Australian military engagement in disaster relief in the South Pacific

Project: HDR ProjectPhD

Project Details


Strict criteria govern the use of Foreign Military Assets (FMA) in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) as a ‘Last Resort’ option that is solely needs-based. However, patterns of military engagement in HADR do not reflect the principle of ‘Last Resort’ in practice. The varied patterns indicate that factors beyond humanitarian-need influence donor-state’s deployment of FMA to disaster-affected states. The tension between the humanitarian imperative and donor’s self-interest has potential consequences for the effective use of FMA to meet the needs of an affected population, affected-state and donor-interest. However, a model to categorise and evaluate the deployment and use of FMA in HADR does not exist.
This research will identify and categorise the humanitarian and strategic objectives that underlie donor’s deployment of FMA to recipients and evaluate how effectively policy outcomes meet donor’s policy objectives. Using the case study of Australia in the South Pacific, the research will adopt a mixed-methods approach to trace the emerging norm of Australian military engagement, determine the statistical significance of humanitarian-need and self-interest in Australian decision-making, and use survey and interview feedback from government, military and civilian stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness of Australia’s efforts to secure the region from multiple perspectives.
Effective start/end date1/02/19 → …


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