Achieving localisation (the transfer of control to local actors) has proven extremely challenging in the development sector, and the humanitarian sector appears to be facing equal challenges. This chapter seeks to engage with that struggle and examine why this lesson has been so difficult to learn. Drawing on conference workshops and 10 key informant interviews, this paper examines the obstacles and opportunities for localisation, seeking to understand what makes it so hard for those who hold disproportionate power in humanitarian encounters to hand over power. The authors found a clear sense of localisation being a process rather than an outcome; optimism that momentum is slowly gathering towards this process, and a clear sense of the steps required to fully achieve it. Examining practitioners’ perspectives in this way adds an important voice to discussions of humanitarian practice.
This chapter is one product of a research agreement between RMIT University and RedR Australia aimed at better integrating theory and practice, and finding formal avenues to share practitioner knowledge. The authors are grateful to our interview participants, and to the two reviewers, whose insightful feedback has much improved the paper.
Harris, V. and Tuladhar, S. (2019), "Humanitarian Localisation: Can We Put Values into Practice?", Harris, V. (Ed.) Ethics in a Crowded World: Globalisation, Human Movement and Professional Ethics (Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 33-55. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-209620190000022004Download as .RIS
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