IASC Briefing on Strengthening the Participation, Representation and Leadership of Local Actors in Humanitarian Coordination
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Watch the recording of the full briefing here: IASC Briefing on Strengthening the Participation, Representation and Leadership of Local Actors in Humanitarian Coordination
Photo: Vanuatu Business Resilience Council
Local actors, including civil society organizations, government, the private sector, and importantly, affected communities as well, are critical in every humanitarian operation. Working with and investing in local actors as equal and strategic partners is a priority for the humanitarian response and the leadership of humanitarian operations. Localisation is a vital element for strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian assistance by recognizing the dignity and security of people in need.
The objective of the briefing was to review progress made to date on localisation and identify the impediments in specific contexts and at various levels, including what can be done to resolve them. It was also an opportunity to facilitate exchange of best practices and experiences. This built on the guidance endorsed by the IASC Principals in May 2020, IASC Interim Guidance on Localisation and the COVID-19 Response.
- Mr. Ahmed Abdinasir Mohamed, Deputy Director/Head of Programs for Save Somali Women and Children & Chair of the Localization and Partnership working group in the Somalia NGO Consortium (SNC)
- Mr. Mark Cutts, Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis
- Mr. Divine Arrey, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, OCHA Cameroon
- Ms. Stella Ogunlade, Chief of the NGO and Civil Society Unit, UNHCR & co-Chair of the IASC Results Group 1 on Operational Response Sub-group on Localisation
- Ms. Mervat Shelbaya, Head, Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) secretariat
Mr. Ahmed Abdinasir
Mr. Abdinasir is the Deputy Director, Head of Programs at Save Somali Women and Children (SSWC). He is a program management specialist with over 10 years of progressive experience in program design, needs assessment, program and budget planning, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation at both the national and international level. Mr. Abdinasir is passionate about localization and is the chair of the Localization Working Group under the Somali NGO Consortium, which brings together all NGOs in Somalia to push the localization agenda and Grand Bargain commitment forward. He is also a member of the localization task force, comprised of representatives of local actors, INGOs, Donors and UN agencies, and was nominated as a co-facilitator for dialogue processes about localization in Somalia by the ‘’localization workstream’’ of the Grand Bargain. Mr. Abdinasir is an advisory board member of the UN Somali Humanitarian Pooled Fund, which has tremendously improved local actors funding over the years. Ahmed holds BA in Development Studies and Masters in International Studies.
Mr. Mark Cutts
Mr. Cutts has been managing complex humanitarian and development programmes in conflict and post-conflict settings for over 30 years. He has held senior positions in a range of countries and territories facing conflict and instability, including Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Myanmar, Palestine, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan and Syria. He is currently the UN Deputy Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis. He previously served with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Prior to joining the UN System in 1993 he worked for non-Governmental organizations in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. He obtained his M.Phil in International Relations from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor’s degree in Theology from the University of Durham.
Mr. Divine Arrey
Mr. Arrey is a Humanitarian Affairs Officer with OCHA in Cameroon. He has contributed significantly to the efforts to put in a place an operational and effective coordination architecture in the North-West and South-West Regions of Cameroon, which have been hit by a socio-political crisis since 2017. He has over 9 years of progressive humanitarian experience, with about 7 years in the Eastern region of Cameroon, providing assistance to refugees from Central Africa Republic (CAR). He contributed in providing relief to refugees from CAR largely through access to quality education and the distribution of food and core relief items, projects he coordinated working for Catholic Relief Services and the Red Cross, respectively. Divine joined OCHA in 2019 and has served as a bridge between local organisations, government institutions and the coordination architecture in the North-West and South-West Regions. He holds a Masters in International Relations.
Ms. Stella Ogunlade
Ms. Ogunlade is the Chief of UNHCR’s NGO and Civil Society section in Headquarters. Since autumn 2020, she is the co-chair of the RG 1 sub-group on localization, together with Nimo Hassan, the Director of the Somali NGO consortia. She has more than 15 years’ experience with UNHCR in Protection, including cluster coordination, and in Inter-Agency coordination and Partnerships. She has worked in nine different countries and operations, including several field duty stations and emergencies, mainly in Africa and the Asia-Pacific. She has postgraduate law degrees from universities in Germany and Australia.