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SPACE Direct support to local actors: considerations for donors (August 2021)

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Courtenay Cabot Venton
August 2021

Despite international commitments, less than 1% of the $167.8 billion of total Official Development Assistance (ODA) in 2018 went directly to local development actors.

Grand Bargain signatories committed to targeting 25% of their humanitarian assistance to local organisations, and yet, in 2018, 0.4% of all funding went to local and national NGOs.ii The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the critical role of local actors, including governments, and local and national NGOs, in the design and delivery of programming. Movement restrictions and a rapid scale-up of humanitarian and social protection assistance to new populations have driven a greater focus on localisation than ever before. Effective outlets for distributing, monitoring, and ensuring accountability for the surge in social protection and other funds that have come online requires strong networks of local actors who can respond to ongoing and evolving needs, as well as assist with delivery of vaccinations.

SPACE focuses on humanitarian/social protection linkages and the critical role of government social protection systems in localising crisis response. This short paper focuses on the role of local non-state actors in helping to deliver as well as hold accountable centralised systems.