Towards regionalisation of humanitarian action
04 August 2017
As part of the Transforming Surge Capacity project, seven international humanitarian NGOs have come together to test out collaborative app roaches to surge response in the Asia region. This case study highlights how Islamic Relief, one of the platform partners moving towards more regionalised surge systems, has been able to support inter - agency collaboration in the project, and how it used le arnings and outputs of the project to improve its own surge mechanisms.
Why regionalisation? After Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, Islamic Relief reflected that relying on international humanitarian personnel from UK headquarters had not been their most viable source of support in the Philippines. Instead, deployments from within Asia proved to be quicker , less costly and – crucially – more beneficial to recipient communities, as deployed staff from the region were more familiar with the Filipino culture than staff surged from headquarters.
This argument aligns with a recent global push for localisation, most prominently voiced at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit. That is, bringing relief closer to affected people to ensure the effectiveness and appropriateness of responses. As the world’s most disaster - prone region, Asia has developed sophisticated nat ional - level coordination mechanisms, but also provides an ideal testing ground for regionalised surge, where response capacities from within Asia are used before resorting to outside support.
The Transforming Surge Capacity project, an initiative from the Start Network, aims to transform the way aid a gencies respond to emergencies by making surge more collaborative and localised. The project’s Asia Regional Platform 1 , of which Islamic Relief is a member, is testing ways in which inter - agency collaboration at regional level can help achieve this goal.
This case study highlights how Islamic Relief’s regionalisation journey aligns with the Transforming Surge Capacity’s Asia Regional Platform ’s agenda . It provides valuable insi ghts on the role regional mechanisms can play in localisation , and shows how the Surge project facilitate s regionalised approaches to surge in Asia .