‘All Eyes Are on Local Actors’: COVID-19 and Local Humanitarian Action - Opportunities for Systemic Change

Barbelet, V. , Bryant, J. & Willitts-King, B.
Publication language
Date published
05 Sep 2020
Factsheets and summaries
Capacity development, Local capacity, Multi-sector/cross-sector, Development & humanitarian aid, COVID-19, Epidemics & pandemics, humanitarian action, Humanitarian Principles, NGOs

The ongoing global pandemic of Covid-19 has caused a substantial shock across economies and industries, including the humanitarian sector. Travel and access restrictions mean that international staff and initiatives cannot be deployed, affecting many operations (ACAPS, 2020). This has led to a renewed focus on the role of local humanitarian actors.

Will this attention ultimately lead to a fundamental change in the humanitarian system? Will Covid-19 provide the opportunity to shift towards more local humanitarian action? This briefing note considers the early implications of Covid-19 for driving systemic change towards more local humanitarian action and leadership, and more complementarity between international and local actors.

Barbelet, V. , Bryant, J. & Willitts-King, B.