Localisation

We're aiming to build a more balanced international aid system


We believe that a more balanced international aid system, which shifts power to those closest to the front-line, will generate more effective and appropriate responses for people affected by crises.

Our programmes enable local decision-making, support the growth of local innovation and develop local capacity of individuals, organisations and institutions.

POWEO Director, Leah Psiya. Photo credit: Jeremy Riggall/ Start Network

Start Network & Localisation


Global initiatives

Localisation is not a new concept in the humanitarian sector, but it has recently been pushed to the forefront, a result of both external trends and of global initiatives.

 

These initiatives include the UN-facilitated World Humanitarian Summit Grand Bargain, Charter4Change, NEAR (the Network for Empowered Aid Response), Red Cross Red Crescent Societies, and workstreams of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), to name a few.

 

Many of these efforts have inter-related agendas and the Start Network creates practical ways to put these efforts into practice and to learn and improve as we go. Read about how Start Network contributes to the Grand Bargain commitments.

Our approach

 

At the Start Network, we see our progress in localisation as being a journey. We have been ‘learning by doing’ through our programmes to ensure we can improve collectively across our network.

 

For us, rather than replicating any formal initiative, we aim to build on what exists, critically reflect on our progress and adapt our methods. We aim for our efforts to be appropriate to our programming and partnerships on the ground and ensure they meet the vision we have for a more balanced international aid system.

 

We know we cannot go alone. We work to ensure that we can share our progress, and collaborate and learn from others as we go, to contribute to ongoing efforts around the world in the localisation agenda.

Localisation in action

Many of the Start Network programmes have actively sought to learn how we can improve localisation.

 

The Disasters & Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP), worked alongside local, national and international actors to strengthen capacity and better prepare for disasters. It also provided flexible funding for national NGOs, helped them to access international coordination platforms, and also helped partners join existing or establish their own new national networks.

 

The DEPP Innovation Labs has built on this to create national innovation labs, which are identifying and supporting local innovators and their solutions to humanitarian challenges.

 

The Start Fund uses local decision making to select projects based on contextual knowledge. While the Start Fund Bangladesh is working to actively include local organizations as part of the management of the fund.

 

The Start Fund Localisation Review (August 2017) suggested ‘Seven Dimensions of Localisation’ which are helping us improve and embed localisation further. The DEPP Localisation Action Research (in progress) where several DEPP projects have a wider scope of learning on localisation.

 

The Start Network aims to build a decentralised network of regional and national hubs, each providing their own locally-led solutions to humanitarian crises. To work towards this, we are opening up membership to smaller nationally based aid agencies and have created a Hub Advisory Group to support the first hubs to develop.

A framework for localisation

Localisation in action


Resource

Disasters & Emergency Preparedness: A Practical Resource Guide

This new guide brings together knowledge and resources from across the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) to provide agencies with practical resources on how to deliver preparedness effectively in ten areas.

08Jun18

Resource

Increasing the voice and the influence of local and national NGOs

Shifting the Power (StP) is a three-year project that aims to strengthen the capacity and influence of local and national humanitarian actors, and to contribute to the development of a more balanced humanitarian system. StP is part of the three-year Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) and is being implemented by a consortium of six INGOs: ActionAid, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Concern, Oxfam and Tearfund. The consortium is working alongside 55 local and national NGO (L/NNGO) partners in Bangladesh, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya and Pakistan. The project is comprised of five ‘outputs’, relating to capacity strengthening, supporting representation and voice of local partners, consortium member INGOs ‘walking the talk’, collaboration with other DEPP projects, and learning and evidence sharing.

26Feb18

Resource

How has Shifting the Power influenced local and national partner's response to emergencies?

Shifting the Power (StP) is a three-year project that aims to strengthen the capacity and influence of local and national humanitarian actors, and to contribute to the development of a more balanced humanitarian system. StP is part of the three-year Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) and is being implemented by a consortium of six INGOs: ActionAid, CAFOD, Christian Aid, Concern, Oxfam and Tearfund. The consortium is working alongside 55 local and national NGO (L/NNGO) partners in Bangladesh, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya and Pakistan. The project is comprised of five ‘outputs’, relating to capacity strengthening, supporting representation and voice of local partners, consortium member INGOs ‘walking the talk’, collaboration with other DEPP projects, and learning and evidence sharing. This learning review took place between July and September 2017 (towards the end of the project). It examines how the project has influenced local and national partner’s response to emergencies, and which capacity strengthening activities have been most successful. The data on which the review is based was collected from StP staff, L/NNGO partners, and INGO consortium members through a variety of means including: qualitative surveys, field visits, Key Informant Interviews (KIIs), Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), Skype calls and extensive document reviews. The programme has seen some immediate results and benefits. There are numerous examples from all StP countries of L/NNGO progress in being prepared for and able to respond to emergencies. Positively, reports of the progress achieved as a result of being part of StP was not limited to one or two L/NNGOs, nor were they limited to one area of progress per L/NNGO.  

26Feb18

Resource

Start Network's vision for the future of humanitarian action

To prepare for the change needed in the future, the Start Network’s 42 members came together over the last six months, to co-create a vision for the network, based on experience gained over our first eight years. This proposal was unanimously endorsed by our membership in November 2017.

13Dec17

Resource

Localisation of Aid: Are INGOs Walking The Talk?

A new publication from the Shifting the Power project looks at whether and how INGOs following their own rhetoric of localising humanitarian aid.

09Nov17

Resource

The Future of Humanitarian Action in Pakistan

More than 130 participants from national and international civil society organisations, donors, UN agencies and government officials attended the conference to explore what an ideal future for humanitarian action in Pakistan might look like and how we might reorient ourselves to get there.

19Sep17

Resource

Going the extra mile: Bangladesh Localisation Review

In order to establish a baseline on the state of localisation in the Start Fund and humanitarian sector in Bangladesh more generally, the Start Fund Bangladesh commissioned this external review.

19Aug17

Resource

The Start Fund, Start Network and Localisation

Localisation is a foundational and non-negotiable principle within the Start Network. This report presents a ‘baseline assessment’ of where the Start Fund and three DEPP projects currently sits with the‘localisation agenda’.

02Aug17

Resource

Impact Report 2016

This report is the first of its kind for the Start Network and the first report in the humanitarian sector that showcases what can be accomplished through system-change initiatives. It tells the story of what system change looks like in practice and how it can be delivered.

08May17

Resource

Our voice at Istanbul - Outcomes from the conference for civil society

In Nairobi in February 2016, the Humanitarian Leadership Academy co-hosted a global conference, with Kenya Red Cross Society and Start Network, for civil society.

30Jun16

News, blog and opinion


News Article

Start Network takes next steps to support localisation through regional and national hubs

The Start Network has received responses from more than 230 organisations in more than 60 countries, looking to create and join national and regional Start Network hubs. The hubs are being created to shift greater power and resources to those closest to humanitarian crises.

10Sep18

Blog Post

How Start Network has helped national NGO MANEPO access funds and earn recognition for crisis response

Andrew Kavala, Executive Director of MANEPO explains why working with Start Network is important for MANEPO, and how Start Network has given MANEPO an opportunity to show that local and national NGOs are capable of delivering emergency programmes in a timely and effective manner if given space and opportunity.

17Aug18

News Article

Video: A new way to think about localisation

The Start Network has launched a new video outlining a new way to think about localisation, the video aims to show a practical structure that could improve the position of local organisations within international aid.

08Dec17

Blog Post

Localisation: lenses and lessons from feminist theory

Start Network’s David Jones discusses the fundamental needs for localisation within the sector.

08Dec17

Find out more about how you can work with us


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