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World: IASC Interim Guidance on Localisation and the COVID-19 Response (developed jointly by IFRC and UNICEF in coordination with IASC Results Group 1- Operational Response Sub-Group on Localisation)

Country: World Source: Inter-Agency Standing Committee INTRODUCTION This interim guidance note has been developed in response to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its likely impact on humanitarian operations around the world, building on work done by the Grand Bargain Localisation Workstream1 . It provides guidance as to how the international humanitarian community can adapt its delivery modalities in response to COVID-19 consistent with existing commitments on localisation of aid,strengthening partnerships with local and national actors, and operating effectively in an environment affected by COVID-19. It is relevant to all countries covered by the COVID- 19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP). PURPOSE CONTEXT Local actors,3 including civil society organisations, government, and the private sector, as well as communities themselves (including displaced communities), are critical in every humanitarian operation, and even more so in the current context that is shaped by restrictions on travel and movement because of COVID-19. Those actorsinclude not only local NGOs, but also local government, women s networks, youth organisations, indigenous groups, faith-based organisations, human rights organisations, trade unions, and other specific-interest groups needed to ensure a complete response that reaches the most vulnerable people and considers the gender impact of the emergency4 International travel and movement restrictions are impeding the international community to surge international staff and supplies at the usual scale and speed to provide expertise, capacity and support to staff and partners that are already working on the ground. While local actors are also affected by preventative measures, they retain a comparatively greater possibility to maintain and potentially scale up operations, provided they are given the means to do so. Localisation is therefore both a necessity and an opportunity for effectively meeting humanitarian needs and recovery efforts post COVID-19. Acknowledging the advantages of direct funding to local actors, this note recognises that the GHRP that frames the response for existing humanitarian operations that are affected by COVID-19 does not currently offer an effective conduit for this modality. Consequently, this guidance note focuses on responsible partnership practices that can be undertaken in the coming months between international organisations and local actors. Such practices should be based on a principle of equality, a duty of care, risk-sharing, local leadership and meaningful participation (with regard as well to inclusivity and diversity) in coordination mechanisms, the transparent and accountable role of pooled


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