New projects on humanitarianism receive funding from the Research Council of Norway

The Research Council of Norway recently awarded several projects related to humanitarianism with funding starting from 2020. We are very pleased to introduce these four new projects led by colleagues associated with the NCHS.

Temporary protection as a durable solution? The “return turn” in asylum policies in Europe. Led by Jessica Schultz (CMI). In reaction to the high numbers of refugee arrivals in 2015, European countries have introduced a range of new and enhanced temporary protection policies. Temporary protection policies create unique challenges for the inclusion of refugees in receiving communities, and for the welfare system more broadly. Refugees with temporary status often come from fragile states and are unlikely, for a number of reasons, to actually return in the near future. This project explores the effects of temporary protection policies on refugee law and refugee lives in Norway, Denmark and the UK. By investigating how (primarily) post-2015 policies change the parameters of protection of Afghans, Somalis and Syrians, the project will produce evidence related to 1) the ways in which temporality is produced through changes to national refugee policies, 2) how these policies interact with facets of the welfare state designed to promote integration and 3) how temporary status affects how refugees manage the competing demands of settling in Europe and planning for an eventual return. Evidence from this project will inform policy dialogue concerning the tensions and tradeoffs that temporary protection policies involve, in Norway and elsewhere in Europe. It will also critically assess these developments in light of European and international refugee law.

China and the global aid architecture – Understanding China’s evolving development assistance. Led by Elling N. Tjønneland (CMI). China has expanded its humanitarian aid significantly in recent years, both through contributions (mainly in kind) to relevant UN agencies and direct to governments in countries affected by humanitarian emergencies. This project analyses the determinants of the Chinese development aid policies and the major expansion of China’s development aid, including humanitarian. It will also analyse how this impact on the global development aid architecture and policies. Case studies will be undertaken in Ethiopia, Mozambique and Tanzania and in the relations with the African Union.

The Power of Ideas: Muslim Humanitarians and the SDGs (HUMA). Led by Kaja Borchgrevink (PRIO). The United Nation’s Agenda 2030 call for new global partnerships for sustainable development, recognizing the significance of including private, public, secular and religious actors. Muslim humanitarian actors are increasingly recognized as important contributors in humanitarian and development efforts. In order to take the global partnership for development seriously, it is vital to understand this rapidly changing humanitarian landscape and how the whole range of humanitarian actors are working. Read more here.

Holding aid accountable: Plural humanitarianism in protracted crisis (AidAccount). Led by Cindy Horst (PRIO). Local residents and diaspora groups are key humanitarian actors, often being both the first responders and the ones that remain engaged in situations of protracted humanitarian crisis. Little is known about how accountability is understood and practiced by citizens in comparison to professional humanitarians. This project aims to explore how accountability is defined and practiced locally at the meeting point between civic and professional humanitarians in protracted crises. Read more here.

We look forward to following the results of these projects in the coming years.