Global crises, local action: a humanitarian reset in response to Covid-19?



Decades-long commitments to supporting more ‘local’ responses to crises have not resulted in significant shifts in the traditional humanitarian system. Funding, decision-making and capacity continue to be concentrated in large international aid actors. Experts are now highlighting the critical role that local responders will play in relation to Covid-19 given their ability to act fast, engage communities and maintain delivery in the context of national and international travel restrictions. Will this lead to a reset of the humanitarian system? Or, beyond the rhetoric, will it be business as usual?

This event will launch the Humanitarian Policy Group's (HPG) new report, From the ground up: it's about time for local humanitarian action, which brings together two years of research on examining humanitarian action, power imbalances and local capacity. Using report recommendations, we discuss whether Covid-19 is unlocking some of the barriers to more locally-led humanitarian responses in practice. 

This event is part of the ODI at 60 global reset dialogue series, challenging decision-makers to provide more sustainable and equitable pathways for the future.


Sorcha O'Callaghan @sorchaoc – Director of Humanitarian Policy Group, ODI

Christina Bennett @cr_bennett  – Chief Executive, Start Network 

Minnie Anne-Mata Calub – Program Secretary, National Council of Churches, Philippines

Larissa Fast @AidinDanger – Senior Lecturer of Humanitarian Studies and Director of Research at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI), University of Manchester, UK 

Gloria Soma – Executive Director, Titi Foundation