Towards a new humanitarian architecture through a paradigm shift

A paradigm shift based on real location, starting not with boundaries and structures, but strengths, experiences and knowledge is necessary to achieve reciprocity and mutual learning between humanitarian organizations, both national and international. Their knowledge is complementary and mutually reinforcing. Local partners must take and receive their responsibility as full, priority partners and at the center of all humanitarian action, and no longer only as subordinate executors of NGO-I programs. Without this change of approach, essential information and know-how can be lost instead of being valued and transferred and thus tend towards an increased role or even the leadership of national organizations.

A paradigm shift based on real location, takes as starting point nrengths, experiences and knowledge, necessary to achieve reciprocity and mutual learning between humanitarian organizations,

This process requires gradual preparation. This can be done through real capacity building and the creation of an open space for dialogue within communities of knowledge, experience and good practice. Contextualized proximity support (ACP) is done through shared training, the use of mutual cultural translators and catalysts, the co-creation of quality tools contextualized on the basis of suitable criteria, a good mutual transfer of experiences and knowledge through capitalization and the involvement of national organizations throughout the project cycle (up to cross-evaluation).

This process requires gradual approach

This paradigm shift encourages the speaking of members of national organizations in the various humanitarian forums and meetings. This gives them the status of national experts and therefore leads to increased confidence in their knowledge and experience, which are too often invisible and not valued. This requires adaptations of behavior and attitudes on the part of all stakeholders. The contextualization of humanitarian standards can highlight the unique effectiveness and efficiency of national organizations. Local platforms and networks can allow national organizations to create national repositories, share a collective voice and lead the decision-making process.

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Capacity building for each person’s choice and initiatives


‘as local as possible and as international as necessary’ 

Cultural sensibility

‘a paradigm shift’