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I am a Professor of humanitarian studies at the International Institute for Social Studies of Erasmus University in The Hague. My focus is on aid-society relations: studying how aid is embedded in the context, impacts on governments and society, and is shaped by the manifold actions of actors in and around programmes for protection, service delivery and capacity development. I have a special interest in the intersections of humanitarianism with development, peacebuilding and gender-relations.

My research programmes have taken place in settings affected by disaster, conflict and fragility, including Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Sri Lanka. Currently, my main research programme concerns cases where “Conflict meets disaster’, that studies disaster governance in high-conflict, low-conflict and post-conflict societies.

Research must be meaningful. I seek to make a difference for global development and social justice through my publications, through working with researchers and universities in crisis-affected areas, and through social activism and engagement in public debate.

Recent publications:

Van Wessel, M, D. Hilhorst, L. Schulpen, K. Biekart (2019) Government and civil society organizations: Close but comfortable? Lessons from creating the Dutch ‘Strategic Partnerships for Lobby and Advocacy’ In Development Policy Review doi: 10.1111/dpr.12453

Hilhorst, D., Desportes, I., & de Miliano, C (2019). Humanitarian governance and resilience building: Ethiopia in comparative perspective. Disasters, 43(S2), 109-131. doi: 10.1111/disa.12332

Desportes, I., Mandefro, H., & Hilhorst, D. (2019). The humanitarian theatre: Drought response during Ethiopia’s low-intensity conflict of 2016. The Journal of Modern African Studies, 57(1), 31-59. doi:10.1017/S0022278X18000654

Arabic translation of: Hilhorst, D. Hodgson, L. Jansen, B. Mena, R. (2019) Security guidelines for field research in complex, remote and hazardous places. The Hague Institute of Social Studies.