Symposium cinfo

Follow-up Webinar to the Immersion Days 2021

Localisation: how do we move the needle?

What exactly do we mean by localisation and how does this translate into organisational strategy and practices? How do we practically implement and manage changes that accompany localisation at organisational and departmental level? What does localisation imply for our staff, our jobs, our programmes, our organisational culture?

In this follow-up webinar to the Immersion Days 2021, Faye Ekong and Nuru Ayembia from RavelWorks Africa delve into:

  • Localisation perspectives at institutional, organisational and tactical level
  • Common barriers to localisation at organisational and tactical level
  • Lessons learned and best practices for successful localisation strategies

Watch the replay

Some take-aways from the breakout sessions:

  • "Within an organisation, high officials should be local and other staff can be international."
  • "We have difficulties to justify our roles towards the donors. There is a misconception by the donor on what the intermediaries do opposed to field people. Intermediary roles are crucial as well, we need to make the donors understand."
  • "It is comfortable for HQ to have someone of the same cultural background as contact in the field. We need to step out of that comfort zone."
  • "It is essential to unpack words like empowerment, and to ask ourselves, what it really means and how it can be translated into practice."
  • "Move away from the image of: expatriates are the magic bullet, immune to corruption."
  • "I have a best practice to share: what I introduced at SolidarMed in Mozambique is, that whenever an Expat travels somewhere for work to visit government or a partner, he or she has to go with someone from the local team, so that the information is flowing directly. Thinking of the continuity for the local staff to take over. No need for writing reports or for others to read them, because nobody has time for this."
  • "I see that in many cases, a project implemented by an INGO could also be designed as a business, which would actually make it a good Private Sector project. This would help to strengthen the detachment from an INGO."
  • "Let’s be honest, power is always there where the funding comes from. So, to enable a power shift, we need to think of ways to encourage more local funding."
  • "The private sector can be an alternative funding source and a great driver, let me illustrate it with an example in Kenya: There was a period of severe hunger and the population thought the government is not doing enough. So a tele-communications company, a bank and the media and civil society, came together under the lead of the private sector. They launched a crowd sourcing campaign within Kenya and raised 10 million dollars."
  • "But can we just assume that private sector actors are less biased than INGO actors? We have to be aware of each actors bias and stereotypes of superiority or inferiority."
  • "Of course, the private sector is not immune to bias in regards to DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) issues. However, the motivation behind the organisation in general may differ. The private sector is driven by profit, therefore always looking out for the most competent person to do the job."
  • "We have to keep insisting, that shift needs to happen; invest in preparedness (i.e. for emergencies); look at roles at HQ, what should be done in the field; are we just intermediaries? or passing on knowledge? We have to challenge ourselves more; see things through the lenses of localisation; we need an exit strategy right from the beginning; we have to trust in our teams; who is it all about / who do we work for?"
  • "We could use the 7 dimensions of localisation framework to conduct a "localisation first dialogue internally" within our organisations."
  • "I suggest everyone to look into: The Future of Aid: INGOs in 2030."

Faye, Nuru and cinfo encourage you to choose courage over comfort!