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Supporting the localization of humanitarian aid in Lebanon

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) in 2016 brought significant attention to Localization. The Grand Bargain confirmed a commitment from the largest humanitarian donors and aid organizations to make sure national and local partners are involved in decision-making processes in any humanitarian response, and deliver assistance in accordance with humanitarian principles. Because local actors often have the best understanding of the context and acceptance by the people in need of assistance and protection, they are essential for an effective humanitarian response.

Under Workstream 2, a set of six commitments related to localization were agreed by the signatories of the Grand Bargain, focusing on:

  • A multi-year investment in the institutional capacities of local and national responders;
  • The removal of barriers that prevent organizations and donors from partnering with local and national responders;
  • Support to national coordination mechanisms;
  • A target of at least 25% of humanitarian funding to local and national responders;
  • Setting a ‘Localization’ marker to measure direct and indirect funding to local and national responders;
  • Greater use of funding tools which increase and improve assistance delivered by local and national responders.

OCHA’s Role & Commitments

OCHA Lebanon has committed to:

  1. Meeting the objectives of the Grand Bargain;
  2. Engaging with local partners and donors to explore the best means to promote localization in Lebanon;
  3. Supporting service provision through national systems, as promoted in the LCRP 2017-2020.

OCHA’S Approach

OCHA Lebanon is currently implementing the following strategy and its interrelated projects:

1. Provide direct funding for National NGOs (NNGOs) through the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund (LHF), whenever possible and adequate
  • In 2017, 50% of the Humanitarian funding was allocated to NNGOs – double the Grand Bargain target of 25% of the humanitarian funding to local and national responders
  • In 2018, 24 projects were funded through LHF Standard Allocations


2. Pilot the localization of humanitarian assistance through a Reserve Allocation with three new local partners
The pilot project is implemented through a Reserve Allocation and consists in:
  • Accompanying three local organizations to develop a proposal based on their regular programming
  • Identifying a specific growth / empowerment objective per partner
  • Familiarization with institutional funding obligations through the funding of the project and the roll out of the regular LHF performance monitoring


3. Broaden relations with NNGOs and identify key areas of improvement and capacity building
Institutional capacity reinforcement
  • Design a capacity framework and self-reporting survey
  • Meeting with NNGOS and articulating needs and how to address them
  • Mentoring and coaching and one-on-one capacity building support
  • Develop a multi-year capacity building plan
 Coordination and governance
  • Establish and strengthen partnerships with NNGOs
  • Advise on humanitarian programming
  • Liaise with the Lebanon NGOs Forum


4. Support the Lebanon NGOs Forum
  • OCHA is working with the Lebanon NGOs Forum - created in 2014 and working mainly on the Syrian Crisis
  • This formal platform aims to strengthen the coordination amongst the NNGOs and with external stakeholders
  • The LHF is also financially supporting the process of formalization of the platform


5. Map localization initiatives in Lebanon
As part of its commitment to meeting the objectives of the Grand Bargain and engaging with local partners and donors to explore the best means to promote localization in Lebanon, OCHA is undertaking a data collection related to the Grand Bargain Localization commitment on financing local responders, which will establish a baseline of the current initiatives underway.
This mapping will help:
  • Capture the localization programmes being implemented by donors, UN agencies and INGOs
  • Chart the sectors and geographical areas benefiting from the greatest number of projects
  • Analyze trends in localization in Lebanon since the WHS in 2016
  • Identify gaps and specific challenges in the Lebanon context

In parallel, consultations and joint meetings with local and national partners will explore how localization is understood from the NNGOs perspective, what are the barriers preventing local and national responders from partnering with donors and organizations and how NNGOs are benefitting from Localization.

For any questions or queries, please contact:

Rana El Khawand
Localization Officer

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA)
Beirut, Lebanon
Tel: +961 1 962500 ext.520 | E-mail: