Invitation to Workshop Series – Danish International NGOs Enabling Local Leadership

We are pleased to invite you to – Danish International NGOs Enabling Local Leadership – our workshop series on global trends and promising practices for systems change which will be held in Copenhagen in August and September 2022.

With the global context for development assistance evolving rapidly and momentum for change to better provide support to locally-led initiatives gaining ground, the need to re-examine approaches to aid initiatives is ever more pressing. Innovation and transformation in the ways international institutions support local actors is increasing. This workshop series offers a space for Danish INGO staff working in programme development and implementation, financial management, MEL/MEAL, advocacy, or key positions in organisational and strategic development to explore global trends on supporting local leadership and dive into concrete promising and innovative practices of support. We will unpack key questions on how international NGOs are going from principle to practice, better enabling local leadership, ‘decolonise aid’, promoting systems change for localisation, and scrutinising internal ways of working.

Kindly notify Mathilde Thorsen of your participation by Wednesday, 17th August at in order to join the workshop series. Upon registration, additional background materials will be shared. Participants are encouraged to attend both the in-person and online workshops as each successively builds on one another.

The workshops will be facilitated by Sweta Velpillay, Deputy Director of CSP. It will be interactive with input by CSP and external resource persons, followed by individual and group activities as well as plenary discussions.

Context of the workshop series
The global context for development assistance is changing rapidly, and international organisations globally are trying to rethink their role. There is an emergent trend among INGOs, bilateral donors, UN agencies, private foundations and others in various constellations across the aid sector to recognise the need for structural and actionable change to better support local leadership. This shift is prompted by the decolonising aid agenda, the increased emphasis on localisation and the recognition that change in the role of international organisations is not only a long-term goal but is inevitable for remaining relevant in the future.

Danish organisations have been pushing the ‘localisation’ agenda for years. However, there is an unprecedented increase in donor and INGO focus on this agenda which is increasingly calling for a more radical shift in international ways of working. Overall global trends in funding for local and national civil society organisations do not show great progress, with a 25% commitment in the Grand Bargain only going up from 2.8% in 2016 to 3.1% in 2020 globally. Donor requirements, internal incentive structures, and other organisational challenges make it difficult to turn commitments and principles into good practices that create real changes in both quantitative and qualitative support for local CSOs. Such challenges underscore the need for greater learning and exchange on systems change and promising practices for innovating new ways of working.

Danish NGOs and Danish affiliates of INGO confederations can benefit from the peer learning and innovation on the ‘promising practices’ in the areas of funding, knowledge management, partnership, accountability and learning, and ways of working which are emerging at an unprecedented speed among international organisations. For example, ongoing processes to reconsider the role of international NGOs include Pledge for Change initiative with three pledges on lexicon, imagery and partnerships and the RINGO Project (Reimagining the role of INGOs) that focus on how to create broader systems change including exploring concrete changes in funding flows, solidarity, and compliance and risk management offer specific insights.

About Conducive Space for Peace
Conducive Space for Peace (CSP) is a Danish registered INGO specialising in facilitating transformation in the aid system to enable greater local leadership for more equitable, dignified and sustainable peace and development. CSP works with an extensive global network of change agents and partners across the peacebuilding, development and humanitarian sectors, convening, accompanying and developing analysis for systems change globally and in specific country contexts. CSP has developed new thinking including the Global System in FluxAct Now on Localisationthe Dragonfly Model, and the Chain of Influence Framework and will shortly be publishing on Promising Practices of international organisations to enable local leadership through adapting their organisational structures and practices.

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