Let’s talk about localisation in peacebuilding: Are we moving towards a radical transformative agenda or is it just more of the same?
Author: Thania Paffenholz
The localization agenda has reached the peacebuilding field. In this blog I am asking the question if the localisation agenda can be the next local turn in peacebuilding. Is it an agenda that offers truly transformative change or is the agenda mainly moving us towards technical questions about aid delivery to local organisations?
When I first started working on our latest research article Toward a Third Local Turn: Identifying and Addressing Obstacles to Localization in Peacebuilding, with my colleagues Philip Poppelreuter and Nick Ross, I was not aware how prominent the localisation topic is in the development and humanitarian sector. It is only recently that we have begun to talk about it in the peacebuilding field.
What we see happening now are slow openings towards a localised approach to peacebuilding: We see that donors are emphasizing localisation – not only by paying lip service to the countless normative frameworks that have embraced the agenda, but by trying hard to find ways to practise the agenda in particular when it comes to finding modi to funding local actors more directly. However, a truly transformative localisation agenda is still far away. So, how come implementation is so hard? [... ]