This report sheds light on the divide between Pacific diaspora humanitarians and the traditional humanitarian system.
This report is the second output of exploratory research carried out by the Centre for Humanitarian Leadership to study the role of Pacific diaspora leaders in localising humanitarian response to natural disasters in Pacific Island Countries.
It highlights the need to ‘cross the divide’ by taking ‘the next steps’. The report focuses on the following questions:
- What do traditional humanitarian actors know about Pacific diaspora in humanitarian response?
- How do traditional humanitarian actors perceive the role of Pacific diaspora in humanitarian response?
- What are the next steps to bridge the divide between Pacific diaspora and the traditional humanitarian actors?
It is vital for traditional humanitarians to understand other forms of ‘humanitarianism’ and explore new or different ways of working with non-traditional humanitarians. This requires traditional humanitarians to think outside of the existing normative, regulative and cognitive structures of a highly institutionalised humanitarian regime. Pacific diaspora actors have unique features to offer, and they can enhance the response of existing actors and fill the gaps in the humanitarian ecosystem that cannot be addressed by other actors.
As long as the system maintains humanitarian principles and western ideals of ‘professionalism’ as standard measures to validate the humanitarian actions of diaspora actors, this will limit the chance for complementarity, diversity and inclusivity.
Diaspora communities have been helping their people and their homeland in times of humanitarian crises longer than we realise. If international humanitarians are strongly committed to transforming the current system to be more effective, adaptive and inclusive, this report emphasises the need and desirability to create alliances with diaspora actors in humanitarian response.
The report Crossing the Divide: Pacific diaspora in humanitarian response to natural disasters provides insights into motivations, actions and characteristics of Pacific diaspora in humanitarian response. It offers an opportunity for traditional humanitarians to understand Pacific diaspora humanitarianism from a diasporic perspective. We encourage you to read that report before reading this next research.
- Crossing the Divide: The Next Steps