Elevating evidence: Localisation in the 2019 Bangladesh flood response - Baseline report | April 2020 [EN/BN]



The 2019 monsoon flooding in Bangladesh affected more than 7.6 million people across 28 districts and caused widespread displacement. The government-led response, supported by local, national and international civil society stakeholders, sought to provide life-saving assistance, restore safety and dignity to vulnerable populations and facilitate rebuilding and recovery. The humanitarian community identified progress on the localisation commitments made at the World Humanitarian Summit as a priority for the response.

Localisation of humanitarian action in Bangladesh has been an important focus in recent years, including in the Rohingya response. Various partnership and program initiatives as well as research, have focused on progressing commitments such as the Grand Bargain and Charter for Change. With the onset of widespread flooding in 2019, the humanitarian community identified an opportunity to strengthen localisation in this disaster response. The Humanitarian Response and Recovery Plan committed to identifying a common approach to measuring localisation in the response, and undertaking an analysis using this common framework to serve as a baseline for future responses.

About this report

This report presents the findings of the localisation baseline, using an adapted Measuring Localisation approach and framework used in the Pacific, as a common means of tracking progress at the country level.

The report analyses progress in seven areas: leadership, coordination and complementarity, partnerships, funding, participation and policy influence. It also identifies emerging positive practices that support localisation, key challenges, and considerations for the humanitarian community for future responses. The study builds on the wealth of knowledge and evidence generated by other initiatives intended to support localisation in Bangladesh.

Key findings

Progress on the localisation of humanitarian action was evident in several areas in the flood response, including in supporting national and local leadership, coordination and complementarity, some partnership areas, and some funding areas. The study found evidence that the localisation agenda, including evidence and practices from other responses in Bangladesh, influenced the flood response in multiple ways. These were a strengthened national leadership role; more reliance on local and national networks; increased consultation with local organisations prior to international response; and a better understanding of value-add and complementary roles of international actors. There continue to be key challenges in supporting localised partnerships, including addressing power differences, increasing role for local and national civil society, funding opportunities, appropriate capacity support and community participation in the response. Outlined below is a summary of key findings, and some considerations for further strengthening localisation in the future.