Everyday Humanitarianism in Tanzania (EveryHumanTZ)


Start date: 1 November, 2019 End date: 31 October, 2025 Project type: Research projects in countries with extended development cooperation (earlier Window 1) Project code: 18-12-CBS Countries: Tanzania Thematic areas: Humanitarian assistance and development, Lead institution: Roskilde University (RUC), Denmark Partner institutions: University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), Tanzania Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Denmark Project website: go to website (the site might be inactive) Project coordinator: Lisa Ann Richey Total grant: 12,000,000 DKK

Project summary

Since an upsurge of unrest in Burundi in 2015, 258,000 refugees have crossed into Tanzania, making it the largest recipient of Burundian refugees in the East African region. Tanzania currently hosts 317,000 refugees in three camps, which is an unprecedented five-fold increase compared to three years ago. Floods have become the most-feared disaster amongst Dar es Salaam residents according to Hambati and Gaston’s (2015) participatory hazards ranking. Humanitarian aid and professional disaster response receive attention, yet what is missing here is the action taken in response to both protracted and acute humanitarian crises by Tanzanians who are not humanitarian professionals. Everyday humanitarianism (EH) refers to an expanded series of practices in the everyday lives of citizens that are engaging in humanitarianism, outside of the formal structures of humanitarian actions. This do-gooding response to crisis can be proximate for one’s neighbours or distant for suffering Others. EH may involve, for example, housing refugees along their journey to processing centres, paying school fees for additional children in areas affected by floods, or donating online) or to local churches in earthquake prone regions of the country. Tanzanians of all social classes are involved in EH, from rich philanthropists to farmer neighbours, yet these actions remain unacknowledged and unaccounted for. Unfortunately, the reason that Tanzania is an excellent case for understanding EH results from its increasing humanitarian need, uneven government attempts to manage disasters, and complex linkages between humanitarian and development needs and the partners who engage them. EveryHumanTZ will measure and explain the everyday humanitarian practices of communities engaged most directly with protracted crisis (refugees) and others experiencing acute crises (earthquake, floods). EveryHumanTZ’s

Overall Objective is to understand how people interacting in everyday situations respond to crisis situations outside of the formal structures of humanitarian assistance.


Midterm report
EHTZ is making good progress in meeting our Overall Objective--to understand how people interacting in everyday situations respond to crisis situations outside of the formal structures of humanitarian assistance. We have completed qualitative fieldwork in sites of acute and protracted crises in the regions of Morogoro, Kigoma, Dar es Salaam, Arusha and Kilimanjaro. Our team has also completed a state-of-the-art representative survey, including experimental methods, in spite of hazardous flood conditions in the field. While gathering quantitative data, we have also conducted interviews, provided informal humanitarian support for others, and maintained an ongoing dialogue between our enumerators, quantitative team leaders who were in the field together, and other project researchers. We have top international and national publications including in the journals World Development, Review of International Studies and Utafiti. EHTZ researchers, including PhDs, have presented in Dar es Salaam, Lisbon, Cologne, Paris, Copenhagen and online. Our PhDs have presented in Denmark during their research stay, and also co-published articles and a policy brief. Our International Advisory Board has given recommendations online and in person. EHTZ has been chosen as one of 20 Nordic cases to be included in the case report to accompany the event, Knocking on the Door of Higher Education Institutions: The AU-EU Innovation Agenda and the Involvement of Nordic actors, held in Brussels 28/9/2023.

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