ethiopia and content analysis of recorded events.

This paper illuminates the quest for change in the current humanitarian architecture towards the humanitarian model that accords more power and agency to the people it serves through accountability and solidarity. It analyzes formalized responses to disasters in Ethiopia and demonstrates structural limits in aid architecture that adversely affected state-aid relations barring locally led humanitarianism from occurring. This inquiry, from the African perspective, is particularly interesting, given the criticism aired against the slow pace in the realization of the voluntary pledges of the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit, Charter for Change, and the grand bargain as localizing of humanitarian responses forms the focal point of these agreements.

Panel Econ07
Humanitarian futures: African, everyday, and decolonizing 'helping'
  Session 1 Friday 2 June, 2023, -