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Exploring Humanitarian Communication Design
at HUD Symposium 

13-14th May, 2024


Lisa Richey recently presented her talk, “Utopian Demand in Humanitarian Communication Design? Ecological Observations from the 2022 Venice Art Biennale,” at the HUD Symposium in Geneva, Switzerland. This two-day event brings together experts from various disciplines to explore the theory and practice of humanitarian design. Participants engaged in thought-provoking discussions on questions like “What is humanitarian design, and what might it become?” and “What kinds of cases and contexts does humanitarian design currently address?” Richey's insights from the Venice Art Biennale added a unique perspective to the ongoing conversation about the future and impact of humanitarian design.

AGIC Seminar at the University of Turin

7th May, 2024


Lisa Ann Richey recently conducted a seminar titled “Humanitarian Partnerships: Exploring the ‘Value’ of Help” at the University of Turin, Italy. Collaborating with the Laboratorio di Analisi Sociologica “Nicola Negri,” Richey delved into the complex realm of humanitarian partnerships, shedding light on the evolving landscape of transnational aid. Drawing from her research, including the Commodifying Compassion project and ongoing investigations into Everyday Humanitarianism in Tanzania, Richey explored a spectrum of partnerships, from symbolic collaborations like Bulgari's decade-long alliance with Save the Children to grassroots initiatives supported by artisanal Tanzanian glassware. Through the seminar, Richey provided a pragmatic lens to navigate theoretical debates surrounding the intersections of politics, economics, and culture within humanitarianism, challenging conventional understandings and offering fresh insights into the dynamics shaping global aid efforts.

EHTZ Participates in AAG 2024

16-20th April, 2024


Lisa Richey delivered a presentation titled "Geographies of Dissociation in Humanitarian Partnerships: Exploring the ‘Value’ of Help through a Cultural Political Economy of Space" at the 2024 AAG Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii. This event, hosted by the American Association of Geographers (AAG), convenes members of the global geographic community to discuss pressing issues and share cutting-edge research. The themes of AAG 2024 included Reciprocal Scholarship, Colonialism and Resources, and Recovery and Restoration, providing a rich context for Richey's exploration of humanitarian partnerships.

CBDS and DIIS Seminar "Humanitarianism in Crisis?"

1st February, 2024


From left to right: Polly Pallister-Wilkins, Antonio de Lauri, Lisa Ann Richey, Nauja Kleist

The emergence of climate change, protracted conflicts, and political upheavals have not only challenged traditional approaches to aid delivery but also prompted humanitarian organizations to consider proactive measures, aiming to anticipate future needs rather than solely react to emergencies. Moreover, the entry of diverse actors from civil society and the corporate sector into the humanitarian arena has blurred the lines of what constitutes humanitarianism. What are the implications?

A recent seminar titled “Humanitarianism in Crisis?” provided a platform to delve into these pressing issues. Hosted by Ida Marie Savio Vammen, Senior Researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), and Lisa Ann Richey, Principal Investigator at EHTZ, the event brought together leading scholars to explore the complexities facing humanitarianism today. Among them were Polly Pallister-Wilkins, University of Amsterdam, Antonio de Lauri, Chr. Michelsen Institute, and Nauja Kleist, DIIS. Central to the discussion was the inquiry into whether humanitarianism faces a crisis of legitimacy and, if so, what implications this holds for the future of humanitarian action.

EHTZ Team Participates in IHSA 2023 Conference

5-7th November, 2023

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Screenshot of Lisa Richey's & Melkisedek Kaijage's Presentation

At this year’s IHSA Conference on Humanitarian Studies, four EHTZ researchers—Lisa Ann Richey, Lucas Kitula, Esther Mlingwa, and Yvette Ruzibiza—were invited to present their papers on everyday humanitarianism. Held in a hybrid format, with sessions taking place both in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and online, the conference centered around the theme "Humanitarianism in Changing Climates.”

In their respective presentations, Lisa Ann Richey delved into "Everyday Humanitarianism amongst Tanzanian Elites," shedding light on localized actions of elite individuals addressing community needs, while Lucas Kitula examined the "Religious Influence on Humanitarianism," particularly in flood-affected areas of Kilosa, Tanzania. Esther Mlingwa navigated the "Humanitarian Grey Area," exploring challenges inherent in regulating informal responses, and Yvette Ruzibiza presented on "Refugees Helping Refugees in Tanzania," showcasing the vital role of refugee communities in mutual support. These presentations collectively underscored the role of grassroots efforts in crisis response and contributed to ongoing discussions on adapting humanitarian systems to better incorporate local actors in complex crises.

