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Balancing research and practice in an international NGO

REL Practice Paper 1 Ten Years of Change is a collaborative, long-term practitioner research initiative designed to take place in three countries – Colombia, Kenya and the UK. It is implemented by the Research, Evidence and Learning team at Christian Aid. The research began with the overarching question how are community members and supporters being influenced by, and influencing, processes of social change? Each country team adapted the question to make it relevant to their socio-political context, and designed research at several different levels, from local to national. This paper tells the story of the first three years of Ten Years of Change. It narrates our ideas and ambitions and how we clarified them; how we identified where, by whom and how the study would be implemented; and how we worked with colleagues in other countries to begin to translate our idea into practice. It then discusses the forces that shaped the parallel but distinct evolution of each of the three streams of the study, before reflecting on the challenges of trade-offs and power. It concludes by returning to some of our assumptions about practitioner research, reflecting on how they played out in practice, finally turning to considerations for the next stage of the study.  

Pathways to Localisation: locally led humanitarian response (Myanmar)

This Myanmar-language paper presents a synthesis of the four national frameworks into one global localisation framework relevant for humanitarian practitioners, policy-makers and decision-makers. It outlines: The notable differences between the four national localisation frameworks, and reflect the diverse contexts specific to the very different operating environments and humanitarian crises in Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan. A number of priority actions and areas common across the four frameworks, many of which link closely to existing localisation commitments, frameworks, and indicators which are referenced. The key areas included in all four national localisation frameworks, along with objectives, priority actions, and potential indicators.

Illicit drugs and tough trade-offs in war-to-peace transitions

Millions of marginalised people rely on illicit drug economies - often deeply intertwined with armed conflicts - for their survival. But Agenda 2030, particularly Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, makes no mention of illicit drug economies. It is clear that the war on drugs has not worked, and it is increasingly recognised that a new, development-based approach to tackling illicit economies is needed. But at present, the evidence base to inform such policies is weak. This report presents evidence on why illicit drugs are a development issue and why they matter for peacebuilding, before discussing the problem with current approaches, and the implications for drugs, peacebuilding and development policy. Report authors: Ross Eventon and Eric Gutierrez

Accelerating localisation research summary - Myanmar-language version

Recommendations for practices that strengthen the leadership of national and local actors in partnership-based humanitarian action in Myanmar. Read the English-language version here

Myanmar: Building a Culture of Dialogue manual - English

A facilitator’s manual to guide dialogue within and between communities in conflict. In Myanmar, violence and protracted conflict – often fuelled by fear, hatred and distrust – have a strong impact on people’s lives. Many years of peace building work make us believe in the importance of dialogue as a tool to build trust and strong relationships. Dialogue provides the opportunity to share feelings, understand different points of view and reflect on situations.   For our project ‘Sagar Wine’ (culture of dialogue) in Rakhine State, we developed a training manual. In three creative and interactive modules with many visuals, participants will explore personal development, understand the dynamics of conflict and practice dialogue facilitation skills. The manual ‘Building a Culture of Dialogue’ is available in English and Burmese language.

Myanmar: Building a culture of dialogue manual - Burmese

A facilitator’s manual to guide dialogue within and between communities in conflict. In Myanmar, violence and protracted conflict – often fuelled by fear, hatred and distrust – have a strong impact on people’s lives. Many years of peace building work make us believe in the importance of dialogue as a tool to build trust and strong relationships. Dialogue provides the opportunity to share feelings, understand different points of view and reflect on situations.   For our project ‘Sagar Wine’ (culture of dialogue) in Rakhine State, we developed a training manual. In three creative and interactive modules with many visuals, participants will explore personal development, understand the dynamics of conflict and practice dialogue facilitation skills. The manual ‘Building a Culture of Dialogue’ is available in English and Burmese language.

Accelerating localisation research summary - Myanmar

Recommendations for practices that strengthen the leadership of national and local actors in partnership-based humanitarian action in Myanmar. Read the Myanmar-language version here

Kenya prequalification of suppliers 2019-20

Christian Aid Kenya invites interested and eligible suppliers to apply for pre-qualification indicating the category of goods and services as they wish to supply.  Existing suppliers who wish to be retained must also re-apply and submit information requested in the prequalification document.  

