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An interview with The Guardian

DEPP local partner speaks about disaster response and women's rights

  • 22 May 18

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

News Article

In the spirit of the Grand Bargain, which came out of the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016, the Disasters & Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) has strengthened preparedness, created and supported collaborative networks, and facilitated locally led humanitarian responses to crises. Making practical advancements on many of the Grand Bargain commitments, the DEPP has made significant progress on the commitment to the localisation of humanitarian responses.

The Pokot Women Empowerment Organization (POWEO), a community-based organization led by women in West Pokot County in Kenya, is among the many local organisations which has grown in its size and access to decision making processes through the DEPP. Today, on the 2nd anniversary of the World Humanitarian Summit, POWEO’s director, Leah Psiya, speaks to The Guardian about the role of local actors in humanitarian responses and life in Kenya. Listen to the podcast here.

Founded in 2014, POWEO has seen its membership grow from a few members to over 500 registered members spread across West Pokot County. Initially, POWEO was operating from one of its member’s houses through on a voluntary basis, without an organizational structure. Through the DEPP, they now own an office space, have appointed a director and an accountant. Capacity development trainings have also enabled the local NGO to develop fundraising skills and to have a well-structured internal operational system to enable them to run their activities without much influence from international NGOs, thereby playing a larger role in decision making and financial management.

The local organisation has gained recognition from the County Government and the entire region after a successful World Humanitarian Day celebration that was organized with support from the DEPP and the County Steering Committee. This initiative amplified the voice of the women in influencing policies at county and national levels as they presented their demands to the County Government. Key among the demands was the inclusivity of women in decision making processes and their recognition as the first respondents during emergencies.

Learn more about the DEPP programme

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