Charter for Change

Localisation of Humanitarian Aid:

Charter Available in Arabic and French(See side bar for more language options)

Charter available in Arabic, See sidebar for more translationsCharter available in French, see sidebar for more translation options

We the undersigned organisations, working in humanitarian action welcome the extensive consultations and discussions which have been generated during the World Humanitarian Summit process. We believe that now is the time for humanitarian actors to make good on some of the excellent recommendations arising through the WHS process by committing themselves to deliver change within their own organisational ways of working so that southern-based national actors can play an increased and more prominent role in humanitarian response.

In the case of international NGO signatories we commit our organisations to implement the following 8 point Charter for Change by May 2018.

In the case of southern-based NGOs working in partnership with international NGOs we endorse and support this Charter for Change. We will be holding our international NGO partners which have signed this Charter to account and asking those which are not signatories to this Charter to work towards signing up:

  1. Increase direct funding to southern-based NGOs for humanitarian action: At present only 0.2% of humanitarian aid is channelled directly to national non-government actors (NGOs and CSOs) for humanitarian work – a total of US$46.6 million out of US$24.5 billion[1]. We commit through advocacy and policy influence to North American and European donors (including institutional donors, foundations and private sector) to encourage them to increase the year on year percentage of their humanitarian funding going to southern-based NGOs. We commit that by May 2018 at least 20% of our own humanitarian funding will be passed to southern-based NGOs.[2] We commit to introduce our NGO partners to our own direct donors with the aim of them accessing direct financing.
  2. Reaffirm the Principles of Partnership: We endorse, and have signed on to, the Principles of Partnership, (Equality, Transparency, Results-Oriented Approach, Responsibility and Complementarity) introduced by the Global Humanitarian Platform in 2007.
  3. Increase transparency around resource transfers to southern-based national and local NGOs: A significant change in approaches towards transparency is needed in order to build trust, accountability and efficiency of investments channelled to national actors via international intermediaries. We commit to document the types of organisation we cooperate with in humanitarian response and to publish these figures (or percentages) in our public accounts using a recognised categorisation such as the GHA[3] in real-time and to the IATI standard[4]
  4. Stop undermining local capacity: We will identify and implement fair compensation for local organisations for the loss of skilled staff if and when we contract a local organisation’s staff involved in humanitarian action within 6 months of the start of a humanitarian crisis or during a protracted crisis, for example along the lines of paying a recruitment fee of 10% of the first six months’ salary
  5. Emphasise the importance of national actors: We undertake to advocate to donors to make working through national actors part of their criteria for assessing framework partners and calls for project proposals.
  6. Address subcontracting: Our local and national collaborators are involved in the design of the programmes at the outset and participate in decision-making as equals in influencing programme design and partnership policies.
  7. Robust organisational support and capacity strengthening: We will support local actors to become robust organisations that continuously improve their role and share in the overall global humanitarian response. We undertake to pay adequate administrative support. A test of our seriousness in capacity building is that by May 2018 we will have allocated resources to support our partners in this. We will publish the percentages of our humanitarian budget which goes directly to partners for humanitarian capacity building by May 2018.
  8. Communication to the media and the public about partners: In any communications to the international and national media and to the public we will promote the role of local actors and acknowledge the work that they carry out, and include them as spokespersons when security considerations permit.

Signed by:

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To sign or endorse this Charter for Change please email admin@charter4change.org with the full name of your organisation and the country in which your organisation is based.


[1] See http://devinit.org/#!/post/global-humanitarian-assistance-report-2015-2

[2] Either national NGOs or local NGOs as defined by the GHA categorisation, see footnote 3.

[3] GHA defines 5 categories of NGOs: international NGOs, southern international NGOs, affiliated national NGOs (which are part of an INGO), national NGOs and local NGOs. See http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/report/gha-report-2014 page 119

[4] Fully respecting security and not necessarily publishing the names of individual partners in conflict contexts.


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