In OECD’s DEVELOPMENT CO-OPERATION REPORT 2022, Adeso’s Executive Director, Degan Ali, tackles critical issues around the concept of decolonizing aid. She demystifies the arguments that funding local is risky and offers practical solutions for more sustainable humanitarian and development work, done through community cantered approaches.
Here is a blurb from the article:
In my view, we are thinking about risk and lack of capacity all wrong. The risk isn’t in funding local CSOs. Local organisations have capacity, and the risk lies in not funding them.
When we fail to fund more proximately, we fail to support the communities that are relied on to do the
critically needed work on the ground. Community-based organisations are the most effective first
responders to crises and are the most accountable to their communities. Time and time again, in the
world’s most insecure and complex environments, in places like Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Somalia and
Afghanistan, we see local organisations do the heavy lifting – and risking their own lives – in crisis
Local CSOs have local knowledge, contacts and the ability to access a country’s most remote areas. Given this critical role, the humanitarian aid and development community can no longer continue to relegate these local groups to serving as implementation partners. We all know that by the time this funding reaches local organisations, not only is it heavily restricted but there are very few actual dollars left. We must end the short cycles of funding restricted to programme delivery, with little (or no) indirect costs allowed. This perpetuates financial insecurity and keeps local organisations trapped
in a disempowerment loop, facing a nearly insurmountable barrier to growth and maturity.