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Integral’s Refreshed Localisation Statement

Integral Members have agreed a refreshed Integral Localisation Statement and new outcomes concerning localisation in our joint work in disasters. Since we agreed on our first Localisation Statement in 2020, an increasing focus of the Localisation Working Group has been to explore how our commitments relate to the Core Humanitarian Standard.  Here Phil Lindsay (Tearfund Australia) and Kate Musimwa (Food for the Hungry) from the Integral Localisation Working Group,  give us some insight into this important area of our joint work …

What is the role of the Integral Localisation Working Group?
The Working Group seeks to encourage Integral Members to consider their own work in the light of learning around enabling locally-led development and humanitarian action. We recently facilitated the development and revision of Integral’s Statement of Intent on Localisation. The Working Group also encourages Integral Members to be intentional about bringing local voices into our meetings and other forums.

Please tell us the reasons for refreshing the Integral Localisation statement.
The original Statement was written during 2019 when discussions about localisation in Integral were developing and Members had diverse approaches. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many agencies had to adapt their way of working, and for many that adaptation included enhancing the agency of local implementing Partner organisations. In Integral, discussions on what localisation meant for Members progressed alongside the broader sector trend towards increased locally-led response and management. By 2023 the Alliance had a significantly different perspective and greater consistency in understanding localisation. It was decided that while the initial Statement had been a helpful document in framing the discussions, it now needed refreshing to reflect the progression in thinking and action across the Membership. We wanted to include some bold statements and outcomes that would lead us to action as an Alliance.

What was the process that you went through to reach agreement?
There are two main elements to the Statement – the Statement itself that incorporates the rationale and purpose of the document and explains the position and commitment to localisation as an Alliance; and a series of outcome statements that show what localisation looks like for Integral Members.

We reviewed, edited and refreshed the wording and then shared it with the Integral Programme Group. We suggested changing our localisation commitments to a series of outcome statements.  This emphasises that the commitments are not just theoretical, but will result in changes in the work of Integral Members and their Partners. These outcome statements were workshopped and agreed upon by a vote in the Programme Group, before being endorsed by Integral’s Executive Committee. 

Can you tell us some of the thinking behind mapping the refreshed commitments onto the Core Humanitarian Standard?
Integral has adopted the Core Humanitarian Standard as its Quality Standard. We are committed to working towards outcomes that are about the quality of our partnerships with local implementing agencies. We then show how they are consistent with our commitment to the quality measures embedded within the Core Humanitarian Standard, and believe this adds further credibility.

How do you envisage Integral and its Members using the refreshed statement?
For the Partners of Integral Members, the outcomes and commitments can be used to hold us to account, further deepening the authenticity of our Partner relationships. We can also share the refreshed Statement with external audiences to show how Integral is committed to localised approaches in humanitarian response. 

Internally, we can use the Statement for ongoing learning, reflection and challenge as we continue to seek to strengthen our understanding of what effective partnership in humanitarian response looks like. They are also a benchmark against which we can measure our own practice as individual Member Agencies as well as for the Alliance as a whole. The Statement strengthens our commitment to mutual accountability and listening to each other with intent.

Integral Statement of Intent on Localisation