EADI Conference 2023: Navigating SDG Partnerships with Lisa Ann Richey and Herbert Hambati Qambalo

13-17th July, 2023

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Lisa Ann Richey, Principal Investigator of EHTZ, and Herbert Hambati Qambalo, South Coordinator of EHTZ, recently contributed to the EADI CEsA General Conference 2023 held in Lisbon. Their session, titled “SDG 17 and the Business of Development and Humanitarian Partnerships,” raised crucial questions about the role of new corporate actors and alliances in driving development and humanitarian goals, highlighting issues of accountability, neoliberalization, and the meaningful participation of Southern businesses in SDG partnerships.

Moreover, Richey delivered alongside Mette Fog Olwig from Roskilde University a presentation on the topic of “Profitable Redemption and Sentimental Business,” shedding light on the commodification of compassion in development and sustainability initiatives, particularly under SDG17. Their presentation unveiled findings from a six-year research project on “Commodifying Compassion,” which explored how 'helping' has become a marketable commodity globally, impacting development and humanitarianism materially and symbolically. Richey and Olwig's discussion highlighted the convergence of for-profit narratives of 'doing good' with traditional non-profit approaches, underscoring the implications of these narratives for sustainable development practices and governance structures reliant on universal indicators.

ECAS2023 Panel: “Humanitarian futures: African, everyday, and decolonizing ‘helping’”

2nd June,  2023

2nd June 2023 Lisa Ann Richey and Herbert Hambati convened a panel titled “Humanitarian futures: African, everyday, and decolonizing ‘helping’” at the ECAS 2023 Conference in Cologne.


The panel engaged with approaches that shift the position of 'Africa' from recipient to donor, from helped to helper. In doing so, we might identify different forms of helping, a better understanding of locally-sanctioned ways of doing good, and or different configurations of 'partnership' that may involve private and public actors, from different businesses or governments.

Different EHTZ work packages presented work in progress. In addition to contributions from members of our team, the panel hosted the papers by Abdirahman Edle Ali (University of Nairobi, University of Copenhagen), Alemayehu Begna Hordofa (International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University of Rotterdam), Abdul Wando (SOAS University of London), Myfanwy James (University of Oxford), Delu Lusambya (International Institute of Social studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam) and Sahra Ahmed Koshin (University of Copenhagen, University of Nairobi and the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS)).


All the panel abstracts can be found here.

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Danida Fellowship Center Science Engagement Days 2023: Equitable Partnerships in Development Research Projects

28-29th March,  2023

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"Decolonizing humanitarianism is to give power and agency to local givers as humanitarian actors as opposed to a state-centric, formal, Northern-driven helping."

Dr. Consolata Sulley presented her work on the messiness of decolonizing a concept, speficially everyday humanitarianism in the Tanzanian context, at the Science Engagement Days. These two days of workshop were organized by the Danida Fellowship Center, hosted at MS TCDC in Usa River. 

After the presentation Prof. Christine Noe sat down with Consolata to discuss the main message of her talk. 

The days brought together a range of scholars across continents and disciplines to reflect on questions of equality of authorship, research agenda setting, financing and institutional set-ups and mutual learning.

Consolata's paper, co-authored with Lisa Ann Richey, on the messiness of decolonizing everyday humanitarianism is forthcoming in the Review of International Studies. 

7th Voice of Social Sciences International Conference (VSS2022)

10 -11th November,  2022

The 7th Voice of Social Sciences International Conference was organized around the theme of Social Sciences and Transformations in the Global South at the University of Dar es Salaam. Members of our EHTZ team took part in two panels.


On the first day Opportuna Kweka chaired a panel titled Population, Migration and African Humanitarianism. Line Engbo Gissel presented some of the work of the disaster work package on the dynamics of humanitarian responses looking into the formal and informal interactions in Tanzania's Kagera Earthquake Disaster, a collaborative work between her, Herbert Hambati, Hamudi Majamba and Esther Mlingwa. Lisa Ann Richey presented her collaborative work on the messy practice of decolonizing everyday humanitarianism with Consolata Sulley and Daudi Mukangara.

The next day Lisa took part in the editor's forum together with Christine Noe (UDSM), Alexander Makulilo (UDSM), Dan Brockington (ICTA), Stefano Ponte (CBS) and Stefan Ouma (Univ. Bayreuth). 

Thank you for a great conference! 

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BISA 2022 Roundtable: Re-imagining International Relations: Proposals for Building a Decolonized Discipline

June 14th, 2022

As part of a special issue on ‘Decolonizing the disciplines’ for the Review of International Studies Dr. Consolata Raphael Sulley (University of Dar es Salaam') and Prof. Lisa Ann Richey (CBS) presented their paper "The Messy Practice of Decolonizing a Concept: Everyday Humanitarianism in Tanzania" at the BISA 2022 roundtable Re-imagining International Relations: Proposals for Building a Decolonized Discipline chaired by Maja Zehfuss. The roundtable was joined by Ajay ParasramDana El Kurd, Kristina Hinds, Ilan Kapoor and Somdeep Sen, who is also the special issue editor. 

