Background and Rationale
Australian Red Cross’ (ARC) International Program (IP) has been actively engaged in the localisation agenda since the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. ARC understands localisation to be a process of recognising, respecting, and strengthening the independence of leadership and decision making by national actors in humanitarian action to better address the needs of affected populations. However, ARC also recognises that there are multiple narratives on localisation, that the framing has been pre-dominantly shaped by donors and intermediaries, and that limited progress has been made since the 2016 Summit.
ARC is interested in creating an open, multi-year ‘localisation lab’ that operates as a space to test and seek feedback on approaches to transferring power to local actors to enhance humanitarian outcomes, that can shift policy and practices toward a more locally led humanitarian landscape, that is open to ‘allies’ to develop and test their own localisation assumptions and approaches, and that can provide evidence for future program design between DFAT and its humanitarian partners. Diagrams summarising the current conceptualisation of the localisation lab, including where this scoping study fits in, are at Annex A.
ARC encourages applications for this scoping study that include Pacific and/or Asian locally based consultants.
ARC is seeking a consultant to undertake a scoping study to inform the development of the localisation lab, with an emphasis on elevating the voice of local actors on power transfer within the humanitarian space. Applicants will be expected to have a working knowledge of current localisation and decolonisation global/regional narratives, practices and research.
ARC is open to guidance and advice on appropriate methodological approaches to undertaking this scoping study and welcomes non- traditional approaches to information gathering and participation. The scoping exercise should be flexible, that is, designed to align with and adapt to changing circumstances. It will aim to establish guidance (and a measure of clarity) on the value and key functions of a lab and recommendations for design and scale up.
ARC recognises that it will require facilitated discussion with local actors and is looking to learn from the existing decolonization discourse. ARC intends the scoping to focus on eight of our partner National Societies (Fiji, Indonesia, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu).
ARC is seeking to hear and consciously include the voice of local actors from diverse backgrounds and experiences in the methodology around issues such as:
- What should a process of localisation look like?
- What are your key localisation priorities?
- What benefits could be achieved through improved localisation? What are the enablers and barriers?
- What has been tried so far and what can we learn from these approaches?
- Is the concept of the lab relevant to local partner needs?
The consultants will be assisted in developing the scoping approach by a reference group comprised of ARC national society partners. Analysis should also cover an external scan to establish if anything like the lab already exists, and any learning and practice that should inform its development. As well as a desk-based review which includes ARC publications on localisation, consultations should be undertaken with:
- Red Cross Red Crescent Asia Pacific Localisation working group (covers 38 National Societies)
- DFAT/USAID/EU/DFID/ other government donors (TBD)/ DAG/IFRC (localisation team)
- Other national and international actors (e.g., community-based organisations and NGO’s, INGO’s) and national societies engaging in this area (to be determined in consultation with ARC)
- Relevant ARC staff
Options for discussion with local actors include both face to face and virtual meetings, please include any proposed travel and translation costs in the budget.
The selected consultant is expected to deliver outputs that provide guidance on opportunities and challenges to strengthening localisation, value and key functions of a localisation lab and recommendations for a detailed design phase.
We are also looking for the process to assist with the creation of stronger pathways and relationships between key actors for the longer-term scale up of the lab. Recommendations should be included on establishing and resourcing a local partner national society reference/advisory group for the lab, and possible governance mechanisms.
The consultancy will be managed by David Stephens, Acting Head: Influence and Advocacy, ARC. The scoping study will be guided by a reference group.
Timelines: It is anticipated that the scoping will be conducted between December 2022 and February 2023, with the final deliverables expected mid-March 2023.
Please submit your expression of interest to Lalitha Foster via email at [email protected] by December 30th, 2022, including a proposed methodology, timeline, budget, CV/Background, referees, and examples of relevant work undertaken.
If you have any questions, please contact David Stephens at [email protected]