Humanitarian Policy and Practice

Re-balancing power in the delivery of humanitarian assistance from the traditional top-down INGO and UN-led model to empowerment of those often at the frontline of response – affected communities and local civil society – is the major challenge for the humanitarian sector and donors in the coming years. ACT Alliance EU members are at the forefront of raising awareness of the approaches for genuine transfer of power to survivors, affected communities and local civil society actors.

As faith-based organisations we equally seek to raise awareness of the comprehensive role of faith actors in humanitarian response. The Covid-19 crisis highlighted the fact religious leaders are often the first to reach those hardest to access, are trusted sources of authority and information, and defenders of civil liberties.

The European Union at country and programming level is increasingly taking into account the role of faith actors and through work in consortia we seek to further equip these efforts and initiate more systematic and effective engagement with faith actors.

ACT Alliance EU is working with a consortium of humanitarian and development NGOs to raise awareness of the range of contributions religious leaders and faith communities have at the front lines of response and crisis. The Covid-19 crisis clearly demonstrated this crucial role – with potential for positive contributions or negative hindrances to development and humanitarian outcomes.

We have looked to stimulate thinking among the international aid community on the role of faith actors; to deepen our collective understanding of our own partnerships with faith actors in the field and to provide discussion spaces and materials for EU stakeholders to engage on the issue. This involves exploring ways into engagement with faith actors but also being frank about the challenges and ambiguities.

See also: Localisation section for the efforts of ACT Alliance EU members to improve understanding of the role of faith actors in operationalising international commitments to localisation and nexus programming, as well as to raise awareness of the priority needs of local faith actors: access to flexible funding and support for capacity sharing.

Featured Resources

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A 10+13 Agroecology approach to shape policies and transform EU Food Systems, January 2021

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