DEMAC Report


"Diaspora Humanitarianism - Transnational Ways of Working"


We are happy to announce the publication of the DEMAC Report "Diaspora Humanitarianism - Transnational Ways of Working".

The DEMAC research report outlines the basic features of formalized collective interventions by Sierra Leonean, Somali and Syrian diaspora-based relief organisations and initiatives based in the UK, Denmark and Germany, respectively, by elucidating their responses to the humanitarian crises in their countries of origin/heritage and neighbouring countries.

Based on interviews conducted in Denmark, Germany, Lebanon, Sierra Leone, Somalia (Somaliland), Turkey, and the UK, desk-based study, cross-referencing surveys, and mappings, the report identifies the instruments and explains the ways through which diaspora humanitarians operate to provide relief to affected people in need. Informative yet largely explorative in nature, the report elicits potential areas of increased and more effective cooperation and coordination between diaspora organisations and initiatives engaged in humanitarian action and ‘traditional’ actors of the international humanitarian system.

The central questions this report seeks to answer are:

  • What are driving motivations for diaspora organisations to engage in humanitarian action?
  • What are the prevalent response modes and mechanisms in diaspora humanitarian response?
  • How do diaspora and conventional humanitarian actors cooperate and collaborate?
  • How diaspora organisations, local organisations and ‘conventional’ humanitarian actors perceive one another?
  • What are the main challenges to interventions of diaspora humanitarians?

The outputs of this research are aimed at diaspora organisations and initiatives engaged in humanitarian action, nongovernmental organisations and donor agencies interested in engaging with diaspora organisations as well as organisations outside the humanitarian sector, such as academic institutions or private enterprises, seeking to engage with highly innovative actors in humanitarian action.

DEMAC Report "Diaspora Humanitarianism - Transnational Ways of Working"