Honour the Promises: One year on from the Rohingya pledging conference

On 23 October 2017, a pledging conference at the United Nations resulted in 36 financial commitments for the Rohingya crisis response. At the time, Christian Aid welcomed the pledges as a 'good start'. However, our new analysis reveals that less than half of funding requirements have been met, a year on. This policy paper explains why it’s time for a comprehensive long-range plan to protect all those displaced by conflict.  

LPRR: Humanitarian response strand learning paper

The Linking Preparedness, Response and Resilience, a DEPP funded, multi-agency project, supported seven local NGOs in Kenya and Myanmar to develop and pilot operational methodologies for supporting integrated community-led responses to humanitarian crises. The project was funded by the START network through UK aid and was led by Christian Aid. The approaches tested by the project were based on the research carried out by Kings College London (KCL), on the on-going action-research of carried out by Local to Global Protection (L2GP) and on the ideas, capacities and contexts of the LNGOs themselves. The pilots test the application of the recommendations made by communities as captured by the KCL research of how to improve humanitarian programming. This learning paper summarises the key findings to date from seven of these pilots in 3 local organisations from Marsabit County of Northern Kenya, two from NW Myanmar (Rakhine State) and two from SE Myanmar (Kayah and Kayin States). Given the small budgets for the pilots and the very short timeframes for their completion, they are the first step for the seven LNGOs to test and develop some of the components of the emerging ‘practice’ for facilitating locally-led emergency programming.

LPRR final evaluation report

The Linking Preparedness, Response and Resilience (LPRR) project, which is part of the DFID funded Disasters Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP), was carried out from 2015 to the end of March 2018. The project was delivered by a consortium led by Christian Aid, which included Action Aid, Concern, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Safer World, and World Vision. The LPRR project brings together the expertise of response and resilience professionals (and frameworks) in order to support communities affected by emergencies and at the risk of violence. The consortium was present through a research component in eight countries, namely Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of Congo, Philippines, Colombia, Indonesia, with pilot projects in Kenya, Pakistan and Myanmar. The project was delivered through three distinct strands: conflict prevention, humanitarian response, and learning.

LPRR knowledge co-development paper

Co-production is a process through which partners draw upon their own learning to feed into a collective knowledge creation process. It fits well within international development, humanitarian and resilience-building processes, where the multi-partner nature of many current projects ensures there is a multiplicity of perspectives that can be drawn upon. It can also be democratic – where all forms of knowledge are valued – and so create ownership; work to find a balance between theory and practice and strengthen (and build) technical capacity and process Co-production was explicitly employed in the Linking Preparedness, Resilience and Response (LPRR) project, part of the DFID funded Disasters and Emergencies, Preparedness Programme (DEPP). It explored how humanitarian response can be strengthened to enable (and not undermine) long term community resilience building. Christian Aid (CA) led the project with seven consortium partners – World Vision, Action Aid, Help Age International, Concern, Oxfam and Muslim Aid. The project collaborated with King's College London (KCL) who led the research function. The purpose of this practice paper is three-fold: To explore the learning environment amongst consortium partners i.e. group learning and the tools and processes employed to facilitate this To detail the challenges and enablers of an implementing NGOs, Christian Aid and other consortium partners, co-producing knowledge with an academic institute, KCL; and To assess how the project helped to build capacity amongst relevant agencies – including in-country partners.

LPRR: Empowering communities to lead humanitarian response

The DFID DEPP funded LPRR consortium is led by Christian Aid and includes Action Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help Age, King’s College London, Muslim Aid, Oxfam, Saferworld and World Vision. It aims to increase preparedness and resilience capacity in conflict and response settings. As part of the project, King’s College London University designed and implemented a study in Bangladesh, Colombia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan and the Philippines. It was one of the rare approaches which specifically asked 327 crises survivors and first responders from past humanitarian emergencies to draw upon their own experience and expertise to guide improved humanitarian response programming for long term resilience.

Partnership for Change: Christian Aid in Kenya

Christian Aid has been working in Kenya since 1997, in partnership with local civil society agencies, public authorities, private sector actors, churches and other religious organisations. We are working to build community capacities and create enabling environments in which men, women and children can thrive and break out of chronic cycles of poverty.

Civil Society Strengthening in Myanmar

This report highlights good practices, case studies and lessons learned from the SPACE project.