Is aid really changing? What the Covid-19 response tells us about localisation, decolonisation and the humanitarian system

DA Global
Publication language
Date published
01 Sep 2021
Research, reports and studies
Local capacity, COVID-19

localisation and institutional or systemic racism in the Covid-19 humanitarian response. As widespread understanding and awareness of the prevalence of racism has increased, many have questioned the nature of humanitarian response and legacies of colonial control. At the same time, the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted inequalities that cannot be ignored, and demanded rapid, locally led responses. This research presents findings from: an online survey across 23 countries about localisation, Covid-19 and institutional racism in the aid sector; four country case studies (Kenya, Nepal, Yemen and Somalia); interviews with members of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and non-governmental organisations (NGOs); and a literature review. To apply a decolonial approach from the outset, the research prioritised the perspectives of actors from the Global South over those of international actors from the Global North, including donors. It was conducted from December 2020 to April 2021.