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Increasing the voice and the influence of local and national NGOs

Date added

26 February 2018


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.

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This Learning Review examines StP’s work under Output 2, the aim of which is to increase the voice and influence of local and national NGOs across five countries. It finds that the strengths of this project are its ability to combine community, district and national level initiatives to increase the influence of a range of actors, and its adaptive approach, which has enabled actors in each country to develop activities relevant to five very different humanitarian contexts. The project has forged new relationships, increased participation of partners in humanitarian networks, Joint Needs Assessments (JNA), and clusters, and has seen early successes in influencing local government. There are opportunities to make the activities under Output 2 more strategic, to invest in advocacy and influencing expertise, and to ensure greater local ownership of activities in several locations.

The objectives of the review were fourfold: to document the approaches taken in each of the five StP countries in relation to voice and influence; to assess results and good practices to date; to identify how existing humanitarian networks operate and influence humanitarian decision-making; and to provide recommendations relevant to Output 2. This study builds on an earlier learning review of Output 1, which focused on StP’s capacity strengthening approach.

Under Output 2, StP has focused on activities designed to increase the voice and influence of L/NNGOs in humanitarian platforms and networks. Within this overarching goal, different approaches have been adopted in different countries.

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