A Pacific Case Study from CARE and Live & Learn
Click to read full case study by CARE International
CARE and local Fiji partner Live & Learn share lessons from their work jointly responding to Tropical Cyclone Winston in Fiji.
TC Winston was a damaging Category 5 cyclone that hit Fiji in February 2016. Whole villages were destroyed and 31,200 houses were damaged or destroyed; and 250,000 people were left without access to safe water.
The response partnership reached 5054 households from 231 villages and settlements and distributed 4,037 Hygiene Kits, 2,583 Shelter Kits, 709 Toolkits and 4,108 start-up Seed Packs.
The article reflects upon a number of key lessons including:
- The importance of leveraging partner strengths and building upon a pre-existing trusting relationships.
- Keeping the response as local as possible and as international as necessary to manage and make use of surge support.
- Making it work by pairing advisors and local counterparts – The importance of soft skills and skills transfer are paramount.
The article also discusses a number of challenges faced by the partners ranging from managing the rapid growth of the local organisation and their transition from development to emergency response.
Emerging Indicators and Practical Recommendations
Click to read full report by Disasters & Emergencies Prepardness Programme
The article focuses on the Start Network’s Disasters and Emergencies Preparedness Programme (DEPP) that has invested in building local national capacity for disasters and emergencies preparedness in 11 countries.
The article defines the Seven Dimensions of Localisation and shares research findings on DEPP achievements and lessons.
The research finds that there is a general lack of awareness of, or confusion about key commitments to localisation made at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit in the form of the 2016 ‘Grand Bargain’. Commitments 2 and 6 of the Grand Bargain relate to localisation and local participation in development decision making.
Local and national agencies are weary of the often-quoted slogan ‘as local as possible, as international as necessary’. This reflects the disappointment of local actors in seeing the slogan rhetoric turn into reality.
The research raises the issue of defining ‘who is local’. Is it the national government, national NGOs, or is it the smaller local agencies?
It was found that there is an absence of indicators to measure progress towards localisation.
Recommendations to respond to these and other findings are made.
1: Develop clear practical guidance for country-level decision makers and staff and set up a monitoring mechanism to ensure that GB and Charter for Change commitments are being implemented.
2: Continuous communication through verbal or written briefing notes and via short video or audio clips are necessary to explain the why, what and how of ‘localisation.’
3: Ensure that there is special attention to recognise and support the capacity at local level, which could include community based organisations, local civil society groups, local authorities, etc.
4: Ensure space for and support already existing local level networks and forums, as it helps them to collaborate and strengthen their own collective capacity to communicate and respond to issues in their own communities.
5: In contexts of chronic or recurrent crisis, in-between times provide the opportunity to map and strategically reinforce the eco-system of collective capacities. That will reduce the need to rely heavily on international surge capacity. Global surge preparedness should include policies, procedures and competencies to support and reinforce local capacities in a crisis situation.
6: The leaders of international organisations and donors should articulate more clearly what is expected of their staff to ensure implementation of the commitments to localisation.
7: Relief actors, individually and collectively, need to take action at the above four levels if they are to succeed in adhering to their commitments. The ‘Seven Dimensions Framework’ will assist action most directly at operational level.
8: More detailed indicators increase the utility of the seven dimensions framework. It provides a more comprehensive perspective on the diverse issues that shape the relationship between international and local/national agencies. Increasing detail under each ‘dimension’ allows for more precise assessments, preparation for a focused and structured conversation/negotiation, prioritisation and planning specific steps to advance localisation.
9: Contextual analysis is essential, and reflecting on the above influencing factors to assist in determining the pathways/speeds and the type of investment that is necessary for localisation to succeed.
10: Further preparedness initiatives and programmes that seek to promote ‘localisation’ should be based on following principles:
- Strategic interventions rather than projects:
- capacity-strengthening efforts should seek to rely on existing national/local structures
- Future programmes should have a much stronger bottom-up design that has broad local/national ownership.
- Work intentionally and intensively with international agencies already present in a country