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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Call for abstracts: Vernacular humanitarianisms in a global perspective


A man checks the network reception on his phone in the village of Faleyare in Northern Somalia. Photo: IRCR/S.N., 10/10/2019, reference: V-P-SO-E-00932

The Diaspora Humanitarianism in Complex Crises (D-Hum) research project is organizing a small international conference in Kenya on vernacular humanitarianism in a global perspective – and we have just a few spots left for external participants. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 21 May. 

In many complex crises around the world, diaspora actors have assisted with emergency support in their erstwhile or ancestral homelands, and beyond. Ranging from kinship associations, CSOs, youth groups, religious institutions, businesspeople and more, diaspora actors work across multiple spatial and temporal contexts, scales, and speeds, often in close collaboration with (trans)local partners. We invite papers that analyze the multifariousness and ambivalence of vernacular humanitarianisms in a global perspective. Participants will be expected to present new, original papers that are circulated in advance, as we are planning to publish a special issue with a renowned publisher.  See xxx for the full call.

The conference, which will run from 1- 5 September, marks the conclusion of the collaborative research program between the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS); Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi; Rako Research and Communication Centre, Hargeisa; and Rift Valley Institute (RVI), Nairobi.

The conference will take place in Kilifi outside Mombassa. Conference accommodation and travel costs in Kenya will be fully covered, with some opportunities for coverage of international travel costs as well.

Abstract applications

Please refer to the full call here or download it at the bottom of this page then complete the application form here in full and submit a 200 word abstract in pdf form. The abstract should also include your name, institutional affiliation, and references for up to three previous publications.

Deadline for submission of abstracts:  May 21, 2024.
Decision: May 29, 2024.
Deadline for circulation of papers:  August 15, 2024.
Further enquiries: Nauja Kleist (

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