For CERAR, localization is not just wishful thinking
but an operational and ethical choice made on a daily basis
through concrete actions based on ‘the small change theory’.
To achieve localization ambitions in humanitarian action
and achieve co-leadership between local and international organizations, a few simple principles can help:
Each local organization has unique and complementary experiences and knowledge essential for enhancing resilience
Their specific humanitarian know-how is based on their network in proximity with communities, as well as their cultural sensitivity and field practice. As “sons of the country”, local organizations have the opportunity to develop long-term trust relations with local stakeholders.
This know-how is an integral part of the humanitarian knowledge. It is complementary to international expertise but requires awareness, capitalization and capacity strengthening.
Real localization does not take limits and structures as its starting point, but strengths, experiences and knowledge
Localization is based on the initiatives, resilience and capital of local communities and organizations. It takes into account local know-how and the needs expressed as much by local as international organizations.
Local organizations must not become replicas of international structures. They have their own dynamics, resources, values and interests
The humanitarian system does not always give local organizations the opportunity to share their experiences and know-how. Local organizations are sometimes overwhelmed by technical language and terminology, rhythm, style, strict planning, distancing from social interactions .
‘One size fits all’ and ‘plug and play’ are too often applied. Opportunities should be created to allow local organizations to highlight their needs, values, strengths, specificities and impacts
Localisation calls for raising mutual awareness and learning between local and international organizations
Localization is achieved by raising awareness of the complementary strengths, added values and potential of each organization within the humanitarian system. Raising awareness calls for mutual learning and a change of mentalityof all humanitarian actors. Co-organized training facilitates this process.
Localisation requires the capitalisation of these knowledge and experience endeavour to make them visible and integrated in the humanitarian system
Localization requires an integration endeavour by international as well as local organizations of their specificity and complementarity.
These different organizations can collectively identify and document their knowledge and experiences, transfer and share them, in a continuous process, in order to update them regularly.
This process requires training and mentorship, as well as sometimes cultural catalysts and translators.
Localization requires co – production of knowledge and know -how between local and international organizations
This co-production by various humanitarian actors can create a framework for an open dialogue based on each actor’s strengths and proposes a joint language to express and share experiences, know-how and knowledge.
This implies the co-production of tools, practices, and above all of a contextualized language, disseminate at the pace of each participant.
A paradigm shift : localization aims to shift leadership towards local organizations by putting local knowledge and know-how at the centre of the system
Local organizations should not only be trained but also mentored to enable them to assume their leading role in the humanitarian system.
Localization will result in a contextualization of humanitarian norms and practices