The devastation of the tsunami and reconstruction in its aftermath, in Aceh and Sri Lanka, resulted in a divergence of political trajectories with Aceh moving towards a cessation of war and Sri Lanka heading towards a resumption of war. These different political outcomes frame this volume's compelling arguments about aid, activism and reconstruction. The contributors, hailing from a diversity of disciplines offer critical analyses of many key categories mobilised in humanitarian discourses and practices while providing ethnographic accounts and case studies of an array of institutions and individuals. Importantly, this volume interrogates the frequent disconnect between research and policy and explores ways this divide can be bridged. A must read for donors and policy makers as well as researchers and activists.