South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Photo: EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie / Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0
South Sudanese refugees in Uganda. Photo: EU/ECHO/Anouk Delafortrie / Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0

In protracted humanitarian crises, local residents, groups, institutions, and the diaspora are key humanitarian actors. They are often the first to assist in emergencies, and they remain engaged throughout the complex crises that may follow.

There is limited understanding of how these local and transnational citizens operate, and how they approach accountability compared to professional humanitarians. While the professional sector relies heavily on vertical technical-financial systems, civic humanitarians often depend on trust-based horizontal social networks and social media to provide accountability.

Through the AidAccount project we have explored how accountability is defined and practiced locally at the meeting point between civic and professional humanitarianism in protracted crises in Uganda, Somalia and Sri Lanka.

At the final conference, we will share findings from the project, aiming to create dialogue among various humanitarian aid stakeholders, including INGOs, diaspora, affected populations, funders, and researchers. This includes discussions on potential engagement with civic humanitarians, and possibilities for advancing the humanitarian localization agenda that seeks to shift power, resources, and decision-making closer to affected communities and local actors.

Preliminary Program

  • Monday 13 May Afternoon: Participatory Debate on Localization and Accountability - policy makers, practitioners, donors, diaspora
  • Monday 13 May Evening: Visualizing Memories of Protracted Displacement - with photo exhibition and food
  • Tuesday 14 May Morning: Keynote by Emmanuel Viga (NTNU, Makerere), on refugee-led assistance and socio-cultural practices of helping and sharing among South-Sudanese refugees in Uganda
  • Tuesday 14 May Afternoon: Keynote by Ahmed Musa (PRIO), on locally-led collective crisis response in the Somali region, followed by a panel debate
  • Wednesday 15 May Morning: Breakfast Seminar on policy implications for the humanitarian localization agenda

NB: This conference will take place at PRIO in Oslo, Norway. Recordings will be made available after the event.