Day Two of the DEPP Regional Learning Conference on Localisation – Communities, Complexity and Collective Experience

Project: Age and Disability Capacity Programme (ADCAP)AlertFinancial EnablersProtection in PracticeShifting The PowerStrengthening Emergency Preparedness Systems in MyanmarTransforming Surge Capacity 20th July 2017

The second day of the DEPP Regional Learning Conference on Localisation, which had over 100 participants in person and 4000 online, began with a session delivered by a delegate from Africa. This allowed participants to share some of the commonalities and differences between the two DEPP regions in terms of localisation.

We heard about early warning systems in Ethiopia and Kenya, and Blandina Bobson and Tamrat Terefe both emphasised how critical government and community engagement has been in helping to realise the vision of their respective projects.

Shifting power dynamics and increasing representation of L/NNGOs in global humanitarian systems was a key theme of the day. Speakers highlighted the challenges around localisation in their respective contexts, including weaknesses in L/NNGO governance, lack of access to funds, and the struggle to localise in fragile states such as DRC. Chala Gidisa reminded us that localisation is not a one-time event but a long and complex journey that needs to be continued even beyond the DEPP.

We heard reflections from external stakeholders with a vested interest in preparedness, including the Red Cross, International Council of Voluntary Agencies, EcoWEB, the Asian Development Bank, the Philippines Office of Civil Defence and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy. The views of these actors brought a necessary diversity to the conversation, and each presented their own unique approach to localising humanitarian action.

Neil Patrick from DFID rounded off the day’s presentations and provided a key donor perspective on the programme. We learnt that whilst donors want to channel funds to local partners in the most efficient way, there are challenges around putting this into practice. Neil also suggested that we need to consider finding ways to measure progress instead of funding and evidence how we are making change at the programme level.

Over the past two days, we have heard many concrete examples across and outside of the programme about how localisation is taking place. The discussions at this conference have gone beyond the conceptual level to highlight real and practical steps that have been taken to help achieve the goals set out during last year’s World Humanitarian Summit. The programme is now at the point where it must harness evidence and lessons learned around localisation, and draw from the project’s collective experience in order to contribute to the wider sector discussions on what localisation should look like. One contribution to this will be a lessons paper, which will highlight the key recommendations and learning arising from this conference. This paper will be developed by the Learning Project and shared in the coming weeks.


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