Expert in development in areas affected by disaster, conflict or fragility, and their effects on societies.

About me

I am an expert in development in areas affected by disaster, conflict or fragility, with a special focus on aid-society relations: the impact of humanitarian aid on society and the ways in which people and institutions shape the organization of aid relations.

I have supervised 30 PhD candidates. 15 of these are ongoing and 15 have been completed. In my current position, I am building a research programme at ISS around situations where conflicts meet disaster.

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.

In addition to my academic research, I maintain a portfolio for applied assignments and advisory work, which has enhanced an intimate knowledge base of international organizational processes.

Thea Hilhorst tweets on humanitarian issues @hilhorst_thea and regularly writes blogs at


• Hilhorst, D, B. Weijs and G. van der Haar (2017, eds) People, Aid and Institutions in Socio-Economic Recovery. Facing Fragilities. London, Earthscan/Routledge
• Jennifer B. Barrett, Margit van Wessel and Dorothea Hilhorst (2016) Advocacy for Development. Effectiveness, Monitoring and Evaluation. E-book, 91 pages. BIT:
• Hilhorst, D. (ed) (2013). Disaster, conflict and society. Everyday politics of crisis and crisis response. London: Routledge
• Hilhorst, D (2015) ‘Taking accountability to the next level’ in: Humanitarian Accountability Report 2015, pp 104-112, Geneva, Core Humanitarian Standard Alliance,
• Hilhorst, D. and B. Jansen (2010) ‘Humanitarian Space as Arena: a perspective of everyday practice’. Development and Change 41(6): 1117–1139
• Hilhorst, D. (2005) Dead letter or living document? Ten years Code of Conduct for Disaster Relief. Disasters: 29(4): 351-369
• Hilhorst, D. (2003) The Real World of NGOs: Discourse, Diversity and Development. London: Zedbooks, Philippine edition (in English): Ateneo de Manila University Press

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