Identifying and overcoming localisation barriers in the area of project management and risk transfer

Although humanitarian organisations based in Germany are strongly committed to strengthening local and national partner organisations in the Global South and have in many cases launched corresponding policies local voices continue to criticise the slow implementation of these initiatives in the project countries. Hierarchical partner and project management as well as rigid governance structures are frequently mentioned as key barriers that are fundamentally opposed to equitable cooperation between international NGOs and their local and national partners. The issue of risk distribution is a particularly interesting example herefor. Even though the need to shift away from the practice of risk transfer towards risk sharing is generally advocated for, established governance and management structures seem to prevent its implementation.

Against this background, this project will first analyse and specify the links between operational humanitarian project management and the delayed implementation of localisation in partner management. For this purpose, various workshops and focus group discussions are planned among humanitarian organisations in Germany and among their partner organisations in two case study regions. These participatory analyses and following interviews will be used to identify concrete management mechanisms that are suitable for strengthening local and national actors and for participatory cooperation at eye level. In a second step, these will be applied to the example of equitable risk management.

Contact person: Darina Pellowska

Identifying and overcoming localisation barriers in the area of project management and risk transfer is part of the project “Strengthening Programme and Policy Relevant Capacities of Humanitarian Actors in Germany” (SPreAD), funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Workshops in Juba, South Sudan

22.06.2022 09:00 - 13:00


In late June, CHA and the South Sudan NGO Forum will hold a multiple-day workshop in Juba to identify and discuss opportunities and limitations of localized project management in South Sudan.

Workshops in Bangladesh, Cox’s Bazar

09.02.2022 15:00 - 16:30


Strengthening local humanitarian actors is one of the key challenges in future humanitarian action. The Centre for Humanitarian Action (CHA) invited to three confidential online workshops to identify and discuss the current possibilities and limitations of localised project management in Cox’s Bazar.

CHAtroom #6: Localisation



How does the localisation of humanitarian action work in practice? Don’t we perhaps even have too romantic an idea of local partners? In this sixth episode of the CHAtroom, Kayu Orellana from Help – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V. provides answers [in German].

Workshop: Localisation in practice

29.11.2021 10:00 - 18:00


In this confidential workshop, the current opportunities and limitations of localised project management in humanitarian action were elaborated and discussed. The objective was to identify a concrete scope for action and critical barriers.

CHAtroom #3: Reform project humanitarian aid



In the third episode of CHAtroom, CHA Research Fellow Darina Pellowska explains what the so-called Grand Bargain and localisation of humanitarian aid are all about, what makes an organisation “local” – and what her camera has to do with it.

Localisation and the humanitarian principles - the relevance of community engagement


publicationsLocal actors can follow the humanitarian principles, but in certain contexts this poses substantial challenges for them. In order to meet these challenges, local actors need greater institutional and financial power and a broad localisation approach is needed.