Local humanitarian action during Covid-19: Findings from a diary study, July 2021

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by Veronique Barbelet, John Bryant and Alexandra Spencer

This study aimed to identify what changes towards a more local aid model were happening in the context of COVID-19 and, where change was not happening, why this was the case. The use of a diary method approach enabled authors to understand and document the dynamic politics of change and policy-making.

Thirty-two humanitarian practitioners and policy-makers participated in the diary study. It also draws on data crowdsourced through HPG’s COVID-19 and local humanitarian action mapping tool.

The study found that change is happening, but slowly, since fundamental blockages in the system have not been addressed. While many international actors increasingly adopt localisation policies, in practice they continue to question the capacity of local actors to manage funds adequately, to operate at scale and to uphold humanitarian principles. As a result, there are limited efforts to trial new approaches at scale, take calculated risks and to set in motion new funding approaches.

Read the full report here.