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.

As ACT Alliance EU we are promoting approaches to survivor and community led response. Some call this citizen-led action among other names. The spirit is a genuine transformative methodology giving ownership to individuals and groups who find themselves as first responders to crisis. Whether interested in immediate response alone or longer term development action, approaches to locally-led response facilitate needs analysis led and managed by the communities and international action links in within a support role.

Over more than a decade, the Local2Global Protection community of practice made up of individuals from within and outside the ACT Alliance membership have developed a facilitation model, training materials, methodology, testing and evidence for such approaches globally.

The approach is found to deliver successfully on inclusive participation, programming which cuts across humanitarian, development and peacebuilding through community approaches, and the self-help and ownership model drives empowerment and in particular proven leadership of women.

The approach ensures that existing actions – including those of faith actors, informal response and those of women’s groups – are given the leverage and support necessary to deliver response sustainably.

See an outline of the concept and evidence from hundreds of initiatives in the Philippines, Northern Kenya and Sudan here:

And recent reporting in the New Humanitarian outlining the process toward such an approach and its successes and challenges in Palestine:

At EU level, we are raising awareness of the approach and bringing evidence of the benefits of micro grant tools for community-led response as a new modality for cash programming and the strengths of rooting accountability, safeguarding, compliance and protection requirements in locally-relevant systems.

Featured Resources

ACT Alliance consultation on the African adaptation agenda

On the occasion of the 2023 Africa Climate Summit, ACT Alliance convened a Faith leaders and actors consultation on clim... Read More

The MFF review must deliver more resources for development and humanitarian action as requested by the EC

  The mid-term revision of the MFF must deliver the additional resources and flexibility necessary to allow the... Read More

Africa-EU partnership of equals: how can we get there? Is the Global Gateway fit for purpose?

Together with other FBOs, ACT Alliance EU organised a panel discussion hosted by MEPs Bricmont (B, Greens) and Zorrinho... Read More

Demolitions in Masafer Yatta - Joint statement by CIDSE and ACT Alliance EU

  Masafer Yatta; Photo credit: Emily Glick, Demolitions in Masaf... Read More

Towards a people-centred, fair and sustainable recovery : recommendations for future priorities for EU's development coo...

Priorities for the EU's development cooperation in the post-Covid 19 era - Policy paper The Covid-19 pandemic and the... Read More

Insider's Guide to the New EU-ACP post-Cotonou Agreement

The new partnership agreement between the European Union and the members of the Organisation of African, Caribbean and P... Read More


Joint statement by ACT Alliance EU, Oxfam and CIDSE

ACT Alliance EU, Oxfam and CIDSE have issued a joint statement ahead of the EU-Israel Association Council meeting on Oct... Read More

Social Protection as a basis for self-determined human development

To build back better after the COVID-19 pandemic to a new and different normal, that provides a solid ground for self-de... Read More

Doing renewables right: taking rights and environment into action

Christian Aid Time for Climate Justie 21 paper, August 2020 Link: CA J187453 TFCJ briefing- A just energy revolution- t... Read More