Two steps forward, one step back: Assessing the implications of COVID-19 on locally-led humanitarian response in Myanmar

Publication language
Date published
01 Dec 2020
Research, reports and studies
Local capacity, Partnerships, COVID-19, Funding and donors

International actors play a significant role in the humanitarian sector of Myanmar. Prior to COVID-19, progress on meeting commitments made by international actors to enable a more locally led humanitarian response, had been notably insufficient. With COVID-19, progress on some localisation aspect accelerated as increased needs and reduced international access during the pandemic meant local organisations became even more important as first responders to the crises. Despite these achievements, the opportunities presented by the COVID-19 context to make substantial shifts in the primarily internationally led humanitarian response model, was inadequately capitalised on. To date it has been a story of two steps forward, one step back; what happens next for localisation in Myanmar will depend on whether stakeholders take the opportunity to consolidate the gains brought about by COVID-19.

This research report explores the implications, challenges and opportunities of COVID-19 for greater locally led humanitarian response and offers short- to long-term recommendations to create a more inclusive and locally led humanitarian model in Myanmar.