Building on work done by Wall & Hedlund and Gingerich & Cohen, we cast a wide net for any article related to local humanitarian assistance. We reviewed over 300 sources (all in English) and initially narrowed it down to around 175 articles based on the following criteria. This database is a living resource that we will update to fill gaps and keep up with the evolving conversation about local humanitarian assistance. If you would like to bring new articles to our attention, contact us here




Article types

Gray literature, academic publications

Blogs, newspaper articles, memoirs, books

Type of aid

Humanitarian, Disaster Risk Reduction


Main topics

Capacity and capacity-building, local-external partnerships, coordination, funding mechanisms, critiques of the structure of humanitarian assistance, autonomous response and self-protection.

Issues tangential to the topics mentioned to the left (such as cash as an intervention strategy)

Case studies

Case studies that specifically focus on at least one of the topics mentioned above

General evaluations of humanitarian responses, case studies about tangential issues, or in specifically development contexts


This database does not represent the complete picture of resources about local humanitarian assistance. It currently includes the available 'mainstream' literature on this topic, while acknowledging that the current mainstream literature is largely dominated by researchers and practitioners not from the affected communities they are writing about. It is not lost on the research team that by analyzing documents in English and published online in peer-reviewed and grey literature, this in fact orients the conversation away from many local voices. As the database evolves over time, we hope to identify and include more articles originating in affected communities and in different languages. This database is meant to help start and support an ongoing conversation, not to limit or define it.