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Localisation is a collective process that aims to ensure that local and national entities, whether civil society organisations or public institutions, are at the centre of humanitarian and development work. Localisation requires a shift in power relations between international and local organisations, both in terms of strategic decision-making and control of resources.

Having worked in partnership with local organisations for almost 50 years, Trócaire believes that local people should play a leading role in the development processes in their communities. In our new Strategic Plan (2021-2025), Trócaire has committed to a ‘step change’ in our approach to partnership, which involves shifting power more profoundly to our local and national partners in the countries where we work.


The international system is increasingly recognising the critical role played by local people and organisations in humanitarian response and development. Their cultural knowledge and connections to communities are major assets in delivering effective and efficient support to people grappling with poverty, emergencies, inequality or injustice.

Local organisations are often the first to respond in the early stages of an emergency, and in some insecure contexts, they are alone in being able to deliver humanitarian assistance. They are embedded in communities before crises strike and continue to work on long-term development objectives long after international humanitarian organisations exit a crisis context.

Yet, the humanitarian and development system remains organised primarily around international organisations, who hold the vast majority of resources and decision-making power.

This criticism was brought to the forefront of the humanitarian reform agenda at the World Humanitarian Summit 2016. It culminated with the signing of the ‘Grand Bargain’, an agreement between the most powerful humanitarian players to work towards key commitments to transform the humanitarian system, including putting the principles of localisation into practice.

Several years later, this agenda has gained greater significance, as the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of strong local and national organisations. The ‘Grand Bargain 2.0’ demonstrates a renewed energy towards these commitments across the international humanitarian system. Trócaire’s commitment to localisation in its new Strategic Plan places us at the forefront of this change

“Localisation provides an opportunity for local partners to showcase their skills, their strength, and knowledge. Localisation is key because that will serve as a catalyst for ensuring local organisations are also empowered, and they are able to take on responsibilities on their own.”

– Ibrahim Fatu Kamara, Programme Director, Action for Advocacy and Development-Sierra Leone


Working in partnership with local partners is a core and defining aspect of who we are. Our commitment to partnership stems from the belief that development must be locally owned and driven by a vibrant local civil society and the communities they represent and work with.


The ‘step change’ in our Strategic Plan 2021-2025 involves shifting the power more profoundly to our local partners and supporting local civil society to gain more voice and visibility within the humanitarian and development systems and processes.


To achieve this, we are committed to a comprehensive set of actions in four areas:


  • Quality of relationships: We will strengthen the quality of our relationships with our partners by fostering more open and honest dialogue, strengthening feedback mechanisms and creating opportunities for partners to participate in the governance structures of Trócaire.


  • Capacity strengthening: We will accompany our local partners and invest in their ambitions to become more resilient, independent and sustainable organisations so they can more effectively serve the communities they work with. This support will go beyond joint programming.


  • Increasing voice & influence: Together with partners, we will work to amplify the voice and influence of local organisations and communities in national, regional and global development and humanitarian structures and processes so that they increasingly lead and own these processes.


  • Level of funding & resources: We will work with our local partners so they access new funding from donors, and together with partners we will undertake advocacy to ensure that increased levels of global funding are allocated directly to local organisations.

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