CDA Collaborative Blog Series Unpacks Meaning of "Local" in Aid
Humanity United is committed to amplifying the agency and power of local peacebuilders, through directly supporting locally-led peacebuilding initiatives as well as coming behind innovative platforms, practices, and policies that elevate the voices of local peacebuilders in global conversations. We know that those working at the frontlines of peace are the only actors with the knowledge, relationships and legitimacy to foster lasting change. However, translating this knowledge into practice on a global scale has proven challenging for the aid sector.
Through the blog series From Where I Stand: unpacking “local” in aid, supported in part by Humanity United, CDA Collaborative brings together voices from the frontlines of peacebuilding, humanitarian, and development efforts to share their perspectives on the questions we need to be asking and the change we need to make to facilitate the “local turn” in peacebuilding.
In a new reflection paper, Ruth Rhoads Allen of CDA Collaborative Learning highlights the key themes and wisdom emerging from the blogs published in the series so far. Themes from the paper include: problematizing who is considered “local,” the role of accountability to communities, and the importance of understanding systems in order to create real change. Read in total, the blogs vividly illustrate why the paradigm of aid needs to shift in favor of locally directed action. We see in these powerful words how local communities can build trust, create new societal structures, and allocate resources in ways impossible for even the best intentioned outside actors.