Everyday Humanitarianism in Tanzania (EveryHumanTZ)
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.
Danida Fellowship Centre