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Seminar: Somali diaspora involvement in complex crises (København)


Torsdag, 21. juni 2018 - 15:00 til 17:15


DIIS - Danish Institute for International Studies, Auditorium, Gl. Kalkbrænderi Vej 51A, København Ø

In times of crisis, the contributions sent by refugees and migrants to the affected populations constitute a crucial lifeline. Somali diaspora humanitarianism – the humanitarian involvement of Somalis living across the globe – is a case in point. Characterised by multi-sectoral engagement, rapid mobilisation of resources and updated information on local conditions, their assistance ranges from disaster relief to development projects. Remittances alone surpass humanitarian aid six times in conflict-affected countries.

At this seminar, we will explore Somali diaspora involvement in complex and protracted crises. Conflict, political instability and climatic chocks, such as drought and floods, have caused large-scale displacement and loss of life, with 260,000 fatalities in the 2011-2012 drought. Today millions of people remain affected by severe food insecurity and water scarcity in the region, a situation aggravated by continued insecurity, difficult access to crisis-affected populations and underfunding of the international humanitarian system. In this situation, diaspora contributions are of utmost importance. 

The seminar will bring together international scholars, diaspora actors and practitioners working with humanitarian interventions to discuss practices and implications of diaspora humanitarianism.


  • Cindy Horst, Research Director and Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)
  • Hakim Abdi, Team member, the Abaaraha crisis mapping tool
  • Abdulkadir Ga’al, Board member, South Somalia Peace and Development Organisation, and Coordinator, the Nordic Union for Somali Peace and Development Organisations
  • Béatrice Maucounduit, Project Coordinator, the Diaspora Emergency Action & CoordinationConsortium, Danish Refugee Council
  • Mahad Farah Aden, Chairman, Danish Somaliland Friendship Association, and Vice-chair, Somali Fair Fishing
  • Nauja Kleist, Senior Researcher, DIIS


15.00-15.10: Introduction - Nauja Kleist

15.10-15.30: Research perspectives: a third humanitarian space - Cindy Horst

15.30-16.00: Diaspora humanitarianism in practice: Somali initiatives and organisations. 

  • The Abaaraha crisis mapping tool - Hakim Abdi
  • Between humanitarian relief and development - Abdulkadir Ga’al

16.00-16.15: Coffee break

16.15-16.45: Institutional collaboration: opportunities and challenges

  • How diaspora contribute to strengthening the humanitarian response in times of crises - Béatrice Mauconduit
  • Perspectives from Somaliland - Mahad Farah Aden

16.45-17.15: Q&A - Nauja Kleist

Practical information

The seminar will be in English and livestreamed on diis.dk.

Participation is free of charge, but registration is required. Please use our online registration form no later than Wednesday 20 June 2016 at 12.00 noon. Livestream does not require registration.

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