Aid localisation is a collective process which aims to place local actors, civil society organisations, and local public institutions at the centre of the humanitarian system and the humanitarian response. This can take several forms: more equitable partnerships between international and local actors; increased funding that is “as direct as possible”; and a more central role in aid coordination for local organisations.
A commitment was made in this sense at the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in 2016, as part of the Grand Bargain established by the main donors and operators. This implies a number of changes: financing local aid organisations directly, reinforcing their capacities, recognising the legitimacy of local authorities, etc.
It is important to point out that localisation has an impact on actors from the South as well as the aid system as a whole. It requires significant change both in terms of strategic decision-making and control over resources.
Finally, over and above being a question of money, localisation is a question of coordination and leadership. It therefore involves establishing a new balance of power and trust between the North and the South.