Recording now available—Launch Event: Partnerships and principles in conflict contexts  

Access recordings of the DCA Report Launch event that took place on 25 February 2021.

On June 2, PHAP together with Caritas Norway, DanChurchAid, Dutch Relief Alliance, Kindernothilfe and Norwegian Church Aid organized an event to launch the report “Towards Principled Humanitarian Action in Conflict Contexts – Understanding the Role of Partnerships: Voices from Nigeria and South Sudan“. Two research teams engaged with more than 123 local actors operating in the humanitarian delivery space in the states of North Eastern Nigeria and South Sudan to investigate how partnerships and humanitarian principles were implemented.   

The research made interesting findings related to perceptions of double standards and difficulties with operationalising humanitarian and partnership principles, that the set of principles must operate in combination to secure principled humanitarian assistance in local contexts, and a lack of shared understanding between partners of what principled humanitarian action means in practice.  

Participants had the opportunity to hear from the principal investigators from both research teams, representatives of local organizations and the UN in these two contexts, as well as experts on global policy. Starting us off with a brief overview on why this research was needed was DanChurchAid’s International Director, Jonas Vejsager Noeddekaer. He spoke on the importance of localisation while pointing out the concerns and challenges faced by national partners in humanitarian situations. Olukayode Soremekun (Sbaba), the principal investigator for the report in Nigeria, spoke on how it was crucial to understand local actors’ perspective when it comes to those working directly in the field and those in the office to ensure there is a correlation in perspective, while also highlighting the challenges COVID-19 presented when collecting the research data in Nigeria. 

Jok Madut Jok, principal investigator for the report in South Sudan, expanded on the vertical and hierarchical nature of partnerships where those who bring in the money control what should be done on the ground, while local partners receiving funds can only implement after it has all been decided at the top. Veronique Barbelet, Senior Research Fellow at ODI/HPG asserted the importance of understanding the nuances of context and culture, the need for local actors who bring that added value in interpreting these nuances, and creating space for their voices to be included with equal partnerships. 

Bringing the perspective of a local partner organization was Gloria Soma, Director of the South Sudanese NGO Titi Foundation, who spoke on the lack of trust from international partners towards local partners. She attributed this lack of trust in some cases to their view that local partners had insufficient capacity or lack of understanding of humanitarian principles. She emphasised the use of shared capacity and relational working amongst local partners for consistent efficient humanitarian action.

This event also inspired a very rich contributions from the participants in the session. We have highlighted some of the discussions in the chat on the event to allow those who were not able to attend the event to contribute their views. You can access these highlights and post your comments in the PHAP Community.

If you missed this event, you can now access the video and audio podcast format version of the event recordings on the event page

Access the recordings