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.

Through long-term projects such as Local2Global and involvement in Charter4Change network, ACT Alliance EU members are looking to lead by example in the shift from sub-contracting of local partners to meaningful partnerships built on the principle of complementarity and capacity sharing. This involves new frameworks for risk sharing, flexibility of project funding and advocacy to the EU institutions and Member States for donor commitment.

For example ACT Alliance EU member Christian Aid was among a consortium of organisations to pioneer localisation for the EU Directorate General for humanitarian aid – ECHO – through four country pilots ‘Accelerating Localisation Through Partnerships’. This led to national asks and a global framework translating the global commitments from the World Humanitarian Summit into concrete elements of partnership which donors and organisations alike should develop.

At organisational and policy level, ACT Alliance EU’s members are navigating changes to frame and implement ‘the triple nexus’ – that is, better coordination of humanitarian, development and peacebuilding programming. We are providing platforms for local actor and local faith actor perspectives on the discussions, which have remained hard to capture and slow moving at institutional level.

Featured Resources

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