There was no involvement of local organizations and actors in the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Localization on International Aid for Humanitarian which took place on 27-28 August 2019 in Jakarta. Whereas local organizations are the first responder when a humanitarian crisis occurs; they are most vulnerable to becoming victims in humanitarian crisis situations; they understand the situation, politics and local culture best, because they were and worked before, during and after a humanitarian crisis occurred; and will continue to work to recover from the impact of the crisis long after all international humanitarian actors have left. But their presence and important role isoften missed and not recognized in discussions about the humanitarian response mechanism.
On 27-28 August 2019 at Graha BNPB Jakarta, the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Localization of Aid took place with the aim of facilitating discussion between the stakeholders about opportunities and challenges in localizing, sharing knowledge and learning in the localization approach. Localization fof aid is about the significant role of local organizations as the first responders to the humanitarian crisis and provides support for their role to develop and strengthen, including greater involvement in knowledge sharing forums and global-regional-national coordination mechanisms.
The conference was organized by IFRC (International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent) and the Swiss Government, as Co-coverens Localization Workstream in the Grand Bargain. This conference is a series of regional conferences that have been held previously in Africa (Addis Ababa) and the Middle East (Amman).
In fact, local organizations are still experiencing obstacles to participate in this conference. A number of local organizations were rejected by organizers on the grounds that they had exceeded the capacity of the participants. In the list of participants released by the committee, showing the dominance of international actors, minimal involvement of Indonesian local organizations.
On the first day of this conference, only one local organization (Central Sulawesi) had succeeded in gaining access as a participant through sudden notification from the committee. Even though there are at least four local organizations that are important actors in disaster response in Central Sulawesi, which are already in Jakarta, one of them is WALHI Central Sulawesi. They tried to come to Jakarta and be involved in the conference to ensure that the viewpoints of local Indonesian organizations became an important reference for discussions about localization in the Asia Pacific context.
Whereas in a special session on Learning about Localization from the Central Sulawesi Response on the second day was an opportunity for more substantive involvement of local organizations in this political space. However, lobbying efforts to the Committee, UN agencies, international organizations, as well as invitations from participants from other countries to support efforts to involve Indonesian local organizations did not get a significant response.
Jakarta, 28 August 2019
- Indira Hapsari (YAPPIKA) : 081326251401
- Abdul Haris (WALHI Sulteng) : 082191952025
- Nur Hidayati (Eknas WALHI): 081316101154
- Adriansah (Sulteng Bergerak): 082291794751