Author: Magali from Biolley
Burkina Faso has been confronted since 2015 with an extension of the armed conflict from central Mali and across the tri-border zone between Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance increased by 60% between 2020 and 2021, so previously development-focused intervention approaches have changed dramatically. National and local non-state actors are adapting best to this new crisis. However, more than three years after this massive shift towards humanitarianism, they are still well on the margins of a humanitarian response dominated by international actors. On the other hand, international partners and donors are increasing resources for an appropriate humanitarian response, but a direct transfer of 0.17% of funds to local actors in 2020 is an indication of the current lack of consideration of the demands of humanitarian leadership. local.
This report first looks at the causes and issues that help explain this marginalization, in particular by highlighting the perceptions of the local actors interviewed. The second part seeks to highlight existing good practices and proposes specific actions to strengthen the role of local and potentially LHL actors in the response in Burkina Faso.
This report focuses on four key LHL challenges and proposed solutions, including:
1. Local and national partners are still very largely relegated to a role of service provider rather than being full partners. This is very clearly reflected in the humanitarian pre- and post-project phases, including assessment, definition of intervention logic, choice of activities or selection of private entrepreneurs. This leads to a certain disconnection between the real needs and the responses provided. While the women’s rights organizations interviewed appear to have a better understanding of the humanitarian ecosystem and networking opportunities, the issues they address – such as women’s leadership and advocacy – are still underfunded in the world. this increasingly humanitarian environment. By choice, they limit themselves to the development work they already know and do not yet see enough opportunities for them to fully integrate humanitarian action.
2. The lack of inclusion in programming has a direct impact on the capacity and the sense of legitimacy of any structure or individual to participate in the coordination groups of the international humanitarian system. We were able to see how local and national partners are marginalized in humanitarian coordination, which carries a double burden as it was also found that national and local actors are not involved in local coordination groups strong enough to resist international coordination.
3. More appropriate, continuous and equitable capacity building remains the main unmet demand, rather than funding, of CBAs, national NGOs (NGOS) and community actors that we met. While most international partners include capacity building as part of their humanitarian projects, this component remains primarily an ad hoc peripheral activity limited by insufficient funding and remains consistent with a top-down approach rather than an exchange vision. capacity. Such an approach does not sufficiently take into account the local responses already implemented by local actors or even the communities themselves and does not seek to build on them or learn from them.
4. The responses to the needs of vulnerable people in hard-to-reach areas rely mainly on the communities themselves as well as on the ABCs and a few national or even international NGOs which can still access them. However, budgets are not suited to an operating environment that changes every day; training programs are too general; and the lack of dialogue between international partners, donors and local actors not only hinders their security management, but also pushes them to use dangerous techniques.
In terms of the solutions proposed to these challenges, there are a number of specific examples where international partners have committed to greater inclusion of local actors, and in particular communities, both in project preparation and in the demand for a legitimate space in them. international coordination forums. Other proposed alternatives are more inspired by success stories and initiatives led by local actors. We have also identified a number of equitable and horizontal capacity exchange approaches that are more conducive to the use of local expertise.
Based on this research, our main recommendations for all local humanitarian actors, international partners and donors are as follows:
Think of partnership and capacity building approaches as a medium-term process that requires proper monitoring and prioritization to allocate the necessary budgets and time.
Integrate humanitarian intervention in an approach where local actors and international partners understand that neither should disappear but that they must identify their complementarities and the specific needs that bind them in the response.
Significantly increase the quantity and quality of humanitarian funding as promised by the GB to achieve the ratio of 25% going directly to local actors – including women’s rights organizations -, in order to ensure humanitarian preparedness and response as well as recovery.
Favor flexible and multi-year funding such as the HDP Nexus to respond to the large and rapid increase in humanitarian needs and take into account the lessons learned and the practices of well-established development actors.
Push for a change in the internal mentality of international partners towards greater sharing of power and more diversified partnerships.
Institutionalize a dialogue at least every six months to develop non-project intervention scenarios with ACBs, NGOs and deconcentrated authorities to be taken as a basis for preparing future responses in addition to local emergency plans.
Promote the active participation of NGOs and CBAs in humanitarian coordination structures through their effective inclusion in project preparation and in strategic discussions on the intervention logic.
Move from a capacity building approach to a capacity sharing approach by institutionalizing peer review tools co-created by local actors and the international partner.
Ensure the creation of an official consultation channel including local actors, NGOs and CBAs and donors to discuss the nature of security risks systematically undertaken before and during projects, including through budget changes.