Localization of Humanitarian Action

This branch of research seeks to understand the enabling and hindering factors that support a localized humanitarian response to natural disaster, conflict, and prolonged complex emergencies. While there are no internationally agreed upon definitions of localization, it generally refers to putting local actors at the center of the humanitarian system.

Despite the popularity of this idea, international organizations continue to drive the humanitarian agenda worldwide. We consider recent international commitments, such as the Grand Bargain, which supports increasing proportion of overall humanitarian resources that go directly to those in need. We seek to unpack the assumptions and biases about a localized response and the barriers to changing the status quo. We also explore the effectiveness of pilot models to more localized aid delivery.

We primarily use qualitative methods that emphasize the voices of local actors who are often marginalized in studies on humanitarian action. Case studies include Indonesia, South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, and Syria. Save the Children Denmark has been an integral partner for this research program.

Localization across contexts: Lessons learned from four case studies

This brief highlights similarities and differences between two studies on localization of humanitarian action and identifies lessons learned that may reach beyond specific emergencies in Indonesia and the Horn of Africa.

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“We must be the pioneers” Perspectives on localization in the response to the 2018 Sulawesi earthquake in Indonesia
perspectives on localization

This study examined the impact of a policy that effectively localized aid during the response to the 2018 Sulawesi Earthquake in Indonesia.

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Anchored in Local Reality: Case Studies on Local Humanitarian Action from Haiti, Colombia, and Iraq

This study reviews fundamental questions about the humanitarian localization discussion in three contexts: a region of Haiti recovering from a hurricane, displacement and political crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan, and the pressures of migration, conflict, and climate change in Colombia.

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Anclado en la Realidad Local: Un Estudio de Caso Sobre Acción Humanitaria Local desde Colombia Un fragmento del informe Anclado en la Realidad Local: Estudios de cAso sobre Acción Humanitaria Local de Haiti, Colombia, é Irak
acción humanitaria local

Por mucho tiempo, los críticos del sistemas humanitario internacional han llamado por una mayor inclusión de los actores y organizaciones locales en países afectados por diverso tipo de crisis con...

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Ankre nan Reyalite Lokal: Etid Ka sou Aksyon Imanite ann Ayiti Yon ekstré Ankre nan Reyalite Lokal: Etid Ka sou Aksyon Imanité ann Ayiti, and Kolonbi ak ann Irak

Depi lontan, kritik sou èd imanitè entènasyonal yo sigjere li dwe pi enklizif pou aktè ki nan peyi kriz la touche. Yon atansyon ki pa sispann ogmante sou kesyon sa...

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Views from the Ground: Perspectives on Localization in the Horn of Africa
Report on Localization

This study interrogates the assumptions that underpin a localized response, and identifies the factors that enable and hinder local actors in providing a high-quality, principled, and effective response in three countries in the Horn of Africa: Kenya, Somalia/Somaliland, and South Sudan.

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