Unboxing Localisation IV - Measuring Localisation
On 20 March 2023, the fourth edition of the Unboxing Localisation trajectory* was hosted by the Network for Empowered Aid Response (NEAR). This session focused on measuring localization: how do we capture progress on our ambitions to work more localized and do we indeed assess that such ways of working lead to better results?
Some main findings:
- NEAR shared its measurement framework and partners reflected on its use.
- For donors and INGOs, such frameworks can help to guide the conversation internally and with partners on localization, in communicating your ambitions and to make your plans concrete.
- For in-country NGOs, such frameworks help to identify your gaps in finance and capacity together with your international partners – and thereby in more effectively lobbying for support on those gaps. It also provides access to management information.
- One should make sure the conversation is in the end not about the numbers of the indicators, but about the needs, power relations and progress.
- It takes a (joint) investment to contextualize such broad frameworks to your partnerships and projects.
- In-country NGOs expressed progress on localisation is slow. INGOs are still in the lead, while LNGOs need time to understand the scope of localisation and pro-actively express their needs.
- Additionally, they expressed the existential urgency for localisation. Too often, donors change priorities and leave civil society with the heavy task to follow up on their own.
- From a policy perspective, thinking in terms of social contracts helps in being critical of its own positionality; support in-country agency of local partners to strengthen their social contract.
- For the follow-up to this trajectory, the organizers will reach out about (1) the next sessions on identified ‘gaps’ in this trajecotry, (2) developing a product that bundles the different sessions and (3) identifying opportunities to share harvested recommendations or implement them.
* The trajectory is an initiative by the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS), the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and supported by the Knowledge Platform Security & Rule of Law (KPSRL). Earlier sessions were a kick-off event (session I), one on priorities within the wide scope of localisation (session II) and another on financing and influence (session III).