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Global crises, local action: a humanitarian reset in response to Covid-19?

Time (GMT +01) 09:00 10:30


  • Sorcha O'Callaghan, Chair

    Director of Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI

  • Christina Bennett

    Chief Executive, Start Network 

  • Minnie Anne-Mata Calub

    Program Secretary, National Council of Churches, Philippines

  • Larissa Fast

    Senior Lecturer of Humanitarian Studies and Director of Research at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester, UK 

  • Gloria Soma

    Executive Director, Titi Foundation


Decades-long commitments to supporting more ‘local’ responses to crises have not resulted in significant shifts in the traditional humanitarian system. Funding, decision-making and capacity continue to be concentrated in large international aid actors. Experts are now highlighting the critical role that local responders will play in relation to Covid-19 given their ability to act fast, engage communities and maintain delivery in the context of national and international travel restrictions. Will this lead to a reset of the humanitarian system? Or, beyond the rhetoric, will it be business as usual?

This event launches the Humanitarian Policy Group's (HPG) new report, From the ground up: it's about time for local humanitarian action, which brings together two years of research on examining humanitarian action, power imbalances and local capacity. Using report recommendations, we discuss whether Covid-19 is unlocking some of the barriers to more locally-led humanitarian responses in practice. 

This event is part of the ODI at 60 global reset dialogue series, challenging decision-makers to provide more sustainable and equitable pathways for the future.