PRESS STATEMENT: Report on localization of humanitarian and development action in Rwanda launched

Monday 5 October 2020

A virtual event organized by Trócaire on September 10th, 2020, launched the Localisation Research Report titled ‘’’The contribution of various actors towards localisation of humanitarian and development action in Rwanda’’.

This launch brought together 63 participants representing donor agencies, International and National organisations, ministries and government institutions. Glenn Stuart Hodes, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Senior Advisor for Resource Mobilization and Development Effectiveness and Usta Kaitesi, the Rwanda Governance Board (RGB) Chief Executive Officer were both in attendance.


This research was commissioned by Trócaire in consortium with 6 other NGOs in Rwanda: Save the Children, Caritas Rwanda, Concern Worldwide, Norwegian People’s Aid, Oxfam, and Red Cross Rwanda to build on a prior study that was commissioned by Trócaire Rwanda in 2018 with the aim to document the process of humanitarian response undertaken by Caritas Rwanda in partnership with Trócaire in Mahama Refugees Camp since 2015. 

The research was commissioned in 2019 to document the contribution of different actors in the implementation of the Grand Bargain commitments in Rwanda and to document models of locally-led responses that potentially could support localisation.


Since 2016, the World Humanitarian Summit and Grand Bargain and related initiatives such as the Charter for Change (C4C), have put localisation of humanitarian response on the agenda. Aid localisation is a collective process involving different stakeholders that aims to return local actors, whether civil society organisations or local public institutions, to the centre of the humanitarian system with a greater role in humanitarian response.

It can take a number of forms: strengthened and more equal partnerships between international, national and local actors, increased and ‘as direct as possible’ funding for local organisations, and a more central role in aid coordination. The short-term aim of localisation is to improve the effectiveness and relevance of aid, and its impacts in the long-term by building the resilience of crisis-affected communities through establishing links with development activities. Recognizing this, several international humanitarian actors and donors have committed at the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit by signing the Grand Bargain to making principled humanitarian action as local as possible and as international as necessary.

The agreement emphasized the need to make more deliberate and explicit efforts to better engage with, empower and promote the work of local actors. For more details on the Grand Bargain, please visit the Grand Bargain official website here.

The launch of the localisation research report on 10 September 2020 in Rwanda was not only an occasion to share findings and insights on 4 main pillars of localisation: partnership, voice and influence, funding and capacity-strengthening models between local actors and international actors but it was also an opportunity for stakeholders to have a broader sense of the progress made and what remains to be done to strengthen localisation in Rwanda. In this regard, a policy brief outlining further recommendations to take forward for concerned actors was shared during the launch event of the localisation research report.

During the launch a panel discussion with Mary Balikungeri, Executive Director of Rwanda Women’s Network, Bosco Nyemazi, the Executive Secretary of Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP), Alice Anukur, the Country Director of Oxfam, and Innocent Mugabe, the representative of Ministry of Finance (MINECOFIN) explored further the progress on localisation in Rwanda across the 4 main pillars of localisation. The clarion call from Mary and Bosco was the need to move towards implementation of the recommendations in order to accelerate localisation.

Speaking to the event, Glenn Stuart Hodes, The UNDP Senior Advisor for Resource Mobilization and Development Effectiveness highlighted the UNDP‘s framework to strengthening the capacities of CSOs in Rwanda which seeks to address the gaps on local capacities by targeting the smaller, weaker CSOs that are not easily picked up by other donors because of lack of systems, capacity and experience. Please visit CSO Strengthening for Responsive and Accountability Program for more details.

In her closing remarks, Kaitesi appreciated the high quality of the localisation research report: “This study is an evaluation in reality as by 2020 we are supposed to evaluate how far we are with the 2016 commitments and this research is a beautiful piece of informing us from all aspects, from INGOs, to the local organisations and to the government on what we are yet to do better” said Kaitesi.

“The report gives us a lot of information to take home with recommendations that we all need to deliver on including what RGB needs to improve in terms of working”, Kaitesi reiterated. ‘’The relationships between RGB and UNDP has allowed convincing Government that in some situations, NGOs can deliver better. Local Government have a good relation with NGOs to deliver on the Social Protection Programme and RGB report proves that these NGOs have done a better job on Social Protection programmes than the government’’ said Kaitesi.

Finally, an official launch of the report was made by urging actors to take forward the recommendations proposed in the report. ‘’This is a document that requires us to move forward and engage and do some of the recommendations as they stand out to be able to deliver on the international commitments we all have made through the Grand Bargain Commitments. We will continue to strengthen the cooperation framework in the way of building strong and effective local responders that can really serve the people who are in need “said Kaitesi in her closing remarks.