C4C and the NEAR network hosted a preparatory meeting (Monday 26th August) for national and local NGOs in Jakarta prior to the Grand Bargain localisation workstream Asia/Pacific regional event (27-28 August). Around 25 participants shared their insights from India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and the Philippines.
A number of common challenges and good practices came to light and we encouraged participants to vote for their priorities amongst these.
The top priority challenge identified was:
- “International NGOs, UN & donors talking the talk of localisation at global level, but not actioning on the ground (& their field offices being unaware of their global commitments such as Grand Bargain or Charter4Change).”
The second top priority challenge was:
- “‘Autocratic Localisation’ – Host governments squeezing the space for independent local NGOs.”
The top priority good or promising practice was:
- “Investing in a contextualised understanding and approach to localisation through dialogue with and amongst national actors.”
Joint second priorities in terms of good practices were:
- “Moving away from ‘capacity building’ as defined by international actors to an understanding of ‘capacity convergence’ – ie identifying where there is complementarity and how to leverage the differing respective strengths of international, national and local actors.”
- “Investing in and recognising Localization not as the end, but rather as a means to enable people-centered responses, community organising and accountability to the crisis-affected population.”
- “Empowering local and national actors to take a leadership role in clusters and sector working groups at national level.”
Other priorities raised included:
- Simplifying and aligning donor reporting requirements – so that local actors are not swamped by multiple and different requirements.
- Establishing nationally-owned, inter-agency frameworks or processes, such as the National Accountability Charter developed by local NGOs in Bangladesh.
- Local pooled funding pots are a welcome initiative, but they not yet consistently functional or accessible for local NGOs.
- Lack of transparency in international humanitarian funding flows & decision-making processes to local actors.
- Opening-up domestic resource mobilisation with this benefiting grassroots local NGOs, and concerns over how this gets captured by larger NGOs and INGOs.
- Challenges in promoting coordination and solidarity between national and local NGOs, rather than competition dynamics.
- Supporting initiatives by women in national NGOs and women-led local civil society groups to play their role as well as to strengthen the overall gender sensitivity of humanitarian work.
Follow Charter4Change on Twitter for more updates on discussions during the Grand Bargain regional event!