The challenges of localised aid in conflict
Wendy Fenton @WendyFenton1 - Coordinator, Humanitarian Practice Network
Ed Schenkenberg @ed_heregva - Executive Director, Humanitarian Exchange and Research Centre
Luz Saavedra @alnap - Former Research Fellow, ALNAP
Zaidoun Alzoabi @UOSSM - Chief Executive Officer, Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations (via video link)
Charlie Rowley @oxfamgb - Humanitarian Capacity Development Advisor, Global Humanitarian Team, Oxfam
Teresa Sancristoval @MSF - Emergency Desk Manager, Médecins Sans Frontières
The idea that local actors should be at the forefront of humanitarian response in their own country is increasingly widely accepted. One message, which resounded loud and clear at the first World Humanitarian Summit, was the need for greater localisation of aid. However, the current localisation agenda gives little consideration to the different humanitarian contexts and their different operational challenges.
Can local actors deliver impartial emergency assistance on a meaningful scale in armed conflicts, if they find themselves caught up in the political and military game of the warring parties?
Our expert panel of observers and practitioners from international and local organisations discuss and debate the nuances of the situation on the ground. Informed by new research from Médecins Sans Frontières which highlights operational challenges to locally led responses in conflict and highly politicised environments, this discussion asks: what are the practical implications of locally-led responses in acute conflicts? What are the key issues to overcome? How can we ensure that locally-led responses conform with key humanitarian principles?