Of locals and insiders: A “localized” humanitarian response to the 2017 mudslide in Mocoa, Colombia?

Erin Hedwig Christina Kuipers (Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
Isabelle Desportes (International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Michaela Hordijk (Department of Geography, Planning and International Development Studies, Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Disaster Prevention and Management

ISSN: 0965-3562

Publication date: 16 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Practical implications

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.

Originality/value

This study gives a voice to state actors, which was largely absent in previous studies.

Keywords

Citation

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

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below

You may be able to access this content by logging in via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.
If you think you should have access to this content, click the button to contact our support team.