Driving forward the Localisation Agenda

Project Description

Recommendations for operational practices that strengthen the leadership of national and local actors in partnership-based humanitarian action globally

Transforming aid relationships between local, national and international NGOs starts with examining the quality of existing partnerships. IRMA recently conducted a significant multi-country research effort on this topic, that resulted in a set of recommendations for operational practices that strengthen the leadership of national and local actors in humanitarian action. The Accelerating Localisation through Partnerships Programme Consortium, which commissioned the research, will pilot these recommendations in 2019.

The Consortium is comprised of six INGOs: Action Aid, CAFOD, CARE, Christian Aid, Oxfam, and Tearfund, and is funded by the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO).  With this research and ensuing pilot project they intend to put the Localisation Agenda front and centre.

IRMA’s approach to the project reflects our commitment to locally-led humanitarian action. We set up a team of five National Research Associates to lead the research in each focus country: Thura Tun (Myanmar), Era Shrestha and Rita Shrestha (Nepal), Andrew Onwuemele (Nigeria), and Ale Peter Michael (South Sudan). Charlotte Gendre, an IRMA associate, also assisted the team, and Marilise Turnbull and Lezlie Morinière, IRMA’s co-founders, managed the research on a pro-bono basis.

The IRMA team consulted over 350 NGOs operating in Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan on what aspects of their partnerships were most or least conducive to fostering local leadership of humanitarian action. Good and poor practices were revealed in all aspects of operations, including financial and human resources management, coordination, monitoring, accountability, and many more.

IRMA is thrilled that the research is being disseminated widely, to promote uptake beyond the Consortium members. It was mentioned in the February edition of IRIN News.

A summary of the longer research report can be found here. Four country research reports are also available and present more details on the country-specific findings from Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria and South Sudan.