The Messy Practice of Decolonizing Everyday Humanitarianism underscored the importance  of making and remaking concepts and theories from the context within which they are made and applied as a decolonizing practice. The work also documented the ongoing messy practice involved in decolonizing the concept of humanitarianism through close collaboration between scholars committed to understanding it from the ground up, using everyday humanitarianism as a concept in progress

Panel: Taking ideology out of humanitarianism? The everyday, corporate interests and the politics of global solidarity

November 4th, 2021

EHTZ's Lisa Ann Richey, together with Tanja Müller chaired the panel session "Taking ideology out of humanitarianism? The everyday, corporate interests and the politics of global solidarity" at the World Conference on Humanitarian Studies.  The panel placed a specific focus on two interlinked areas: It firstly asked how everyday humanitarianism as a practice seen from below and above, and from the Global North and the Global South, can provide a means to foster horizontal solidarities. Secondly, it interrogated the politics behind technology or labour market-focused humanitarian action by the business sector and asked if such practices advance horizontal solidarities or cement vertical power structures and colonial imagery.

As part of the panel, we presented the paper The Messy Practice of Decolonizing a Concept: Everyday Humanitarianism in Tanzaniaauthored by Lisa Ann Richey, Consolata Sulley and Daudi Mukangara. The paper explores the messy practice of decolonizing a concept through our collaborative work as EHTZ, between scholars researching together the meaning of everyday humanitarianism in Tanzania. It argues for grounding decolonization in the actual practices of research collaboration aimed at theory building as an iterative back-and-forth exchange, rather than a transplant of Northern theory on the South, or its opposite. It further highlights that understanding both the challenges and the possibilities of decolonizing ’humanitarianism’ will provide an opportunity to document and thus legitimate the messiness that is inherent in decolonizing a discipline.

Paper seminar: The Messy Practice of Decolonizing a Concept: Everyday Humanitarianism in Tanzania

September 9th, 2021

As part of CBS Center for Business and Development Studies' research cluster "Knowledge in Global Development" (KGD) Dr. Consolata Raphael Sulley (University of Dar es Salaam and Visiting Researcher at CBS) and Prof. Lisa Ann Richey (CBS) presented their paper "The Messy Practice of Decolonizing a Concept: Everyday Humanitarianism in Tanzania" for a special issue on ‘Decolonizing the disciplines’ for the Review of International Studies. Their paper explores how decolonization should be grounded in the actual practices of research collaboration aimed at theory building as an iterative back-and-forth exchange, rather than a transplant of Northern theory on the South. Their attempts to decolonize an already established concept, from a certain positionality, exposes the challenges and 'messiness' that decolonization in practice entails. A special thank you to the discussants for a lively and valuable conversation and feedback!

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12th Mwalimu J.K.Nyerere intellectual festival

July 1st, 2021

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As part of the 12th Mwalimu J.K.Nyerere intellectual festival at the University of Dar es Salaam, EHTZ's senior researcher Dr. Consolata Sulley lectured at the opening ceremony The Quest for Pan African Unity: Current and Future Prospects. Her speech focused on the role and meaning of democratic elections in Tanzania. She concludes that the elections held in several African countries should be considered as 'elections without choice' as they fail to meet democratic standards. 

You can watch Dr. Sulley's lecture here

Presentation for Médecins sans frontières

June 23rd, 2021

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Illustration hanging on the wall in the Livingstone Memorial Museum in Ujiji in Kigoma Region in Western Tanzania. Photo: Pernille Bærendtsen.

EHTZ's PhD researcher, Pernille Bærendtsen gave a presentation for Doctors Without Borders (Denmark) at its summer school at Borups Højskole in Copenhagen. The presentation drew on research and her own practical experiences from development and humanitarian work in East Africa. She provided a background with departure in Tanzania’s history on slave trade, colonisation over independence to development with the case of Denmark’s engagement in Tanzania, as well as an overview of current critical discussions on humanitarian work in regards to the global South and North relationship, need for a new language, structural racism, decolonisation, as well as how humanitarianism and development commonly is communicated to Western audiences.

The presentation was followed by questions from the summer school participants.

African Studies Association 63rd Virtual Annual Meeting 

December 21, 2020

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On November 20th EHTZ team organized a panel COVID-19 Convergence of Diplomacy, Pan-Africanism, & Humanitarianism at the ASA 63rd virtual annual meeting. In the panel chaired by Lisa Ann Richey our team presented two papers; The Gift of Covid Organics to Tanzania: Pan-Africanism, South-South Humanitarianism and Africa's place in the World was presented by Herbert Hambati and Lisa Ann Richey. Further, Rosemary Msoka, Opportuna Kweka and Simon Turner presented their paper Local Humanitarianism during covid-19 pandemic in Tanzania: observations and lessons from practices given to refugees in camps.

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