INTERSOS’s Localisation Paper: shape and share our vision and approach to localisation and equitable partnerships as a central driver of our humanitarian intervention


Since 2016, following the discussions at the World Humanitarian Forum and the commitment of the aid community to support the Grand Bargain, Localisations has become a cornerstone of the humanitarian debate and a focus that should always lead humanitarian practice, enabling new approaches and ways of working.

In the last five years, INTERSOS witnessed a debate about power and diversity, connecting to the ongoing push for localisation, and giving new vigor to previously marginalized discussions about decolonisation. Local actors have been the front liners in the Covid-19 response and different recent emergencies, proving the power of localisation in action and the value of volunteer networks to reach people in the most vulnerable situations.

With the release of this Localisation Paper, INTERSOS wants to shape and share its vision and approach to localisation and equitable partnerships to lead internal change and engage with stakeholders. While doing so, this document tries not only to inform about the existing global localisation framework, its opportunities, and challenges but to provide guidance and clarify the priorities and criteria to be followed by INTERSOS when engaging in local partnerships.

For INTERSOS, support to the localisation process is really a continuation of the work we have been doing over the years alongside affected communities and is deeply rooted to our fundamental values and connected to the community-based approach that is the backbone of our intervention“, underlines INTERSOS’ Localisation Advisor Giulia Boni.  “We believe that accountability to affected populations and community engagement should play a central role in the future of humanitarian action and in evaluating its impact and relevance”.

INTERSOS wants to assist and support the affected communities, leaving them the leading role in their healing and empowerment process. For this reason, it is essential to recognize local actors’ unique identities, shapes, and needs, ensuring collaborations able to enhance both partners’ skills

The localization strategy employed by INTERSOS adheres to principles of equality and complementarity, with the ultimate aim of strengthening collective capacity to address the needs of affected populations.

In Mali, INTERSOS and Femmes et Développement collaborate to provide quality humanitarian assistance in hard-to-reach areas.

Lebanon – Thanks to the support of Stichting Vluchteling to a joint Strategic Localisation Initiative, INTEROS was able to sign a 2-years partnership with EMBRACE, a local organisation working in the field of mental health with a specialization in suicide prevention.

Jordan – Through the partnership with FOCCEC, the only Jordanian organisation that works in the field of HIV, INTERSOS has significantly improved access to specific vulnerable groups while FOCCEC was able to include GBV (Gender-Based Violence) prevention programs into their activities, building a holistic approach to the affected communities.

In the Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Ukraine, INTERSOS works together with local frontliners to jointly improve access to affected communities.

Given the critical moment we are living in, it is now time to seize the opportunity, advocate, and commit to producing a genuine change in the humanitarian system, starting from the way the communities are involved in actions and decisions.



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