WHO Strategy for implementing localization at the field level

Published Date


who localisationThe Interagency Policy for Emergencies (IPE) unit at WHO is currently working on the WHO Strategy for implementing Localization at the field level to assist WHO country offices (WCOs) and regional offices in identifying, implementing and sustaining partnerships with local health actors (national NGOs, community-based organizations, local authorities, etc.).

The document will draw from two sources:

  1. existing inter-agency guidance on localization practice endorsed by Principals at the IASC and Grand Bargain levels; and
  2. localization good practices already being implemented by WCOs specifically in health emergencies, in partnership with local health actors.

The goal is to produce a set of recommendations that WCOs find useful and relevant to their response activities, which enables the sharing of WHO localization experiences across all WCOs, and which is tailored to the specific needs of the health sector.

The strategy will also be an important tool to making WHO’s work on the HDP Nexus more coherent, particularly in the area of health as a contributor to peace and social cohesion.

Engaging relevant stakeholders

The Strategy will be designed in collaboration with WHO country offices and in close consultation with the Global Health Cluster and Country Health Clusters as the country-level driver of localization practice for the health sector.

Three benchmark countries for regions will be selected, according to the following criteria:

  • Extent to which the WHO’s Localization Strategy can provide significant contribution in effecting change or progress on localization;
  • Existing national response or coordination capacity is unable to meet needs in a manner that respects humanitarian principles;

Consideration will also be given to having a mix of different kinds of humanitarian contexts; including attention to a mix of IDP and refugee settings and geographic spread.

Defining Localization

A data-driven analysis will be conducted to define the role of localization in responding to health emergencies. Attention will be given to the role of local/national WHO's partners in the COVID 19 response and the lessons learned that need to be converted to permanent action.

Consolidating Data

The WHO’s Localization Strategy will integrate and consolidate data gathered into the designing of a WHO’s Localization Framework (target, strategic objectives, activities, performance indicators). All Localization key elements will be included: Equitable and meaningful partnerships, Leadership, Capacity strengthening, Risk management, Financing, Monitoring, Visibility; And a Monitoring and Evaluation plan will be developed.