Case study news item
November 4, 2020
Research & survey launch: Diaspora response to humanitarian crises

*18.12.20 update: The survey has been extended until 31 January 2021.*

We are partnering with the diaspora-research specialists at Shabaka on a new research venture to fill the knowledge gaps about diaspora responses to humanitarian crises.

Whilst diaspora have long been acknowledged as important actors in crisis response and recovery, their contributions are under-studied and can be misunderstood because of a lack of knowledge of their work, and a tendency to focus on ‘traditional’ crisis responders (governments and relief organisations). This new research is a step to bridging these knowledge gaps in order to enable more effective diaspora engagement in times of crisis.

We will look in-depth into diaspora responses to six different scenarios, covering different regions and crisis-types:

  • Lebanon, August 2020 explosion in Beirut
  • Sudan, COVID-19 and floods, 2020
  • Zambia: Cyclones Idai and Kenneth, 2019
  • Nicaragua: Political crisis since 2018
  • Nepal: Floods, 2017
  • Ukraine: Crisis in Donbas, since 2014

By researching this selection of cases, we aim to better understand diaspora humanitarian response according to crisis and national context. We hope to generate lessons learnt and recommendations related to diaspora-engagement during crises.


As part of the research process we have developed a survey for all those who have first-hand experience of one of the above crises. We invite diaspora individuals and organisations, humanitarian actors and government officials involved in any of the six cases listed to complete the survey to help us understand a variety of experiences and perspectives.

The survey is available in English, Arabic, Spanish and Ukrainian. It takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete, and can be done so anonymously. All responses will be kept confidential.

The survey is open until 31 January 2021 and the results will be incorporated into the final research publication, scheduled for spring 2021.

Take part!

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