The Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships consortium (Christian Aid, CARE, Tearfund, ActionAid, CAFOD, Oxfam) will work together again following up on actions from the ‘Missed Opportunities’ series of reports along with networks of local and national NGOs to build and promote local leadership and ultimately achieve a more effective humanitarian response.
This programme is one of only a few initiatives funded by the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department in support of the Grand Bargain Localisation Agenda.
It is an exciting opportunity for international, national and local NGOs and networks to move towards more equal partners within the local humanitarian eco-system and identify partnership practices which support local actors to take a greater lead.
The value of local NGO leadership in humanitarian response is clear – understanding of the local culture, context, language and needs – and localisation requires systemic change in many different parts of the humanitarian system to support local response. Research on partnership practices that support localisation will provide recommendations that will be piloted in local contexts. Learning and feedback from piloting will inform country-specific localisation frameworks, relevant for all humanitarian stakeholders. A global ‘Pathways to Localisation’ document will provide practical guidance to all signatories of the Grand Bargain and beyond.
Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan
1 November, 2017 – 31 October, 2019
This programme will coordinate with more than 200 local and national NGOs and NGO networks across Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan. Findings, recommendations and learning from the programme will be used to advocate on commitments made for localisation to Grand Bargain signatories and the humanitarian sector globally.
National Steering Committees will guide and advise the programme in each country. They will be supported by a Programme Coordinator hosted by Christian Aid in Nigeria and Myanmar, CARE International in South Sudan, and Tearfund in Nepal.
Workshops were held in all four countries with the participation of more than 170 people from local, national and international NGOs, donor and UN agencies to kick-start the project.
National Steering Committees.
Committees were established in all four countries who steered and advised on the programme. More than 80 local and national organisations joined the international NGO consortium to provide valuable guidance.
Evidence base / research.
Local actors informed research on partnership practices which support localisation of humanitarian response. More than 350 NGOs participated in the research; 85% of these were local and national NGOs. Links to research reports are below.
Consortium members and their local humanitarian partner organisations reviewed the recommendations from the research and jointly developed action plans to pilot changes for more equal partnerships and support local partners to take a greater lead in humanitarian response programming.
Through the project, meetings and discussions with many local actors were held, both directly and via NGO forums in country. More than 500 organisations/agencies were involved in some way.
Humanitarian stakeholders developed national localisation frameworks in each country which will guide progress towards locally-led humanitarian response over the coming years.
The national localisation frameworks informed the global ‘Pathways to Localisation’ outlining priority actions for humanitarian stakeholders.
Further reading and viewing
- The national steering committees were an extremely effective mechanism for ensuring the impact of the project by stimulating discussion, supporting engagement, and scaling outreach of the action with a broad range of local actors.
- Transitioning from an active project management and implementation role at project start up, to a supporting and mentoring role once national steering committees were established, required reflection and adjustments by the INGO consortium members. INGOs will need to envisage a different role for themselves in a humanitarian sector which is genuinely locally led, and this starts with roles, responsibilities, power and decision-making in actions like these.
- Effective localisation programmes will need to reflect, in their design process, operating modality, structures, staffing and ways of working, the central ambition itself; of shifting power to local actors.
- Flexibility will be increasingly needed in future localisation projects to enable local and national actors to advise, steer, and make changes.
- In order to enable local actors to engage in the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and Grand Bargain commitments, and localisation, there is a need to continue supporting them in understanding the bigger picture, the rules of the industry, what can and what cannot realistically be done, in a more open way in order for them to navigate and jointly transform the sector.
- Further discussions are needed on complementarity between local/national and international actors, and how this approach ensures humanitarian action is ‘as local as possible, as international as necessary’.
- More investment in capacity strengthening and institutional development is needed if donors are to entrust funds directly to L/NNGOs, particularly at a time when donor counter-terrorism measures and other factors are making due diligence even more strict.
- Real progress will be made towards localisation when agencies who have not traditionally worked in partnership with local actors also make significant changes to their operational practices.