Origin Story of Diaspora Humanitarian Exchange Group

Origin Story of Diaspora Humanitarian Exchange Group

As part of the Diaspora Emergency Action (DEMAC) project, Shabaka participated with other diaspora humanitarians in the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in Istanbul, where the ‘Grand Bargain’ to promote localisation in the humanitarian sector was launched.   

In 2018, Shabaka, its sister diaspora organisation, the African Foundation for Development (AFFORD), and British Red Cross attended a Wilton Park discussion on the Grand Bargain and localisation organised by the Humanitarian Academy. Shabaka and AFFORD held meetings with the BRC Head of International Programmes and Head of UK Programmes on the need for partnership initiatives that could bring together diaspora and institutional humanitarian partners.   

In 2019, British Red Cross engaged Shabaka to deliver a pilot Diaspora Partnership Project. This looked at diaspora Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) to crisis preparedness and response, focusing on Nigerian and Pakistani communities in the UK. The overarching aim was to cultivate relationships with diaspora communities to build partnerships, increase engagement and outreach and build resilience and capacity to respond to crises in the UK and in origin countries and regions. Shabaka undertook qualitative and quantitative research on the humanitarian activities and engagement of Nigerian and Pakistani diaspora organisations in the UK and interviewed key Red Cross and Red Crescent stakeholders in Nigeria, Geneva, and the US. Since 2021, Shabaka has advised British Red Cross on developing its diaspora partnership programme.  

In 2020-2021, Shabaka undertook research for the EU Global Diaspora Facility (EU DiF) on diaspora humanitarian trends in Lebanon, Nicaragua, Nepal, Ukraine, Sudan, and Zambia. It also mapped African diaspora humanitarian activities during the COVID-19 pandemic for the Africa Union. Amongst other findings, these studies noted the need for a diaspora-led fora for diaspora humanitarian actors to facilitate exchange of practices and engagement.  

In 2021, Shabaka also established the Diaspora Humanitarianism Working Group of the Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT), a network of African diaspora organisations based in 30 European states active in African development and humanitarian response. This working group was co-designed and co-produced with ADEPT in Belgium and members in France, Denmark, Hungary, Portugal, and the UK, and developed a joint action plan and advocacy initiatives, including a webinar series in 2021-2022 on diaspora humanitarianism in partnership with Shabaka, ADEPT, and IOM, and a joint ADEPT-Shabaka policy brief on African diaspora humanitarianism.  

A key learning that emerged from this work was the need for a ‘safe space’ for diaspora humanitarians to exchange good practices and discuss challenges and potential solutions experienced in their humanitarian activities without the structural inequalities that other humanitarian fora tend to replicate.   

Therefore, learning from these experiences has informed the development of the present proposal for a pilot Diaspora Humanitarian Exchange.  Since January 2021, Shabaka has consulted with its diaspora peers in the UK, Europe, North America, and in Global South origin countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, to assess the relevance and interest of diaspora actors to co-design and engage in a diaspora led humanitarian exchange group.  

Click here for more information on DHEG

We are currently in the testing (pilot) phase, so keep your eyes peeled for updates.

To do so, follow us on our social media accounts below
Sign up to our newsletter on our website
Email us at coordinator1@shabaka.org
WhatsApp or Telegram at (+44 7547 277614)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *