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Book Sections Year : 2021

Humanitarian Aid as a Shared and Contested Common Resource

Abstract

Intuitively, much research in commons research focuses on collaborative governance of environmental resources. At the same time, due to the pressures of climate change, the number of natural disasters will only increase, and humanitarian crises are already on an uptake. As a result, I aim to extend this line of inquiry in my discussion of humanitarian aid as a shared and contested common resource. I take the example of the 2013–2016 West Africa Ebola Epidemic, which occurred along the border of three countries with different institutional histories. Drawing on interviews with 100 civil society organizations and domestic NGOs, I illustrate how top-down management of the 2013–2016 Ebola Response by governmental and international organizations led to policy failure, only until local organizations were involved. Ebola unveils the inefficiency of neglecting local actors, typical in international humanitarian response. In addition, contestation of humanitarian aid resources viewed as “commons” by recipients and “private” by international aid organizations fuels tensions in the aid relationship, and particularly during a crisis where local buy-in is essential.
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hal-03419698 , version 1 (08-11-2021)

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Michelle Reddy. Humanitarian Aid as a Shared and Contested Common Resource. The Cambridge Handbook of Commons Research Innovations, Cambridge University Press, pp.89-99, 2021, 9781108837217. ⟨10.1017/9781108938617.012⟩. ⟨hal-03419698⟩
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