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Listening to Partners in Ethiopia

The second Integral Partner Listening Forum has taken place in Ethiopia. Here we interview participant Daniel Reta, and explain more about Integral’s approach to localisation …

We are currently holding listening forums with partner organisations in five countries. We want our partners’ understanding and perspectives to help us to develop our approach to localisation. We also want to understand from partners what local humanitarian action looks like in their context and the role they play in international crisis response. The conversation around localisation is frequently focused on the amount of funding being channelled to local actors. However, Integral believes that, at its heart, localisation is about a genuine realignment of power, enabling decision-making at a local level.

Our second Partner Listening forum was held in Ethiopia. We spoke to participant Daniel Reta, who leads the Opportunities Industrialization Centers (OIC) Ethiopia. This organisation provides technical and vocational training and is a local partner of Integral Member, ZOA …

In what ways did you find the Listening Forum helpful?
The listening forum was helpful in introducing to us the major partnerships of Integral and the objectives that Integral aspires to achieve. It highlighted the lack of capacity of local partners and the need to develop a localisation approach in humanitarian action. I also acquired an understanding of the role that Integral and its Members play in increasing the capacity of local actors in different contexts.

What do you see the greatest challenges to developing meaningful partnerships?
I see the greatest challenge to be the capacity of local partners in the development and management of projects. Also, government policy and issues within the community may also be seen as challenges, especially the accessibility that the community has to humanitarian assistance.

What was your forum highlight?
The listening forum in general was very interactive and helpful for humanitarian actors such as me. The communication skills of the facilitator were very good – it was easy for local partners to understand. My hope is that the findings of the forum will soon translate into actions that will address the problems of beneficiaries from different groups of society. 

What is your hope for the future?
As a local humanitarian actor and leader, I hope to see organisations like mine further capacitated to work sustainably on humanitarian problems, with funds sourced locally, and with assistance of the international community such as Integral.

Integral should also be involved with increasing the capacity of local actors, drawing us into participating in high level partnership meetings. Partnerships between local and international organisations should be strengthened with a view to working towards developing and managing projects sustainably.

For more information on Integral’s approach to localisation see here