Global Focus’ working group on Local leadership aims to strengthen ours, our members’, donors’ and relevant actors’ efforts towards promoting equitable partnerships in which local partners and communities are at the forefront. The working group is a collective learning and reflection space, where we explore, exchange, discuss and challenge power dynamics, practices, structures, and discourses in our sector and in present partnerships as well as our own role as north-based civil society.
Local leadership, local ownership, locally led development and ‘localisation’ are terminologies used almost interchangeably in the aid sector today. Global Focus does not believe that ‘localisation’ is the covering term to understand and address the issues at hand. We choose to join others who are coining the phrase ‘supporting local leadership and locally led development’ instead. Local leadership is more than equitable partnerships – it is about national and local actors having decision-making power to own and lead the responses, the initiatives, and projects and programmes in their own context.
Global Focus’ working group on Local leadership seeks to ensure joint understanding of local leadership across the different organisations –paying attention to the different approaches and being conscious of our roles and our roles to promote local leadership. We will seek common ground to find sustainable solutions to enable a holistic approach and finding strength in the collective rather than working alone.