Local Humanitarian Leadership

Money Talks: A synthesis report assessing humanitarian funding flows to local actors in Bangladesh and Uganda


Local and national disaster responders are crucial to saving lives in emergencies, but to receive international funding, they often find themselves implementing the plans of international nongovernmental organizations (INGOs), in the roles of subcontractors. At the World Humanitarian Summit of 2016, many international aid providers, including Oxfam, committed themselves to what’s known as the localization agenda–to helping local and national aid providers boost their skills, resources, power, and independence. An important element of a localized humanitarian system is the ability of local actors to access funds directly from international donors rather than through intermediaries like INGOs–whose own agreements with donors may determine how the money is spent, and who may not choose to cover any of the local organizations’ administrative costs. This paper is the result of research into the flow of humanitarian funds in Bangladesh and Uganda. Two of its key conclusions are that each country presents different enablers and obstacles to the flow of funds, and that while direct funding can benefit and strengthen domestic responders, there are ways in which INGOs providing indirect funding can do so, as well.



Chloe Parrish, Chloe; Anita Kattakuzhy


Feinstein International Center, Tufts University, Oxfam

Date Published

March 23, 2018