Skills development

"Why aren't we there yet?"

Your Journey to a More Locally Led Practice

A collaborative workshop series

Discussions on how to integrate more equitable power dynamics and decision-making into global cooperation and humanitarian action have been prevalent in the sector for many years. Translating policy and commitments into operational change is even more challenging when the barriers to change are both systemic and ideological. Taking action ultimately requires reflection and awareness, looking at both 'self' and one's role within the 'system'.

This three-part series of collaborative workshops explores the practice of localisation, local ownership or locally led development and humanitarian action.

Online (3.5 days), on-site in Biel-Bienne (Switzerland) with streaming (1 day)
Total 4.5 days (01 June, 29 & 30 June, 4 half-days in September)
Price CHF  

Event reserved for staff (all functions, all geographical locations) of cinfo member organisations and their partners, as well as the FDFA and SECO.

Register now

Join us and you will...

Get an overview of the evolution of the 'localisation discourse', policy and agenda

You will also learn about the challenges of translating this into action in development, humanitarian response and research.

Learn, understand and share about power, power imbalances and (structural) racism

You will reflect on your own attitudes, behaviours and negative narratives.

You will also gain a better understanding of other participants' individual and organisational challenges around bias, power dynamics and agency.

Have the opportunity to share your own challenges and practices

You will also learn from existing models and experiences.

Three-part series of collaborative workshops

Over four and a half days, the workshops aim to provide a platform for self-reflection as well as pragmatic support and shared models of practice to help you or your organisation get unstuck or move into action.

Part 1 - Why Now? Understanding Local Ownership & Locally Led Development and Response in Practice

01 June 2023, 09:30-12:00 + 14:00-16:30 (CEST)

In this session we will...

  • explore what is the problem that locally led seeks to address, the different motivations or purposes and why ‘now’ (looking back since 2016)
  • discuss different interpretations of locally led, from the perspective of various stakeholders
  • provide an overview of different barriers to promoting locally led practice - and explore ideas on how to reduce them
  • provide space for sharing experiences and learning from how other organisations are dealing with this. 

Part 2 - Managing Relationships: Identity, Power and Privilege

29 June, 09:30-17:00 (CEST)
Biel (Switzerland) with streaming

30 June, 09:30-12:00 (CEST)

In this session we will...

  • explore the attitudes and behaviours needed to support locally led practice
  • explore personal identity, power and privilege and understand different dimensions of power
  • explore decolonisation and anti-racism and how they impact on locally led practice
  • accompany participants in setting their own personal intentions.

Part 3 - Fit for Purpose, Fit for Change: How can you Take Action?

4 half-days, 09.30-12:00 (CEST) in September (week of 11 September and week of 18 September)

In this session we will...

  • take concrete action steps and explore the personal skills and organisational structures needed to transform to a more fit-for-purpose future
  • look at what you need to be a catalyst for change and provide practical (sector-specific) examples of equitable funding and grant-making, capacity development and capacity sharing, according to the needs of participants
  • focus on sharing operational and individual experiences.


This series of workshops will lead up to cinfo's Immersion Day 2023 in November. More information will follow.

Your take-aways as a participant

You will...

  • understand the different interpretations of locally led development and humanitarian action and how to assess meaningful change in localisation efforts.
  • learn strategies for navigating power dynamics and dismantling racist structures in your environment.
  • increase your awareness of individual and organisational biases, power dynamics and agency.
  • gain concrete action steps for implementing locally led practices in your organisation.

Overall, this collaborative learning series will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of locally led practice and strategies for facilitating change within yourself and your organisation.



Smruti Patel
Smruti Patel is the founder and co-director of the Global Mentoring Initiative. She has... More
Shazia Islamshah
Shazia Islamshah is a Senior Advisor at cinfo. She has over 20 years of experience in t... More
Koenraad Van Brabant
Van Brabant
Trained as a social anthropologist, Koenraad Van Brabant's professional engagement over... More


Collaborative workshop series

Online (3.5 days), on-site in Biel-Bienne with streaming (1 day)
  • This event is reserved for staff (all functions, all geographical locations) of cinfo member organisations and their partners, as well as the FDFA and SECO.
  • Participation in all workshops is recommended but not required.
Register now

Capacity building with cinfo

At cinfo, we promote open dialogue on global cooperation issues and support individuals and organisations in strengthening their efforts towards locally-led practices. Our experience and understanding of the development and humanitarian sectors allows us to tailor our services to meet different needs.

Our recent competency study has provided insights into future skills to promote equity and create a more impactful sector. We can help you navigate the complexities of development and humanitarian action, giving you greater clarity, courage and confidence.