Back to events

Locally-led humanitarian action - How to advance the localisation agenda


21 June 2021




World Vision, Alert B002, Start Fund Bangladesh (landslide)

This session starts at 12:00 BST / 13:00 CEST

This event is sponsored by the government of Switzerland, and organised by Start Network, UNFPA, UNICEF, IFRC and the Center for Global Development.

As the Grand Bargain reaches its 5-year landmark, many organisations are rethinking and questioning how to move from commitments to actions, and how to build a system-wide shift towards locally-led humanitarian action. Please join us as we listen to experiences, recommendations, and learning from Farzana Ahmed, Start Fund Bangladesh.


Engaging Local/National Actors (L/NAs) is critical to the success of every humanitarian action but local expertise and leadership are often overlooked. L/NAs are the first responders and provide an invaluable understanding of local challenges and potential solutions. They are able to easily mobilise local networks and offer greater access to affected populations, contributing to a more effective, efficient, and accountable humanitarian system. Most of them work across the humanitarian-development-peace nexus on preparedness, response, recovery, and resilience-building and remain after international actors withdraw. In the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) and ensuing Grand Bargain, a commitment was made for ‘More support and funding to local responders’ and to make humanitarian work ‘as local as possible and as international, as necessary.’ While some progress has been made to deliver the commitments around financing, capacity strengthening, coordination, and partnerships, transformative change is yet to happen in shifting the balance to a more locally-led humanitarian action. The COVID-19 pandemic and the broader climate crisis have further accentuated the need to strengthen the role and leadership of L/NAs as localisation has become both a necessity and opportunity to effectively meet humanitarian needs as well as in preparedness, adaptation, and resilience-building.

This side event is being organised to present and discuss the key areas of progress to date as well as work that requires further action from the perspectives of the different stakeholder groups including L/NAs themselves. The objective is to share practical experiences in advancing the localisation agenda and reflect on specific localisation issues such as capacity strengthening and complementarity, cascading quality funding and risk management, coordination, leadership, and decision-making, and locally-led early action. An outcome of this session is to identify key recommendations for the various stakeholders that take part in the humanitarian sector.

Register here

Keep reading:

Advocacy Locally led action