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.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Development, Conflict, Colombia, Humanitarian aid, Disaster response, Localization, Peacebuilding, Conflict disaster nexus
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1108/DPM-12-2018-0384, hdl.handle.net/1765/119238
Journal Disaster Prevention and Management
Kuipers, E. H.C., Desportes, I, & Hordijk, M. A. (2019). Of locals and insiders – a ‘localized’ humanitarian response to the 2017 Mocoa mudslide in Colombia?. Disaster Prevention and Management. doi:10.1108/DPM-12-2018-0384