Learning Note: Innovative Practices – Changing the International System to Better Enable Local Leadership

This learning note consolidates some of the innovative practices taking place within the aid system by different organisations and hopes to inspire all actors and institutions to learn from one another on concrete ways for changing the international system to better enable local leadership. In supporting systems change for local leadership, there is great potential in unlocking learning on practice innovations as one critical element in pursuing institutional and broader systems change, including structural and attitudinal change. In the coming months CSP will be hosting a series of events for deepening our shared learning and reflection on changing the international system for enabling local leadership and equitable partnerships.

See Learning Note here.

This note offers a snapshot of innovative practices used by international organisations—bilateral donors, multilateral organisations and international NGOs—to support and promote local leadership. It recognises the complexity and multifaceted nature of systems change for greater local leadership and more equitable partnerships. It examines three broad areas of programmatic practice: 1) funding; 2) partnerships; and 3) learning and accountability. This snapshot of innovative practice aims to capture the breadth of practice change that is taking place in these core areas to enable systems change. The selected practices identified across these three programmatic areas are elaborated in greater detail in the attached Annex of Innovative Practices and also in the interactive map that can be found here.


CSP has not assessed the effectiveness of these practices. Their inclusion here also does not indicate CSP endorsement of any sort. Although CSP consulted with some of those who use the practices presented in this mapping exercise, there is much more to learn about their development, implementation and impact. As with many of these initiatives, their approach is at times innovative, however shifts may be relatively incremental and not yet be classifiable as entirely transformation in their approach to enabling local leadership.