Aid workers commonly bemoan that the experience of working in the field sits uneasily with the goals they've signed up to: visiting project sites in air-conditioned Land Cruisers while the intended beneficiaries walk barefoot through the heat, or checking emails from within gated compounds while surrounding communities have no running water.
Spaces of Aid provides the first book-length analysis of what has colloquially been referred to as Aid Land. It explores in depth two high-profile case studies, the Aceh tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, in order to uncover a fascinating history of the objects and spaces that have become an endemic yet unexamined part of the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Lisa Smirl was a lecturer in international relations at the University of Sussex. She worked previously for the United Nations Development Programme in Africa, Southeast Europe and Central Asia. A Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford, she did graduate work at the London School of Economics and completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge in 2010. Lisa was from Manitoba, Canada. She died in 2013 at the age of 37.
Foreword Preface Introduction 1. Stories from the field, stories of 'the field': how aid workers experience the space of the field mission 2. Exploring the humanitarian enclave 3. How the built environment shapes humanitarian intervention 4. Building home away from home: post-tsunami Aceh and the single-family house 5. Playing house: rebuilding the Gulf Coast after Katrina Conclusion