Geneva Seminar Report
DEMAC in partnership with the global protection cluster (GPC) Child Protection Area of Responsibility held the seminar “Diasporas in Humanitarian Settings – Creating Opportunities for Complementary Action” on the 20th August 2018 at UNICEF premises in Geneva.
This seminar created the space to bring Diaspora humanitarians and those within the humanitarian sector together to learn about and discuss the findings from the latest DEMAC research report “Creating Opportunities to Work with Diasporas in Humanitarian Settings”. The seminar also provided the opportunity for humanitarian practitioners and diaspora humanitarians to hear directly from each other and explore areas of interest.
Assets of diaspora refer to fast response and deep understanding of local circumstances, which can contribute to a more informed and comprehensive response to emergency situations. Critical challenges refer, however, to neutrality and impartiality, low visibility for international actors and engagement in coordination structures.
The value of creating spaces for conversations to explore areas of synergy and share experiences proved to be valuable and furthermore made clear how limited the flexibility of humanitarian architecture is when trying to incorporate diaspora organisations. There is clearly more pressure on diaspora to fall in line with existing structures than flexibility to allow new actors with a different profile to join the effort.