Tue 31 January 2017 Download Pdf

Regional Policy Dialogue on the New Way of Working - West Africa

OCHA’s Regional Office for Western and Central Africa (ROWCA) hosted a workshop on 18-19 January 2017 in Dakar to discuss the implications of the policy shifts emanating from the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) to humanitarian and development operations in the region.

On the 18th and 19th January, 2017, OCHA’s Regional Office for Western and Central Africa (ROWCA) held a workshop to discuss the implications of the policy shifts emanating from the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) to humanitarian and development operations in the region.  The workshop was the first of a series of policy dialogue workshops organized by OCHA, in collaboration with UNDP with a focus on discussions on strengthening the humanitarian-development nexus, overcoming long-standing attitudinal, institutional, and funding obstacles, which was identified by the majority of stakeholders as one of the top priorities for the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS).

NEAR was invited to send a representative to attend and participate in the discussions and the network reached out to one of its founding members in Liberia Brenda Brewer Moore who represents the Kids’ Educational Engagement Project (KEEP). Ms. Moore was also asked to participate in a panel discussion on Reinforce, Do Not Replace”.

The 2 day workshop covered the following key thematic areas:

Achieving Collective Outcomes”, “Anticipate, do not react”, Reinforce, Do Not Replace.

For the panel discussion where NEAR was represented, Ms. Moore provided an overview of the network’s identity, geographic coverage, advocacy and position on localization as well as its role in some of the outcomes from the WHS. She highlighted that NEAR in its advocacy was recognized as the global and authoritative voice of Local and National NGOs where we pushed for a commitment under the Grand Bargain initiative to channel 25 per cent of financing to national and local responders as directly as possible by 2020.

She noted that we need to truly be more accountable to the people in whose names funds are being raised and to ensure that money being raised do not go entirely to administrative and overhead costs. 

Key points emanating from the discussions on “reinforce, do not replace are:

  • Don't reduce the localization discussion to financing but on the impact to be achieved (greater sustainability, effectiveness, trust). NGOs should be recognized based on their comparative advantage not excluded based on their limitations.
  • Localization does not only include the role of NGOs, but also that of national and local authorities, such as municipalities. At the national and level, where possible, Governments should be leading and coordinating (around collective outcomes, based on their comparative advantage).
  • Any international projects should include a hand-over / exit strategy, rather than creating parallel structures. Part of planning for collective outcomes should factor in that over 3-5 years, national / local responsibilities are increased.

The workshop was attended by donors, representatives from other UN agencies, NGOs and the academia.

 

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