Gloves off between local and international NGOs

IRIN News, Geneva, 22 October 2015, Imogen Wall

The debate over humanitarian reform is one of money, principles, and institutional change. But for many organisations involved, these boil down to one thing: power – and specifically for local organisations, the unwillingness of their international counterparts to give up any of it.

A long-standing tension between large Western-led international NGOs and smaller, locally-based groups who want a bigger role in emergency relief moved into high gear last week, where it was on public display at an international conference in Geneva.

Worldwide consultations held in the lead-up to next year’s World Humanitarian Summit, the biggest push in decades to reform the way aid is delivered, have recommended putting affected people and local organisations at the heart of a new model of humanitarian response.

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