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SOS Sahel’s localisation journey

Time (GMT +00) 13:00 14:00
Image credit:Sue Cavanna, SOS Sahel Ethiopia
This event has finished, watch or listen to the playback below.


36 years on from being founded as an international non-governmental organisation responding to devastating drought and famine in the Sahel, SOS Sahel UK took the decision to close its doors. The reason? It felt it had worked itself out of a job, as its four main country programmes became fully functioning national NGOs, embedded in national civil society.

This event will explore SOS Sahel UK’s localisation journey, including the wholescale transfer of power, resources and assets to national NGOs rooted in civil society in their respective countries, so that the Northern-headquartered organisation is no longer needed. The panel and audience will be invited to discuss the challenges and successes of SOS Sahel’s journey and draw valuable lessons for decolonising the aid sector and localising humanitarian action.

To read the full report, please click here.


  • Feyera Abdi

    Director, SOS Sahel Ethiopia

  • Mary Allen

    Practical Action and Board member (formerly Executive Director) of Sahel Eco

  • Margie Buchanan-Smith

    Senior Research Associate, Humanitarian Policy Group

  • Moderator: Wendy Fenton

    Co-ordinator, Humanitarian Practice Network

  • Insights from Salih Abdel Majid Eldouma

    Executive Director, SOS Sahel Sudan