Effective interventions

Unboxing Localisation IV - Measuring Localisation

Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding

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).

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