Through the case of the response to the 2017 Mocoa mudslide, the purpose of this paper is to contribute to a deeper understanding of why and how humanitarian response should be locally led, particularly in more complex contexts such as those affected by conflict.
The study draws on qualitative data collected during a four-month period in 2017, with a focus on the immediate April 2017 emergency phase which presented the largest diversity of local, national and international actors.
The study has found that competing legitimacy claims between the state and non-state response blocs led to tensions and confrontations between disaster response actors and consequently a problematic response process and outcome. The institutional map that was plotted based on locally perceived actor legitimacies indicates a local state-led response would have better served the broader goals of humanitarian support, development and peacebuilding.
These findings have significant implications for the understanding of how the locally led response should be understood. Better alignment with local needs and feasibilities requires a differential outlook on what is to be understood as “local.” This study puts forward the insider/outsider lens as a tool to identify the actors who possess local trust and legitimacy and are thus best suited to bridge the elements of the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding triple nexus.
This study gives a voice to state actors, which was largely absent in previous studies.
Kuipers, E.H.C., Desportes, I. and Hordijk, M. (2019), "Of locals and insiders: A “localized” humanitarian response to the 2017 mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia?", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 352-364. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-12-2018-0384
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