Localising Disaster Emergency Preparedness in Asia

Project: Learning Project 22nd June 2017

The concept of ‘localisation of aid’ has been propelled to the forefront of humanitarian discourse as a result of the World Humanitarian Summit. In pushing through changes within the humanitarian system humanitarian actors, think tanks and academics have united behind the theme, proposing new and different ways to enable greater localisation in humanitarian responses. One of the key principles of emergency preparedness and response is to reach every vulnerable person in the community, local and national organisations are more likely to know which groups are at risk or have been affected, where they live and work and thus are better placed to respond. One example of the benefits of more localised responses is by enhancing institutional capacity at local level as this improves the accuracy and suitability of the response, and reduces operational cost and duplications.

The Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) is engaged in nurturing localisation of aid both in conflict and natural disasters settings through piloting various new approaches to collaborative capacity building since 2014.  The programme is making sure that humanitarian preparedness and response capacity sits with those nearest to, engaged with and often deeply affected by crisis through partnering with national and/or local humanitarian actors. These actors are organised within the communities affected, contributing in times of calm as well as in crisis, and are attuned to the local context, culture and customs.

DEPP partners from national and international organisations, disaster management authorities and national platforms will participate in a joint event called ‘Localisation’  on the 18th and 19th July 2017 in Manila, Philippines, to share learnings around what works and what doesn’t work in humanitarian programming at the local level. This includes partners from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines and Thailand. The event will also be attended by DEPP partners from the African DEPP countries Ethiopia, Kenya and DRC who will come to learn from their Asian partners and as well present their learnings around humanitarian programming, localisation, partnerships and capacity building.

This regional event is organised by the DEPP Learning project for the Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme at the regional level to create a space to reflect, share and learn from each other around localisation by bringing together internal and external DEPP stakeholders across the Asian focal countries. The conference will explore innovative models of localisation in humanitarian programming which can improve DEPP and START Network programming, as well as contribute to the broader humanitarian context in Asia.

During the conference delegates will reflect on the following themes from their context-specific experiences: (1) Investing in locally led response capacity; (2) Enabling a more inclusive community-centred response; (3) Establishing localised humanitarian financing models; (4) Improving disaster preparedness and early warning systems; (5) Strengthening local & national agencies for improved local response,  and; (6) Promoting partnerships with academia, local government and the private sector.

Learnings will be shared around thematic, process learnings, systems and institutional learnings, looking at, how organisations and groups are impacted or challenged by learning, both as individual organisations and collective entities within the broader humanitarian sector.. The expectation is that learning does not need to come from successful experiences only; often, failures can be significant learning moments as well and participants are encouraged to share their learnings from failures.

The International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy (HLA) will also join the plenary discussion on DAY 2 of the conference to share a different perspective on localisation and capacity building, as well as their experiences so far.

Further, there is a space for non–DEPP, START and non-START actors from the Philippines to join this event by participating at the Market Place and share their localised programme experiences. We are expecting around 14 different project partners at the marketplace.

From next week onwards we will share blogs exploring all the thematic areas from different countries perspectives, and the first one will be from Bangladesh on ’Strengthening local and national agencies for improved local response’.

If you want to learn more about the event go to the events section here

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