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SPACE - Programming Guidance: Embedding Localisation in the Response to COVID-19 (July 2020)

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This guidance note describes key considerations for integrating local actors into the COVID-19 social protection and/or humanitarian cash response. Local actors are defined as national and sub-national entities and can include civil society organisations (CSOs), government, private sector actors, and communities themselves. They can take a variety of forms, including local NGOs, local government, women’s networks and groups, youth/elderly/people with disabilities organizations, indigenous groups, faith-based organisations and networks, trade unions, informal worker organisations (see also SPACE Informal Workers and Social Protection), etc.

The UN has highlighted the key role that local actors have to play in the response, in their April policy brief on human rights and COVID-19, highlighting the vital role that CSOs are playing in the response. IASC has provided specific guidance on how to engage local actors . They provide six guidance notes that are short and accessible and include guidance on: arrangements between donors and intermediaries; gender responsive localisation; coordination; capacity strengthening; financing; and partnership practices.

This document builds on this work to provide more specific step-by-step guidance for integrating local actors across the different phases of a cash+ response (further defined in a separate forthcoming paper) by presenting the following:

• the appraisal case for localisation to underpin business cases and proposals;

• key principles that should be integrated into the design of a localised response;

• key steps/actions for integrating local actors throughout the response cycle, both as part of the delivery chain for cash programming, as well as through cash+/early recovery phases of the response through a multi-dimensional response;

• structural considerations, including the identification of different types of platforms or intermediaries to use as entry points.