The workstream formed a work plan to move the agenda forward. It is focused on four main strands of work:
CAFOD, Development Initiatives and OCHA co-led a comprehensive process to define how the commitment in the GB to provide 25% of funding as directly as possible to local and national actors by 2020, could be measured.
The workstream has tried to coordinate a series of relevant research initiatives on this agenda to ensure that we are all on the same page, maximise coherence and minimise duplication.
The European Commission, ECHO, is providing funding to IFRC through the ERC HIP to enable the workstream to be adequately staffed and resources. The workstream holds a coordination conference call every two months to review progress, 10 national actors have been selected to join these calls recognising that it is counter-intuitive only to have Grand Bargain Northern signatories in discussions about the future of localisation.
Three multi-stakeholder country visits have been executed by the co-conveners– to Bangladesh, Iraq and Nigeria to get a sense of what is working on the ground, what the blockages, opportunities and replicable good practices are, and to engage with local perspectives.
The workstream organised three regional conferences in Addis Ababa, Amman and Jakarta to gather regional perspectives on how best to advance the localisation agenda in a contextualised manner. The workstream then held a global conference in Brussels, financed by ECHO and co-organised by IFRC and Christian Aid, which sought to bring together the thinking from the three demonstrator visits and the three regional conferences for a stocktake of where we have got to in the first three years of workstream activity and identify priorities for future action.
Significant priorities suggested at the Global Conference included:
The workstream has collectively developed best practice papers on six themes relevant to localisation: capacity-strengthening, coordination, donor/intermediary arrangements, financing, gender and partnerships. These will be finalised and published in January 2020 and will represent useful learning material for organisations interested in advancing their localisation practice.
One of the most prominent and important messages emerging from WHS was that if more capacity, power, respect, resources, space and voice is given to national and local actors within the humanitarian system, we can improve the results and services delivered to the people in needs. Because the volume of crisis globally is too much for international actors alone to cope with, and because in a large number of situations, local people, communities and organisations are best-positioned to help and the first to arrive.
The Grand Bargain workstream, alongside the Charter for Change, is one of the most prominent areas in which interested parties can coordinate and share ideas and lessons learned in order to move the localisation agenda forward in the most effective way.
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