Pathways to Locally Led Development

Together with the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law (KPSRL) and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, CSPPS spearheaded the “Unboxing Localisation Trajectory” project with the aim of gathering and sharing existing policies and practices on locally led development within the context of SDG16+, with leading prioritisation and input from partners rooted in (post)conflict settings. Indeed, CSPPS strongly believes that supporting locally-led peacebuilding and development efforts is the way forward to a more equitable and sustainable world

In this framework, sixth sessions have been organised since 2022, with the active participation of over 70 organisations across the world. All the findings from the different sessions on the multi-faceted concept of localisation have been gathered in a summarising report entitled “Pathways for Locally Led Change: Lessons & Recommendations from the Unboxing Localisation’ Trajectory”. Key contributions to the debate included the need to broaden the conception of 'results' so that it encompasses the development of partnerships and complementary roles. It was noted that local partners often join programs too late, suggesting donors to invest in ongoing dialogue frameworks. Small local organisations face capacity and regulatory challenges by  working with donors. In this context, network organisations should be better utilised to ensure effective and sustainable support through sustainability plans, support from donors, partnership assessment tools, and investing in translation. Additionally, monitoring locally led development goals with available frameworks and indicators was emphasised.

To go into further details on the focus of respective sessions, the learning trajectory consisted of:

  • A kickoff event (session I) explaining that local resilience has gained importance in recent years, as an essential step to address power asymmetry and to achieve transformative change.
  • Priorities within the wide scope of localisation (session II), which led  to the participants agreement on the need for sharing broadly practical tools, resources and practices of operationalizing localisation, and the first exchange of such instruments.
  • Financing and influencing (session III) in which  a special light was given to the concept of the ‘Chains Of Influence’ which describes how different types of organisations within the development chain can leverage local leadership, and with concrete examples of localisation efforts at the donor, intermediary, in-country partner levels.
  • Measuring localisation (session IV) with the aim of responding to the questions of ‘how do we capture progress on ambitions to work more localised?’ and whether such ways of working really lead to better results.
  • Inclusive programming (session V) with the establishment of a strategy in order to move from consultation to leadership, to include affected stakeholders into development programming in locally-led development efforts.
  • Innovative financing (session VI) with discussions focusing on inventive tools and approaches that foster local leadership and local ownership in peacebuilding by promoting fair, equitable and non-extractive partnerships in the current aid system, and on good practices and remaining challenges when it comes to strengthening the quality of humanitarian and peacebuilding funding in an effort to progress on implementing the localisation agenda. 

Click here to read the complete report!

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