How can humanitarian assistance be more people-centered and efficient? From November 19-21 more than 80 humanitarian frontline workers from six African countries as well as 21 participants from Europe, the United States, and Asia, exchanged their ideas and experiences at the Kampala Innovation Forum on Locally Led Response to Crisis and Displacement. Over the course of three days participants highlighted existing approaches that focus on the demands and responsibility of people affected by crisis.
Roland Hansen, Head of Africa at Malteser International, considers trust a fundamental component of a people-led approach to crisis response.
"The concept of localization presupposes that we can only reach people in crises effectively if we have taken the time to listen to them first. To understand people's concerns, fears, and motivation, as well as their coping strategies we have to trust each other. A relationship of trust gives us the opportunity to provide adequate relief services, if needed."
"Communities thrive best when they are given the opportunity to voice their preferences and actively work towards desired outcomes in crisis response programs. As service providing agencies we support them in their own response."
Malteser International co-hosted the Innovation Forum with Kulika Uganda and ReflACTION.
The multidisciplinary learning event consisted of workshops, roundtables, and discussion groups with the main theme of strengthening and elevating locally led response programs. Malteser International staff provided topical inputs on a variety of issues. On World Toilet Day (November 19), Malteser frontline staff from South Sudan provided Forum participants with an in-depth learning exercise on Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) in fragile and post-conflict context. The day after Malteser staff from the Democratic Republic of Congo shared best practices from their community-centered program design in fighting successfully Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) earlier this year.
The Innovation Forum on Locally Led Response to Crises and Displacement was co-hosted by Malteser International, Kulika Uganda and ReflACTION and took place at the Resilient Africa Network's Innovation Lab (RANLab) hosted by Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Donations from the German Foreign Office Aktion Deutschland Hilft and Swiss Solidarity made the event possible.